The TOM Challenge: TOM Winners and Losers Assignment

December 09, 2015

Read The Full Prompt

The basic thesis of the TOM course is that company performance is driven by the alignment between the company’s business model and operating model. As defined in the “Introduction to the RC TOM Course” note, a business model is defined as how the firm creates and captures value, and an operating model refers to the processes that transform a firm’s assets (e.g., capital, labor, intellectual property, equipment, etc.) into valuable actions.

Please identify one organization in the global economy that you think is highly effective (or one that is highly ineffective) at driving alignment between its operating and business models

  1. Did you choose the company as an example of effectiveness or ineffectiveness? Why?
  2. Describe the company’s business and operating models. What is interesting about them?
  3. Do the models align and support each other?  How?  What specific features of the operating model are designed to create and sustain competitive advantage?  What features of the business model leverage unique capabilities of its operating model?  What are the implications for performance?

Responses (930)

Airbnb: your home away from home
Betty Jiang
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 11:56 pm
Airbnb is a multi-sided online platform that enables people (hosts) to list their available space and earn rent while enabling travelers to book unique home stays and save money.  Upon each reservation booked, Airbnb charges hosts a 3% host service [...]
NYCEDC: An Effective Means to a Worthy End
Last modified on December 14, 2015 at 10:27 pm
When Michael R. Bloomberg was sworn in as the 108th Mayor of New York City, he set out not only to revive the city’s economy after the September 11th attack but to transform it in ways not seen in decades. [...]
Steve Wynn continues to Win
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 11:41 pm
Wynn Resorts combine superior design and customer service to drive the industry!
Regina Miracle – Victoria’s “Secret”
Last modified on December 10, 2015 at 12:59 am
As the apparel brands/retailers are gravitating towards fewer suppliers, Regina Miracle is well equipped – with its advanced IT platforms, a lean manufacturing system, quality management processes, and strong partnerships with suppliers – to benefit from this trend
Twitter at a Crossroads
Last modified on December 14, 2015 at 1:48 pm
Key gaps between Twitter's business and operating models slowed down product development and hampered the company in its race for more users--and accompanying digital ad dollars. Faced with a skeptical market, the company needs to refocus on execution and proving [...]
Whole Foods Market: Healthy Products with a Healthy Profit
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 11:56 pm
The Whole Foods Market, Inc. (“Whole Foods”) motto of “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet” rings true in every aspect of the company. As a premium food retailer, Whole Foods does an excellent job of aligning its business model with [...]
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