Head to Head? Or Ahead?
Ever since I left University, and that seems to be a long time ago now, competitive battles have been won by companies that achieve cost and quality advantages in existing, and well- or a bit less well defined markets. Focus of attention was often on ways to beat competition, which in turn often resulted in strategy getting defined in terms of competition. "When you go toe-to-toe with competitors, you cannot let them build up any kind of advantage. You must watch their every move." Or so the argument went.
Not longer so. Today, and in our future, these battles will be won by those who stay ahead by creating unmatched value, thru products and services, while the others catch up. We all need to define competitive realities in terms of customers. Before we test these strategies against competition, strategy takes shape in the determination to create value for customers. Ponder Sun Tzu’s advice: "the smartest strategy in war avoids a battle, a strategy that allows you to achieve your objectives without having to fight."
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