To Differentiate, Play to Your Strengths
Organizations that seek to distance themselves from the competition find it helpful to focus on their unique strengths and capabilities and how these provide superior value to their best relationships.
Taking a comprehensive view of the competitive landscape is an essential element of effective planning. There is no substitute for being fully aware of what is happening in the marketplace and how competing organizations are preparing for their own success. How this information is applied to your planning process can make all the difference.
While some managers obsess over the competition and seek to replicate what they are doing, leaders in high performing companies take a different path. They use competitive intelligence to find gaps in the marketplace and focus on their core capabilities and strengths (that is, what they do well and far better than the competition).
During the planning process, a focus on organizational strengths (the things we are really good at) is a key activity. Developing consensus on these items among the planning group is often a robust activity and can engender animated discussion and debate. The learning that takes place here can galvanize the team and help focus the direction of the entire enterprise.
Most every organization has unique strengths; primary reasons that customers become and remain loyal. Understanding and articulating these can be raw material for development of your key strategies which support your growth targets.
Doing the same things the same way will not distance you from your competitors. Differentiation means doing things that distinguish you and make your organization the obvious choice for your best clients and prospects. They create the kind of uniqueness which adds up to superior value for all stakeholders.
For more information on how your organization can improve your planning process, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.