Customer Focused Process Innovation was awarded the Shingo Research and Publication Award for 2016


A business consultant for most of his career, David Hamme is a leading proponent of process-based approaches to define, manage, and innovate work. In contrast to prevailing practices, Hamme’s innovation approach bridges the gap between the disciplines of strategic planning and business process management by utilizing process improvement to both define and execute strategic endeavors. His background includes extensive experience with Strategic Planning, Process Transformation, Lean, Six Sigma, Reengineering, Business Process Management and other strategic and process toolsets.


David Hamme’s theories on management and innovation are captured in the award-winning book, Customer Focused Process Innovation: Linking Strategic Intent to Everyday Execution. Customer Focused Process Innovation received the Shingo Research and Professional Publication award for its contribution to expanding the theories of operational excellence. Hamme’s novel approaches to innovation and management have been featured in numerous publications including Investor’s Business Daily, Wired, Monster.com and others. He is a frequent contributor to the BPM Institute, the Association for Talent Development (ATD), and several other thought leadership groups.


David Hamme is the Managing Director of Ephesus Consulting. Hamme is a throwback to the glory days of consulting when project managers did significantly more then manage workplans and issues logs. They were builders, capable of digging into the details and delivering solutions that fundamentally changed the company for the better. His preference is to work side by side with his client partners to create order from chaos and drive companies to capitalize on the opportunities surfacing in their market. Through Ephesus Consulting, David Hamme works with a group of talented and knowledgeable consultants to drive game changing initiatives for their corporate partners. See www.ephesusconsulting.com for further information.


David Hamme is a frequent speaker at conferences around the world as well as corporate training and exploration sessions.  As a speaker and trainer, Hamme challenges many of the prevailing conventions that exist in business practices and structures today. His approach is hands on – requiring the audience to participate in the experience and sparking a dialogue long after he has left the podium.  For a list of Hamme’s most popular Classes and Workshops, please see the services page.

 Shingo Institute
Shingo Institute

This text provides a unique perspective on innovation; the connection to the process-focused organization and continuous improvement; and systematic alignment of resources and enterprise strategy.

 Shingo Institute
Shingo Institute

The author is spot on. He offers a systematic way to deploy innovation for company growth.

 Marshall Goldsmith – author or editor of 34 books including the global bestsellers MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.
Marshall Goldsmith – author or editor of 34 books including the global bestsellers MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

David Hamme has created an important resource for executives and leaders who know that they must make fundamental changes in their organizations. The methodology of customer-focused strategies in this guide provides an invaluable blueprint to reinvent how your company innovates. You will not find such a straight-forward, scientific approach to righting your company’s direction anywhere but in David Hamme’s new book.

 Steve Newmark – President<br>Roush Fenway Racing
Steve Newmark – President
Roush Fenway Racing

I’ve been fortunate to rely on Dave in a professional setting as well as serving beside him in the non-profit world.  Having observed, and benefitted from, his tremendous insight and innovation regarding business strategy and organizational behavior, I’m thrilled that he’s going to share his approach and ideas.  His book, Customer Focused Process Innovation, will be required reading for my entire management team so that we can continue to grow and evolve into a more effective business unit.

 Steve Jegier, Head of Strategy – Wealth, Brokerage, and Retirement<br>Wells Fargo
Steve Jegier, Head of Strategy – Wealth, Brokerage, and Retirement
Wells Fargo

Every now and then a book comes along that forces us to rethink how we collectively organize our resources and manage our strategic initiatives. Customer Focused Process Innovation is exactly such a book. Refreshingly, David Hamme’s approach is not a pie-in-the-sky set of big ideas, but rather an expertly woven and intuitively practical framework of concepts and tools that bridge the gap between visions and strategies, and their realization in the factories, stores, and other locations where corporately conceived value propositions are brought to life. It is simply a must-read for executives challenged with delivering.

 Mike Lee – President<br>North Highland Worldwide Consulting
Mike Lee – President
North Highland Worldwide Consulting

It is a rare treat to have practical yet very strategic advice laid out in such a digestable manner.  Customer Focused Process Innovation brings a fresh perspective to some very well studied concepts in process improvement and innovation.  David speaks from the perspective of a well-seasoned management consultant who doesn’t just talk about these concepts, he implements them successfully.  I had the pleasure of working with David on one of the most impactful efficiency programs of my career.

 Stephen Shapiro, Author<br>Best Practices are Stupid.
Stephen Shapiro, Author
Best Practices are Stupid.

99% of the innovation books published don't address the part of the process where 99% of the value is created: implementation. However, David addresses this complex issue head on. If you want to make innovation a reality, get this book.

