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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Explain the concept of Johari window citing suitable organizational instances.

Explain the concept of Johari window citing suitable organizational instances. Briefly describe the organization you are referring to.

Answer. The Johari Window is a communication model that can be used to improve understanding between individuals within a team or in a group setting. Based on disclosure, self-disclosure and feedback, the Johari Window can also be used to improve a group's relationship with other groups.

Developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham (the word “Johari” comes from Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham), there are two key ideas behind the tool:
 That individuals can build trust between themselves by disclosing information about themselves; and
 That they can learn about themselves and come to terms with personal issues with the help of feedback from others.

The Johari Window model consists of a foursquare grid (think of taking a piece of paper and dividing it into four parts by drawing one line down the middle of the paper from top to bottom, and another line through the middle of the paper from side-to-side). This is shown in the diagram below:

Using the Johari model, each person is represented by their own four-quadrant, or four-pane, window. Each of these contains and represents personal information - feelings, motivation - about the person, and shows whether the information is known or not known by themselves or other people. The four quadrants are:

Quadrant 1: Open Area
What is known by the person about him/herself and is also known by others.

Quadrant 2: Blind Area, or "Blind Spot"
What is unknown by the person about him/herself but which others know. This can be simple information, or can involve deep issues (for example, feelings of inadequacy, incompetence, unworthiness, rejection) which are difficult for individuals to face directly, and yet can be seen by others.

Quadrant 3: Hidden or Avoided Area
What the person knows about him/herself that others do not.

Quadrant 4: Unknown Area
What is unknown by the person about him/herself and is also unknown by others.

The process of enlarging the open quadrant vertically is called self-disclosure, a give and take process between the person and the people he/she interacts with. As information is shared, the boundary with the hidden quadrant moves downwards. And as other people reciprocate, trust tends to build between them.


Customer relationship management (CRM) is one of the most widely implemented management concepts of the decade, yet after hundreds of millions of dollars in systems and process investment, most companies are still waiting to see its vaunted benefits realized — in customer understanding, customer satisfaction, and financial returns. Why aren’t firms achieving the customer intimacy they desire?

One answer is that companies have yet to apply some relatively simple lessons that derive from several decades of social science research into the dynamics of human relationships. Like the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Nash Equilibrium, an element of game theory known as the Johari Window can help illuminate rules that guide the behavior of people involved in transactions with each other. Looking at CRM through the Johari Window can assist organizations that are reliant on customer interactions — which is to say, most organizations — in building more open, transparent, trust-based, satisfying, and mutually profitable relationships with their customers.

Customer Strategy
A CRM program should build on a well-formed customer strategy to improve penetration into a customer or a market segment, increase sales force effectiveness, and help a company build loyalty with its most valuable customers. However, successful CRM implementation depends critically on how the relationship challenge is framed.

Too often, CRM technology is focused on capturing customer information and distributing it within the company. By observing customers and annotating their activities at all interaction points with what amounts to a hidden camera, a typical CRM system grabs information for later playback, which may take the form of cross-selling suggestions and, sometimes, relationship “health checks,” such as the dinnertime “courtesy calls” placed by one’s bank or telephone company. From this perspective, the primary role of CRM is to capture relevant customer information, economically extract the most cogent meaning, and deliver this insight to the widest possible set of potential users in the organization.

To customers, this kind of CRM system is a black box: They are aware that information is being captured and recorded, but they are unable to see how it is used and may be only dimly aware of when and how it is being played back to them. If information is power, then the power in this relationship is with the supplier. Used without sensitivity, “black box” CRM can prompt customer concerns about privacy and lead to distrust.

An alternative approach is to take a broader view of CRM — to look at it not as an unseen, exploitative eye on customer activities, but as an opportunity to create and expand relationships between an institution and its customers. The challenges for companies are to create an open and transparent environment that encourages customers to contribute more, and to improve the accuracy of information that is shared. If this greater level of information-sharing demonstrably leads to improved service, trust will be enhanced, which in turn will reinforce the benefits and likelihood of future sharing and interaction.

Beyond the Black Box
The Johari model of information exchange offers an opportunity to go beyond the black-box approach to data capture, to improve the health of customer–supplier relationships. The window encourages people and institutions to consider the information available in a relationship, and the actions that each member can take to improve mutual understanding and build trust.

In a customer–supplier relationship, there are two central opportunities: (1) Create an environment where both parties can share information more readily; increasing levels of trust and reciprocity will encourage increased sharing of the “private self,” just as is true in interpersonal relations. And (2) Give customers information that can improve their position — feedback, education, and other information currently unknown to them that might enable them to increase their self-awareness.

Take the relationship between a retail customer and a bank. Information readily maps to the four quadrants of the Johari Window. Open Self information — data shared and known by both parties — includes account numbers, transaction histories, and balances. Both the customer and the bank put information into this domain through transactions, statements, and other actions. The relationship also has a set of private or hidden information that is not revealed to the other party. This closely held Hidden Self information might include the customer’s other banking relationships, life events, or aspirations.

Within the relationship there is also a Blind Self, consisting of information known to the bank but not to the customer. Examples include customer profitability, credit history, and the bank’s view of the customer’s needs. In some cases, banks might have better knowledge than the customer of, for example, the customer’s financial potential or opportunities for improving the customer’s use of banking services.

The final quadrant, the Unknown Self, might include the optimal product solution set for the customer or the customer’s own as-yet-undiscovered needs and desires.

Characterizing the information available within the relationship in the four Johari categories allows bank executives to analyze the professional relationship the way they would a personal relationship. The benefits of this simple, human approach become evident when one contrasts it to the ways financial institutions have typically used CRM systems, which have focused on capturing information from the customer’s Hidden Self. In the course of service or sales interactions, customers are encouraged to reveal information, which is logged and stored by the system for later use. Typically, information goes through a complex set of inference algorithms, with the objective of adding meaning. These processes are hidden from the customer, and the resulting output — assumptions about the customer’s value and needs — is not directly shared with the customer. It also may be incorrect. Customers have even become conditioned to expect that their own bank won’t know or remember them.

Compare this with interpersonal relationships, in which trust is built over time, and in which parties come to expect mutual sharing and retention of knowledge over the course of the relationship. When viewed through the Johari Window, the CRM challenge is no longer so much persuading or tricking a customer into revealing his or her Hidden Self; it is, rather, expanding the Open Self — increasing the amount of shared information that is valuable to both parties. For example, many banks conduct initial needs analyses when a customer first opens an account. Instead of filing the results of these interviews in a drawer, the bank could share them and make them available for continuous updating (e.g., through an Internet channel) throughout the bank–customer relationship — quite the opposite of hiding information away to be used (at best) in internal bank processes. Qantas Airways Ltd. has successfully implemented user-updatable profiles, which are mailed and e-mailed to customers. The open approach both improves information quality and reduces the privacy concerns that are increasingly voiced in response to more hidden CRM data collection.

Companies can also seek to reduce the customer’s Blind Self. The strength of a personal relationship depends in no small part on the degree to which individuals can sensitively offer one another feedback that increases self-awareness and deepens the feeling of sharing between them. The same is true in customer–supplier relationships.

In banking, for example, the organization can help shrink the customer’s Blind Self by sharing information (such as amount of home equity available), creating a simple personal balance sheet for the customer, or suggesting ways to improve returns or decrease fees. As in personal relationships, the bank’s role in throwing light on the blind quadrant needs to be approached with sensitivity, in a context sympathetic to the overall relationship. Successfully done, this type of feedback has the potential to allow the bank’s data to be available and open to its customers and allow its CRM processes to become integrated with individuals’ personal budgeting and financial management approach.

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