Guarding Against Disruption – Treacy & Wiersma’s Value Disciplines

Baskar Sundaram

Guarding Against Disruption

Day 11: Treacy & Wiersma’s Value Disciplines

It’s impossible for organizations to be successful by trying to be all things to all people. Instead, they should focus on delivering unique value to a defined market by focusing on one of three value disciplines: operational excellence, product leadership, or customer intimacy.

About the Value Disciplines

Treacy and Wiersma argue that to be successful, organizations should identify a core group of target customers, narrow their focus to this group, and focus on leading this market. To achieve success, organizations should pursue one of these three strategies:

Operational Excellence: Organizations that optimize for this deliver a combination of price, quality, and ease of use that is difficult to match. Embracing operational excellence means a focus on efficiency, standardization, and cost minimization. Examples: McDonald’s.

Product Leadership: Embracing this strategy means committing to an entrepreneurial, innovative culture that iterates new products and services quickly. Management encourages experimentation, embraces measured risk, and values technology. Examples: Apple, Tesla

Customer Intimacy: Organizations focus on nurturing close, long-lasting relationships with customers. Services will be tailored to the needs of individual clients, rather than a general market, and decisions are delegated to those closest to the customer. Examples: Marketing Agencies, Consulting Firms.

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