Focusing on Sources of
In The Discipline of Market Leaders, Michael
Treacy and Fred Wiersma (1999) describe how an assortment of iconic
enterprises achieved long-term success. Traditionally, market leaders
assess and respond to the strategic opportunities in their marketplaces,
selecting the one essential strategic element for their business.
Then they focus their energies and special, proprietary tacit knowledge
on that single element to achieve world-class performance. For some
enterprises, their key was operational excellence, resulting to
competitive advantage in cost and timeliness; others chose to create
great products, becoming recognized as leaders in innovation and
quality; still others focused on customer intimacy, developing intimate
relationships with customers and other stakeholders. While the other
two elements of performance are important, intelligent enterprises
found ways to deliver world-class performance through outsourcing
and strategic alliances with partners who possessed special tacit
knowledge on how to excel along that particular vector of performance.
Examples of Competitive Advantage.
In developing a knowledge strategy, individuals should focus on
each of these three elements of performance to determine how e-knowledge
could deliver competitive advantage for your enterprise, given its
particular set of opportunities and challenges. What would such
an analysis have yielded for some of our examples?
- Boeings products are world class, but in the hypercompetitive
aircraft industry, with a few massive competitors, intelligent
manufacturing has come to be a powerful differentiator, leading
to revolutions in cost control, timeliness, and customization
of products. However, other differentiations could emerge on the
product side. For example applying intelligent manufacturing to
the ergonomics of the cockpit could create a new standard for