McK gives useful short videos in its ‘enduring ideas’ series. The latest I’ve viewed on the business system is a helpful reminder of the old value-chain concept, though it is disappointingly qualitative, even in the ‘How to conduct a good analysis’ section. In fact, value-chain is a better term for what the video describes.If the term ‘system’ [as dictionaries suggest] means a group of interacting, interdependent elements forming a complex whole that behaves in some way, then an adequate system description of a business would show how the system’s performance changes over time. In fact, I’m not sure the term ‘system’ has any meaning in the absence of the passing of time?
The old value-chain may help show how costs and activities are traded off between parts of the system, but says nothing about how that system will perform over time.