A supercompetitor is a company that, by competing successfully with its distinctive capabilities, changes the dynamics of its business environment. A capability, in this context, is the ability to consistently deliver a specified outcome relevant to the business. This takes place through the right combination of processes, tools, knowledge, skills, and organization, generally developed across functional boundaries.
Supercompetitors are emerging today because, in industry after industry, their few distinctive capabilities are both scalable and relevant, while other forms of competitive advantage, like sheer size, have decreased in importance.
A clear strategy is the key to align capabilities with market needs to fuel sustained growth.
As simple as that might seem, several companies are still spending precious resources on old projects and resources that can no longer deliver sustained growth.
To prepare a company for strategy based growth, or fit for growth, one must consider:
• Set clear strategic priorities, and invest in the capabilities to deliver them
• Optimize costs, developing lean and deliberate practices that will deploy resources more appropriately and efficiently
• Reorganize for growth, establishing a well-aligned organization that can execute the new strategic priorities
To build a company strategy is not an easy task, neither is to communicate it's results company wide and get strong approval and commitment.
John Kotter from Harvard Business School proposes a framework which values clear and effective communication, the Big Opportunity.
To thrive in a continuously changing industry, one must align the company strategy with customer needs.
In this article, Cameron Welter from Kotter International uses the recent examples from United Airlines and Goldman Sachs to explain how one should keep the strategic focus in a changing environment by give the customer what they need, focus on the right things and be constantly aware.
Customer feedback can provide the most valuable insights regarding a product or service positioning, usage and improvement. To gain, and keep, a sustainable competitive advantage is crucial to become a customer centric organization.
The Five Rules Every New CEO Should Follow
Achieving the top of the ladder is never easy. But being successful in a top management position is even more difficult.
In this article, Roger Martin suggests 5 simple rules he recommends every new CEO to achieve quick wins that help build a strong management team, and ultimately long term sustained competitive advantages:
- Enlarge the business boundaries
- Evaluate competence before changing people
- Involve the team in decisions
- Define and execute an integrated strategy
- Create room for diversity
The Age of Social Products
While the Internet of Things is becoming a reality due to the confluence of multiple technologies, such as inexpensive sensors, wireless networks and cloud computing, products are becoming social as they leverage the power of the community to learn from other products.
Mark Bonchek writes on HBR blogs about the creation of social products, which benefit from the ubiquitous connectivity and access to a platform where people and products can collaborate.
Waze is a perfect example of how to leverage the collective intelligence of the community of connected cars, phones and people.
Social products can have a deep impact on future product development. Traditionally companies have focused on product supremacy, outdoing their competitors with better features and attributes. In the age of social products, competitive advantage can come not only from product features but also from network effects.
The Evolution Of Strategy
Excellent article by Greg Satell on Forbes regarding the evolution of strategy.
Starting from Alfred Sloan at GM’s, passing by Jack Welch at GE and Andy Grove at Intel, the article describes how strategy has evolved in the last decades and points out the challenges of strategy definition and execution in a fast changing digital world.
Five Ways to Innovate Faster
Managing a large running enterprise is a much different game than running a small startup and it requires a totally different set of skills and sources of motivation.
In this article, Scott Anthony from Innosight explains 5 simple rules for corporations to manage innovation projects:
- Create small teams
- Face the (potential) customer as much a possible
- Create metrics on learnings, not on results
- Attach funding to project risk and not to calendar
- Ensure decision makers have competence to move through uncertainty
The Most Underestimated Skill of A Great Leader
As a friend once said: “The better strategy is the one that delivers results”! Strategy is key of course, but good execution is absolutely needed to deliver results.
This article summarizes the 3 building blocks of Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, a reference book by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan:
- Leader’s essential behaviours
- Framework for cultural change
- Competence in the right place