Are You Really That Good? Are You Certain?
By: Lloyd Babbitt, Vice President, Intelligence and Insight, Vertical, Incorporated
The majority of companies truly believe they are unique. That they are better than the rest and often, it is their people that set them apart from the competition. However, if most believe the same thing, can it be true? Unfortunately, not.
What most organizations don’t know, or at least don’t put into practice is a method to truly find out how they are differentiated from the competition, or where they at least have a competitive advantage. We call it having Strategic Excellence. Having strategic excellence is being certain of your strengths and weaknesses across your value chain, and what the strategies and activities required to protect those strengths and shore up those weaknesses are, and that they will increase or sustain a competitive position. Being strategically excellent, you’ll be able to identify opportunities to build deep-rooted competitive strengths and you’ll have the knowledge where to strategically allocate investments in your value chain that keep you a step ahead of your competition.
To accomplish this, it requires a comprehensive assessment known as a value chain analysis of all the components of running your organization, from back-office to customer-facing activities; as well as a clear understanding of the same for your competition so you can compare your sales, marketing, operations and revenue channels to your key competitors’ functions. The goal could be to make each activity best-in-class so that your costs to serve are lower and your ability to serve is greater than your competitors’. Or the goal can be to be on par across many of your value chain components and best-in-class in those most critical to your market. Goals of organizations vary, but clearly understanding your competitive position across your value chain and its importance to creating competitive advantage does not.
In addition to conducting a value chain analysis, it can also be illuminating to compare strategies to make sure your organization is clearly differentiated. Organizational structures also reflect an organization’s strategic imperatives, so comparing yours to your competitors’ can give you new insight into any changes that would be productive. A leadership assessment and comparison details differences in strategic focus and gaps that may need to be filled.
Strategic excellence helps make your organization smarter, stronger and differentiated. For more information about strategic excellence and how you can benefit from it, contact Mike Keating, at firstname.lastname@example.org.