The Banana Skin – Creating Value is TrickyApril 11, 2016 | Markus Schwarzer

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 22.18.44                                                                                                                                            If you ever stepped onto a banana skin you know what happens next.

You either just manage to avoid a fall or you are indeed in free fall.

And preparing for a hard landing.

I found this similar to working with my clients on Generating Value for their customers or clients.




Creating value can be a tricky thing and I’ll recommend 2 things:

  1. Do the numbers
  2. Check your processes

Do the numbers
Check the internal process chain and ensure value (for the customer or client) is indeed created.
Beat me with a stick BUT if there are process that don’t add anything in value. Get rid of them. Eliminate. Say Good-Bye. Even to pet processes or my favourite “we always done it like this”…

How to 
Simple. Use the old Activity Chain Analysis – this tool has proven the test of time. Even in our digital world it remains very useful.

So what – give us a specific example?
One of the best examples I know: IKEA – the Scandinavian furniture designer that sells products that are simple, practical and at low cost to the consumer. I would estimate that 90% of German households have a least one item from IKEA.

How do they do it?
Constant review of their Activity Chain. The whole economic basis of IKEA’s is focussed on targeted cost. The relentless pursuit of optimising all processes in the company.

Wasting resources is a mortal sin at Ikea” Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad

Activity Chain Analysis in action
If IKEA encounter a problem in their Activity Chain Analysis, they attack it and turn into an opportunity.

Solve big problems in small steps” Ingvar Kamprad

A strong focus on cost-optimised manufacturing. Yet they still sell attractive furniture for the mass market.  A fine balancing act indeed. IKEA also optimise processes with their suppliers and communicate closely with their customers.

Can I also use Activity Chain Analysis?
Yes, you can. The principles apply to small and big. Manufacturing or service industry. Online or ‘bricks and mortar’.  All organisations can benefit from this powerful analytical tool.


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