What Is Your Gravitational Pull?

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This quiz is designed to help you define your business’s identified gravitational pull or lack thereof. Answer the questions to find out your what gravitational pull is!

About Gravitational Pulls

In 1993, Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema outlined a pivotal concept asserting that businesses, be they for-profit, not-for-profit, government entities, or specific functions/departments, are confronted with a crucial decision. They must choose one of three distinctive value disciplines, a choice ON THE MARK (OTM) characterizes as the Gravitational Pull of an organization. You might know them as competitive differences.

These value disciplines, or Gravitational Pulls, are delineated as follows:

Customer Intimacy

Customer intimacy means knowing your customer and their needs intimately. This could also be knowing their specific needs better than the customer knows them.

Product Leadership

A product or service leader strives to put the most innovative product or service on the market. Features of product and service leadership include ensuring they have specialism, functional expertise, operate projects or programs of work, and are set up to foster innovation and creativity.

Operational Excellence

This gravitational pull boasts volume. It’s taking all the variability out of work processes. It’s like cranking the sausage machine. Overall, it revolves around marginalism.


For a business to thrive, it is imperative to designate one of these three as its primary Gravitational Pull. Failure to make a clear choice or attempting to pursue multiple paths can spell disaster. As Jack Welch famously emphasized, “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.”

Each Gravitational Pull furnishes a business with a distinctive competitive advantage, necessitating the adoption of radically different operating model templates. The pivotal question businesses must grapple with is, “What strategic role does it seek to carve out in the marketplace?

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