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Designing Great Companies

Anoop Kumar
10/28/2003

Anirudh Dhebar, Professor of Marketing at Babson College, presented a seminar on "Designing Great Companny" at the TiE Institute on Sunday October 26, 2003 at Babson College. The seminar was in workshop format filled with the real business cases and examples.

“When a building is designed to have unity and cohesion, so that all its pieces fit together perfectly, it is a work of art. You can design a company so that, it too, fits together like a beautifully-designed building,” said Dhebar. He outlined the framework needed to create great companies. The framework requires proper understanding of four critical business-systems components: core strategy, strategic resources, value networks and customer interface.

Core strategy is the essence of how a company chooses to compete. While developing the core strategy, a company needs to define its ‘business mission’, ‘product/market scope’ and ‘basis for differentiation’. All the employees should be aware of the business mission, the objective of the company and the very reason it exists. Clear understanding of product and market scope is helpful not only in identifying competition, customers, product segments and geographies but also in expanding the company and finding new avenues for growth. A company can compete in the same market with same product by doing business differently. This becomes its ‘basis for differentiation’. “Southwest Airlines is a classic example in Airlines industry that does business differently. Instead of flying a travelers from location A to B it flies them from A’ to B’(locations near A and B) thus cutting costs,” said Dhebar.

Strategic resources - unique firm specific resources can be classified under core competencies, strategic assets and core processes “Core competencies are skills and unique abilities that a firm knows or is good at, while strategic assets is what companies owns like brands patents, infrastructure, etc. Assets can be bought but not core competencies,” said Dhebar. Core processes define what people in a company actually do.

Apart from core strategies and strategic resources, value networks and costumer interface play important an role in business systems. Value network consists of suppliers, partners and coalitions that complements and amplifies company’s activities. Finally, great companies have a good customer interface, i.e. the elements customer faces and directly participates in.

Participants learnt necessary concepts and framework of great business systems. These concepts and techniques can be applied to their enterprise to identify gaps in business processes and close them.

The seminar was second of a series offered during fall by TiE – Institute. Next seminar, ‘ The Art and Science of Selling for Entrepreneurs’ , will be held in Babson College on Sunday November 16. Further information about TiE-Boston is available online at http://www.tie-boston.org



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