Agile Business Change for June 2007

  1. Book review: "Discipline of the Market Makers" by Treacy and Wiersema
  2. Dali's Ocelot

1) Book review: "Discipline of the Market Makers" by Treacy and Wiersema

This often-quoted book is devoted to investigating the characteristics of corporate market-leaders and what tactics are required for those aspiring to become market-leaders.

The authors argue that in order to succeed in their market-space, companies have to choose to excel at one of three disciplines:

  • Operational Excellence: the best price with the most convenience;
  • Customer Intimacy: the best service for a particular market sector;
  • Product Leadership: the best product through innovation.

2)  Dali's Ocelot

The Tate Modern currently has an exhibition entitled “Dali and Film” which reminded me of the story of Dali’s ocelot. He took his pet ocelot to a fashionable New York restaurant and tied its lead to a leg of his table while he ordered. A woman, walking past, stopped and protested at wild animals being allowed in. Dali calmly replied that it was only a cat that he’d painted in op-art style. Recognising Dali, the woman became embarrassed and looked closer. “Now I can see it’s a cat,” she said. “At first, I thought it was an ocelot.”

This is an amusing reminder to those of us who have experience in a particular area and are therefore labelled “experts” by those less experienced. We run into trouble when we seek to facilitate the discussion of a problem and inadvertently influence the outcome through the audience’s perception of us.

All best wishes for the month ahead.

Kind regards,
Marcus Price

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