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?

Submitted (929)

Rebuilding LEGO
Jeremy 'Just a guy' Whyte
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 8:12 pm
After being on the brink of disaster in 2004, LEGO made a number of critical decisions around product innovation and user engagement that saved the company.
Wawa: Rethinking the Convenience Store Experience
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 6:36 pm
What is Wawa? Technically speaking, Wawa is a privately-owned chain of gas station convenience stores. However, ask the average Pennsylvanian, and you’ll hear something along the lines of “best place in the world.” Wawa has become an iconic stop-and-shop destination [...]
Slacking Off to Get More Done
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 11:12 pm
More and more companies are using Slack as their internal collaboration tool of choice. Why has this chat app found so much success in cracking the enterprise market?
Blue Apron: Lifelong Learning For All
Last modified on December 5, 2015 at 11:44 pm
In the culinary world, the Blue Apron is a symbol of lifelong learning in the kitchen. Will Blue Apron be able to draw inspiration from its namesake and continue to innovate for its customers?
Let’s Get It On(line): Tawkify Dating Concierge
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 9:13 pm
“Maybe the best date I’ve had in a few years. No joke. I really appreciate the work and care Kate put in for this match.” –Tawkify customer * Online dating today often happens one of three unpleasant ways. 1) Endless [...]
Progressive Insurance: Flo is an Operational Genius
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 8:17 pm
Progressive Insurance is a great example of a company that has truly aligned its business model and operating model to achieve true “operational innovation”. Operational innovation, goes beyond reducing defects or making processes more efficient within a company by completely [...]
Wikipedia: Information in the 21st Century
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 12:13 am
“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.” ~ Jimmy Wales (Founder of Wikimedia Foundation)
Everlane: Winning with ‘Radical Transparency’
Last modified on December 5, 2015 at 5:12 pm
Everlane is an online retailer offering elevated “basics” (i.e. white t-shirts, cashmere sweaters, leather tote bags). Everlane’s entire business model is centered on “price transparency” in their products. Everlane is targeting the millennial shopper who believe in companies with a [...]
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