Strategic Excellence

Shhh, the Competition is Listening!

By: Lloyd Babbitt
Vice President
Intelligence and Insight
Vertical, Incorporated

While communicating your company’s accomplishments is crucial to your company’s reputation and
value, you want to steer clear of exposing sensitive or proprietary information. Spend some time to
analyze your external communications to make sure you’re not divulging information that could expose
you to competitive threats.

For example, expanding your infrastructure footprint in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles can
improve your valuation, but it can also draw an early competitive response that would negate an early-
mover advantage in those markets.

Replacing the list of specific locations with “West coast” expansion can result in the same positive
impact to your company’s value without alerting the competition and a localized competitive response.
On the other hand, while you become smarter with your own communications, you can capture
strategic information from your competitors communications, helping you develop and implement
responses to their strategic moves.

A strong defensive strategy is built on good counter intelligence. For example, understanding what your
competitor might say in a given situation allows you to respond from a position of strength when talking
with audiences such as financial analysts. Preparing these potential competitive responses is a good
tactic for crafting your own toward your inherent strengths and competitive weaknesses…maintaining
the upper hand.

Counter intelligence as part of a defensive strategy helps make your organization smarter, stronger and
differentiated. For more information about strategic excellence and how you can benefit from it,
contact me, Lloyd Babbitt, at lloyd@verticalincorporated.com.