Beating the competition.
Are You in Competition? If you are then to win you have to think differently and act differently to your competitors.
In his excellent book Eating The Big Fish about Challenger brands, Adam Morgan writes of flying stable and flying unstable.
Flying stable is not upsetting the equilibrium, doing what you have always done, not taking risks, settling for maintaining your place in the market. But we all know if you stand still you are really moving backwards.
Here Adam Morgan relates to the F16 fighter. This is intrinsically unstable and could not fly without the help of its on-board computer. However, because of this instability the F16’s big advantages in a competitive situation are that it can take quicker evasive action and can out-manoeuvre its opposition.
Adam Morgan suggests that Challenger brands should fly unstable. To win you have to be and do something different, challenge the everyday accepted routines, dare to be different and use creativity to develop a competitive advantage.
It’s no good trying to do the same things as your bigger competitors with less resources – David did not fight Goliath with a shorter spear!
Are You in Competition?
If you are in competition the above is true whether you consider yourself a Challenger brand or not.
To compete and win you have to be more creative, generate more and better ideas and then execute them effectively. Achieving a competitive advantage means improving existing products and services and inventing new ones, developing new methods and processes – cutting costs and improving margins, and finding new ways of winning new business and communicating and working with customers.
Introducing Creativity into Your Organisation
Well first of all start it now. Don’t wait until you are facing a difficult business situation before you start thinking about generating new ideas – it may be too late by then. You don’t want to be reacting to the competition, you want them to be reacting to your initiatives.
And once you have started, keep it going. Creativity and the generation of winning ideas is not something you can turn on and off like a tap. Develop your capabilities – find and encourage the right people, teach the tools and techniques and create the right environment and the opportunities for creativity to succeed.
The Creative Environment
Have in-house a meeting room where creative teams can meet regularly to discuss issues and opportunities. Put together small discussion groups and hold practise sessions with a free agenda, and talk about anything to get the dialogue going.
Encourage the exchange of ideas. Have the right meeting protocols - listen carefully, don’t interrupt and don’t argue, and be prepared to debate, discuss and elaborate yours and others ideas – there is no such thing as a bad idea!
Where you have specific pressing issues to tackle or want to drive the organisation forward with some creative thinking, put together collaborative teams tasked with a specific objective and consider off-site intensive workshops – I like to call these my ‘F16 Teams’©. Teams to come up with winning competitive ideas, take ownership and see them through successful implementation.
I have found the Team Planning process works well as a vehicle for ‘F16 Teams’©.
Team Planning uses: a controlled environment, ground rules, specific roles and structured process and incorporates creative thinking and problem solving techniques. It helps sales and marketing teams, functional, cross functional and cross organizational work groups and problem solving teams tackle business opportunities and meet organizational objectives.
Are You In Competition?
If you are then to win you have to out think, out plan and out play your competitors. Consider introducing creativity and ‘F16 Teams’© into your organisation.
0203 826 8262
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