Efficiency, Innovation, or Relationship?
I ran across this great post on John Hagel. While you may remember John as the pied piper of infomediaries and communities back in the Web 1.0 days, he does have many sharp insights.
John believes that there are three things a company can do:
1) Infrastructure management (where you compete on efficiency and volume)
2) Product innovation
3) Customer relationships
Further, he believes that a company has to choose just one to focus on.
I think John is right, though I'd add a fourth category for completeness' sake, which is Obstacle Management, to cover companies who sell their ability to navigate arcane bureaucracies and rulebooks.
Personally, I think that Innovation and Relationships are a heck of a lot more fun than Efficiency!
Which do you prefer, and why?