 Don Smith –  VP of Marketing<br>Family Dollar Stores
Don Smith – VP of Marketing
Family Dollar Stores

Finally a business book that not only provides great thought provoking insight into how a business does or does not operate, but  David Hamme also gives the step by step instructions to create a blueprint that everyone in the organization can follow to take the guesswork out of execution.  Customer Focused Process Innovation is cutting edge common sense

 Richard Maltsbarger – Business Development Executive<br>Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
Richard Maltsbarger – Business Development Executive
Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

Hamme takes a microscope to the intricate machinery that drives whether a company succeeds or not – its processes and the people that perform them.  Throughout, his emphasis on using a process focus and initiative management to drive long-term, real improvement to an organization is spot on … it’s the only way to really bring about the adaptation needed to survive.  With an executive perspective but a practitioner’s passion, his work can help mid- and senior-level leaders to take a new look at building resiliency into their operations.

 Anne Pfeiffer – Founder and Executive Director<br>Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center
Anne Pfeiffer – Founder and Executive Director
Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center

Nonprofit organizations and for profit entities share many organizational characteristics. As nonprofits face unrelenting scrutiny, there is a growing focus on efficiency and productivity. Customer Focused Process Innovation is a playbook in creating a blueprint to unleash innovation, build partnerships and drive performance. Dave Hamme brings a wealth of information and savvy to a topic of great value to leaders of organizations of all sizes.

 Steve Buecking – VP & Executive Producer<br>GA Communication Group
Steve Buecking – VP & Executive Producer
GA Communication Group

Dave Hamme has taken the complexities of a business organization and developed a process-based framework to gain understanding and identify business opportunity. His process innovation builds from the bottom up in a practical, realistic manner that cannot only be aligned with the business strategy but also with the organization's ability to execute. Dave's book is a valuable read for any business leader trying to gain an edge in today's hyper-competitive business environment.

 Shingo Institute
Shingo Institute

The work is practical and full of helpful methods to deploy the concepts. The book has widespread application through the development of process work streams, from customers to suppliers that drive customer-based improvements by building feedback loops through process-focused value creation and development of management-based systems that support alignment of resources and strategy.

 Gino Biondi – Vice President Sales & Marketing,<br> Zenith Products Corporation
Gino Biondi – Vice President Sales & Marketing,
Zenith Products Corporation

David Hamme's book is spot on and insightful in regards to both the idea and the how to implement and gain alignment with "Customer Focus", "Innovation" and "Process".  Dave dives straight in by starting out on the process elements relevant to win.  Through well-articulated principles he ties utilizing "process" to be "customer focused" extremely well. This core and essential theme is done with a connect-the-dots thinking that makes it easier to think about how to plow through the biggest challenges, maximize relevant innovation, get cost and quality right and have the speed to market essential to meeting customers needs.  The step by step approach he lays out transforms the complexity of process to a palatable idea you'll want to implement immediately.


Enterprises with a demonstrated ability to harness their resources and innovate their processes, people, and structures invariably embrace several key practices –practices that when collectively performed propel innovation.
I call these practices the Four Facets of an Innovative Enterprise The Four Facets are Customer Focus, Strategic Planning, Operational Improvement, and Initiative Management.

Customer Focus

Understanding what is important to the consumer is of primary importance to the leaders of an innovative enterprise. This knowledge allows the enterprise plans to build offerings appealing to the consumer both today and ideally for some time in the future. The first facet is collecting customer information upon which to base the enterprise’s strategy.

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is identifying opportunities based upon the customer and the market position of the competition. It includes game theory and predicting how the competition might react to a specific strategy. Once analyzed and developed, these opportunities are strategic initiatives.

Operational Improvement

On an ongoing basis, the enterprise adjusts and expands its productive capabilities to support the enterprise’s goals. Depending on the existing systems, facilities, equipment, and processes, this may include increasing the quality of products/services, cutting customer response time, reducing operational costs, or increasing the enterprise’s ability to respond to new opportunities. While strategic planning is focused externally based upon internal capabilities, Operational Improvement is focused internally with the aim of improving these same capabilities. Similar to strategic planning, the capture of operational improvement opportunities is accomplished through the execution of operational improvement initiatives.

Initiative Management

The final facet is the collection, prioritization, and execution of all initiatives. Simply knowing what needs to be done is but a start. An innovative enterprise completes initiatives as quickly and efficiently as possible to capture an advantage before the competition knows what hit them. To maximize the benefit, the full slate of improvement activities is prioritized for execution. Initiative management is not an annual event like many strategic planning exercises, but an ongoing activity that assimilates new information into the innovation cycle as it comes to light.


Taken collectively, the Four Facets are the innovation cycle for an enterprise. The mere existence of the Four Facets in an enterprise does not guarantee long-term or even short-term success. Prosperity depends on a multiplicity of factors – many outside the enterprise’s sphere of control and others of sufficient complexity to thwart any accurate prediction of their impact. However, the facets are integral components of an innovative enterprise that must be understood and in existence at some level in order for leaders to appropriately respond to external change and internal challenges. Embedding the innovation cycle into the DNA of an enterprise is the aim of Customer Focused Process Innovation: Linking Strategic Intent to Everyday Execution.