Building Enterprise Capabilities: A Framework for Capabilities-Based Competition

Building Enterprise Capabilities: A Framework for Capabilities-Based Competition

What is a "Capable Enterprise?"

A "capable enterprise" is one that achieves consistently superior performance; one that consistently delivers superior value to its customers, innovates more rapidly, is difficult to imitate, and is more profitable. A capable enterprise is one that has developed and sustained a few vital capabilities. A capable enterprise is one that believes that its competitive success depends on being the best at what it does. These capabilities can be characterized as touching all parts of the enterprise " as with 3M's coating and bonding capabilities or McDonald's capability for delivering consistent products and service in its restaurant business, or Wal-Mart's logistics capabilities.

Capabilities are an enterprise's repeatable patterns of action in the application of knowledge to the use of resources in pursuit of its goals; they enable an enterprise to perform optimally in activities that typically require processes, people, and technology. Capabilities represent the collective abilities of the organization to accomplish strategic objectives; it's the know-how that enables an organization to perform; the unique skills and processes needed to congruently fill the gap between intention and outcome. In short, the "capable enterprise" is one that has a "generally reliable capacity to bring about intended outcomes as a result of intended actions."

We view all competitive advantage as temporary; further, sustaining temporary advantage comes about by constantly renewing chains of capabilities. A different approach to strategy...

Joseph Schumpeter described the "...perennial gale of creative destruction" as the essential feature for "every piece of business strategy." That advice is as sound today as it was 60 years ago. In a stable environment, strategy is about staking out a position and getting better at the things necessary to defend that position. In today's turbulent world, though, advantage is usually temporary and strategy becomes more about "agility" than industry structure. An agile organization has to have the ability to switch gears quickly-from rapid product development to process development; from low cost to differentiation and vice versa, and to do it fast and with minimal resources. This demands a great deal of agility and innovativeness on the part of the enterprise.

A different approach to competing

Competing as an agile organization clearly requires a different way of thinking, a different way of behaving, and a different way of doing business. In today's fast-paced world, competition is becoming a "war of maneuverability," and our strategy for competing must be more dynamic. The essence of competition, then, is not the structure of the industry but the dynamics of behavior. The goal being to develop the hard-to-imitate strategic capabilities that distinguish a company from its competitors in the eyes of the customer. A move to continually renew the enterprise is, therefore, no longer optional for a company but a necessity.

In this workshop you will develop a new perspective toward capabilities through an intensive study of how processes combine to create capabilities and how capabilities are combined and recombined to create competitive advantage.

Critical issues...

Every business manager must deal with the following issues. How does your firm compete? How do you sustain competitive advantage? What is the future your leaders want to create for the enterprise? How will you generate new, value-creating strategies? What is the strategic value of capabilities? How do you renew the enterprise to achieve profitable growth? What specific capabilities are you trying to create and are they of value in competitive terms? How do capabilities add value to the customer?

A different approach to organizational renewal...

The drive to competitive supremacy and profitable growth has fueled the need to systematically renew the enterprise. This is particularly critical when innovative responses are required: for example, when the rate of technological change is rapid, time-to-market is critical, or the nature of competition and markets are difficult to determine.

Renewal refers to your capacity to adapt and reconfigure your strategic capabilities - those organizational skills, resources, and functional competencies that give you competitive advantage - to match the requirements of a changing environment. This involves the thoughtful redirection of skills and knowledge bases so today's expertise can be shaped into tomorrow's capabilities.

Some organizations are clearly ahead in this arena, many are struggling. The question is...Where is your organization? What are your strategic capabilities? How do you identify them? What mechanisms exist to create and channel knowledge in such a way that you build new capabilities? In this program, we will help you cut through the mystery of "capabilities" and expose the practical approaches that have been proven to work.

During this program, we will be working together, thinking together, creating new and innovative ideas together, by developing our ability to recognize and solve problems related to the crafting of what we call "enterprise capabilities."

Benefits to Your Company -This program will show you how to develop a capability based architecture that starts with business drivers and strategic intent and defines the process to develop the capabilities required for the enterprise to realize its strategic goals.

What You Will Learn -This program will provide a comprehensive coverage of business strategy, capability development, process innovation and change management. For those organizations ready to manage in a changing world, you will learn the strategic thinking and operational planning that goes into creating distinctive capabilities.

Who Should Attend -This program is a must for senior managers, business strategists, and others involved in strategic change and the establishment of capability-based organizations. Others who would be interested are: Project Managers, Process Analysts, Quality Professionals, HR Professionals and others who deal with the introduction of new capabilities and their alignment with business performance.

Format - This program can be structured in a variety of formats-from a 1/2-day to a 5-day workshop, depending on the needs and interests of the organization.


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