Thinking like battle-tested CIOs – Technology management for non-tech executives

Are you the McDonald’s, the Burger King or the Wendy’s of your industry?

These three fast-food giants have dominated the hamburger market by each focusing on one of the three basic business value propositions, and those propositions apply to any organization, in every industry.

McDonald’s offers the lowest cost. It’s cheap, fast and predictable.

Burger King promises the best service and experience. Their slogan was “Have it your way. Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. Special orders don’t upset us…”

Wendy’s delivers the best product. They market their signature square burgers as the real beef hamburger. Remember their slogan? “Where’s the beef?”

These value propositions or disciplines work in any industry.

“Pick one and compete well inside that discipline,” says Paul Theisen, principal and founder of TAG CXO.

A business value proposition tells customers what differentiates your company and makes your product or service unique and why they should purchase your product or service.

In the book The Discipline of Market Leaders, authors Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema explain that companies shouldn’t try to be everything to everyone, instead master one of the three “value disciplines.”

Offer the best quality product, the lowest priced product or provide the best customer experience.

Check out the book here

The timeless lessons taught in the book can also be used in the planning of an organization’s IT operating system.

The IT program should enable the business value proposition. Focus your operation on that brand promise, Theisen says, and put all your effort into that promise.

In another of Theisen’s favorite books, Good to Great, author Jim Collins explains the Hedgehog Concept – knowing what your organization can do better than any others is the key to greatness.

Again, this concept can be applied to an IT program. To be truly great, an IT system must understand and sustain the company’s business value proposition.

Determining your company’s business value proposition can be difficult. TAG CXO Fractional CIO, Paul Theisen, has extensive experience getting an organization from good to great by focusing on what they truly do better than their competitors. For more information, reach Theisen here

About TAG CXO:

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, TAG CXO is a privately held company, providing Interim and Fractional IT leadership executives, founded in 2019. The company maintains a bench of industry-trained, enterprise-level executives, available on demand to mid-market CEOs. TAG CXO executives help to round out a firm’s leadership team and close the IT talent gap with fully qualified expertise, offering a more affordable, lower-risk option than hiring full-time staff. Learn more at:

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