A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Achieving Success in the Emerging e-Knowledge Industry   © SCUP 2003
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Developing a Knowledge Strategy that Drives Enterprise Initiatives (continued)



Chapter 7

Achieving Success in the Emerging e-Knowledge Industry

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Focusing on Sources of
Competitive Advantage

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?

  • Boeing’s 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 usability.
The Lenses of Competitive Advantage

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  Most strategic planning involves preparing dense documents filled with numbers and jargon. But building the process around a picture yields much better results.

W. Chan Kim and
Renee Mauborgne

A company that builds a portfolio of initiatives in areas in which it enjoys advantages of familiarity can prosper even amid uncertainty.

Lowell L. Bryan