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|Vol. 3 Issue 6
From High Volume to High Value
By trial and error, by fits and starts, often under great stress, and usually without much awareness of what they are doing or why, the firms that are surviving and succeeding are shifting from high volume to high value.
These businesses are profitable both because customers are willing to pay a premium for goods or services that exactly meet their needs and because these high value businesses cannot easily be duplicated by high volume competitors around the world.
Look closely at these high value businesses and you see three different but related skills that drive them forward.
Profits derive not from scale and volume but from "continuos" discovery of new linkages between solutions and needs.
The New Web Enterprise
There is no need to work under one roof or for one company. Here, all that matters is rapid problem identifying and problem solving. Everything else can be obtained when needed.
These organizations need to be small, if a group is large it cannot engage in rapid and informal learning.
Speed and agility are so important to the high value enterprise that it cannot be weighed down with large overhead costs. It must be able to switch direction quickly, pursue problems when they arise, discover new linkages between problems and solutions wherever they may lie.
With risks and returns broadly shared, and overhead kept to a minimum, the enterprise web can experiment. Experimentation was dangerous in the OLD high volume enterprise because failures meant the entire organization had to change direction - retool, retrain, redirect sales and marketing - a huge cost. But experimentation is the life blood of the high value enterprise.
Credit: The Work of Nations, Robert Reich, Vintage Books Random House, New York, 1991.
Written by Howard J. Leonhardt
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