Chapter 2Value Disciplines and Related Frameworks

The digital disciplines framework is a direct descendent of the value disciplines model conceived in the early 1990s by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema in their Harvard Business Review article titled “Customer Intimacy and Other Value Disciplines”1 and their seminal, best-selling book The Discipline of Market Leaders.2 Before delving into digital disciplines in the next chapter, it's essential to develop a baseline understanding of the original value disciplines and related strategy frameworks.

Perhaps business success is just serendipity, but over the past few decades, there have been hundreds—if not thousands—of attempts to determine why some firms succeed while others fail; why some companies or industries are highly profitable and others aren't; and to develop models, frameworks, repeatable processes, and insights that businesses can utilize.

Some strategists, such as visiting professor Gary Hamel of the London Business School and the late professor C. K. Prahalad of the University of Michigan, have argued for what might be called an inside-out view. They claimed that companies should build on their core competencies to offer new products and services or enter entirely new markets. One example that they highlighted is NEC, which identified three major evolutionary trends in the 1970s: from mainframe to distributed processing; from simple components to complex integrated circuits; and from mechanical/analog telecommunications ...

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