Strategy Dynamics Briefing 86: Multiple capabilities and organizational learning

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We have shown throughout this briefing series how performance arises from the complementary development of resources, leading to outcomes that reflect the power of the entire system, rather than the sum of individual elements (first outlined in Briefings 16-22). Adding capabilities to this understanding offers a still more powerful structure.

Any organization will possess capabilities linked to each of its main resources. It is therefore to be expected that learning on several of these would add still further to performance. ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 84: Drivers of learning and forgetting

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Some further features need to be added to the standard architecture of learning dynamics in Briefing 83.

Limits to learning. Like most asset-stocks, there is a limit to how far capabilities can be improved, even if everything went perfectly, and all internal processes were instantaneous and 100% reliable.

Learning from failure. There is much opportunity to learn from failure, both on acquiring and retaining resources – product launches that did not work, bids for projects that failed and marketing campaigns ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 83: Capabilities and learning

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‘Learning’ clearly implies ‘increasing capability’, but this Briefing clarifies how this mechanism actually works. First, we must distinguish this collective learning that grows an organization’s or team’s capability from the individual learning that adds to their personal skills. Briefing 26 explained how to capture the dynamics of the skills held by individuals in a call-center team – in simple terms, that model looked at how the number of specific skills of average team members is increased or depleted.

In contrast, ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 82: Capabilities and business processes

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The mapping and deliberate design of effective business processes has become almost ubiquitous amongst larger organizations since business process re-engineering (BPR) came to prominence in the 1990s. At the time, many businesses were using information technology to automate activities that were pointless, rather than redesigning processes to incur the minimum essential activity. The result of redesigning or re-engineering the process would often be a considerable improvement in speed, reliability and cost efficiency.

In summary, BPR first identifies the activities involved ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 81: What exactly are capabilities?

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Briefing 80 explained briefly that a capability is the ability to get something done – fast, well and cheaply. To clarify the difference between resources and capabilities it is worth noting the same classification of asset stocks we used when explaining intangible resources in Briefing 73 (Figure 1).

Figure 1: A classification of resources and capabilities. (Click image to view larger)

A classification of resources and capabilities

Capabilities are asset-stocks, but not resources. They accumulate ...

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