How to Adapt Value Disciplines Model to Services / Schools?

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How to Adapt Value Disciplines Model to Services / Schools?
S K Bal Palekar, Member
Is this model applicable to services - how? I can visualize what a manufacturing company wanting to be "operationally excellent" or a "product leader" will do. But if it is a service company (let us say a school), what should it do to be "operationally excellent" or a "product leader". I am looking for insightful answers.

Value Strategy for Schools
Johan van Rijsbergen, Member
In my opinion schools (education) should try to adopt a customer intimacy (CI) strategy: trying a make education fit to the customer (within the boundaries of the end-grade requested). Various students have different ways of learning and the school should realize that.
Universities should of course have a high level of the product leadership (PL) aspects and the operational excellence (OE) part should be at par.
Many schools however through reorganisations and cutting budgets are trying to give the OE a too high domination.
Others try by investing in research to give an edge on PL.
But at the end of the day, if students don't feel they are regarded a valuable customer, your reputation goes down the drain and you will not be able to build a relation and no new students will enter your school.
Higher and top management however often has little feeling for customer satisfaction, likes publications, and focuses on cost savings so my dream is still far away.

Intimacy in Services and Schools
The key research done in the development of the "Disciplines" was that organizations needed to be at parity with their competition on two of the disciplines and excel in the third.
Resources and time preclude excelling in all three beyond your competitors although technology is probably allowing some to exceed their competition on 2 legs (?).
In services, schools and non-profits:
- Operational excellence is more about getting things done, grades, information, gift acknowledgements, in a timely, flawless fashion.
- The Innovation can be in how you attract your customers, students or donors in unique and meaningful ways.
- And Intimacy really requires KNOWING the people you are dealing with and understanding ALL the relationships they have with you. In a school, Parents are paying the bills, demanding success, supporters of the school, event attendees, sources of other students, volunteers and critics/advisors. How you respond to them should depend on how well you understand their MANY relationships with you.



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