The Delta model answers current challenges by significantly expanding the spectrum of available strategic
A firm's day-to-day activities need to change to realize the different strategies described by aligning the adaptive processes with the strategic positions. Inherent in the adaptive processes are trade-offs and different priorities critical for
As complexity permeates the business environment, it is dangerous to give simple answers to complex questions. The Delta model deals with complexity by providing a rich overall framework that integrates a firm's options and activities without running the risk of oversimplifying the context in which it makes decisions.
This chapter is reprinted with permission from Sloan Management Review 40, no. 2 (Winter 1999), 11–28.
For the concept of complementors, see Brandenburger and B. J. Nalebuff (1996).
The chief proponents of this thinking were Hammer and Champy; see Hammer and Champy (1993).
1996 . Co-opetition . New York : Doubleday .
1993 . Reengineering the Corporation . New York : Harper .
1980 . Competitive Strategy . New York : Free Press .
1994 . Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation . Boston : Harvard Business School Press .
Biologists study fruit flies because their fast rates of evolution permit rapid learning that can then be applied to understanding the
Consider the evolution of one of the information-rich fruit flies of the late twentieth century—the computer industry. In the early 1980s, when IBM launched its first personal computer (PC), the company pretty much was the entire computer industry. IBM was a technologically deep organization that designed and produced its super-sophisticated mainframe products almost exclusively with internal capabilities. But the PC presented IBM with a special "three-dimensional concurrent engineering" challenge: The company needed to create a new product, a new process to manufacture it, and a new supply chain to feed that process and distribute the product.
To keep costs low and increase speed to market, IBM chose a modular product design with a modular supply chain design, built around major
The IBM-Intel-Microsoft saga provides a rich set of lessons from the fruit flies: When designing your supply chain, whatever your industry, beware of the
These lessons apply equally well to slower clockspeed industries such as automobiles. The role of electronics subsystems in
Of course, the evolution of the importance of electronics in the car has profound implications for the relative power and value of various players in the automotive value chain. The relatively slow clockspeed of the automotive landscape gives industry players some time for deliberation and choice. But there may come a day when customers choose automobiles based on whether it sports a logo saying "Denso Inside", "Delphi Inside", or "Bosch Inside" rather than by the name of the company that stamped and welded the sheet metal.