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Unformatted text preview: Week 2 Notes: Yellow highlights are for discussion, while blue highlights are for application Chapter One: What It Takes; Pages 1 – 20 FOCUS ON: the three areas that organizations can focus on for a truly sustainable competitive advantage. SEARCHING FOR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE (pg 16) In light of the ever – quickening pace of change, the central question comes down to this: How do you reshape an organization so that it can quickly and efficiently respond to constant shifts in the business environment in ways that sustain its competitive advantage and exploit its innate competitive strengths? How do you stay perpetually focused on tomorrow while not losing sight of what you have to get done today? How can you inculcate change into the very fabric of an organization without creating chaos, instability, and paralysis? All these concerns ultimately boil down to the search for true competitive advantage - a search that's becoming more difficult all the time. The traditional sources of advantage - access to capital, excessive technology, key employees, and proximity to important markets - are quickly evaporating. Most large players on the international scene have equal access to capital; in fact capital as practically become a commodity. You get it in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, New York - in any number of global money centers. The same is true of technology - the half-life of propriety technology is shrinking, and new technological developments are zooming around the world at an amazing pace. Nor can organizations view their people as unique assets; because of downsizing, merging, takeovers, and constant corporate changes, valuable employees no longer feel bound to a particular company, or even a particular country. Given those trends then, there can organizations turn to today for truly sustainable competitive advantage? The answer lies in three closely related areas: intellectual capital, organizational capabilities, and organizational architecture. Intellectual Capital (pgs 17 – 18) Intellectual capital is organizations collective knowledge. Today for example, xerox is a leader in the area of quality - but only because it has the hard earned intellectual capital, amassed during difficult years of institutional learning, to maintain that position. Similarly, Kaiser Permanente has been a major force in managed care for years, because it has decades of experience unmatched by any but a few competitors. As a sample to secure a dominant position on the Internet in 1996, Microsoft likes to its muscles and re-assigned thousands of research spets to Internet Pacific projects in an attempt to quickly create a knowledge base that could take its smaller competitors years to match....
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- Winter '11
- Intellectual capital, Carl Greystone