Now showing items tagged competition
Retrospect makes fools of many of history’s giants, consistently proving true the proverb, “Pride comes before a fall.” From enemies to empires, individuals to organisations, it’s the players who grow too comfortable at the top who suffer the hardest fall.
When I’m working with clients, I strongly encourage them to keep a watchful eye on the forces of disruption that they may be least expecting or least concerned about. Unconventional competition is constantly the catalyst for the downfall of the big players, not least because it is often dismissed, underestimated or simply undetected until it’s almost too late. Of all the many forces of disruption organisations are vulnerable to in the modern world, unconventional competition might be the hardest to monitor and respond to.
It feels a bit mercenary to think of care as a currency. And yet, one look at the state of corporate capitalism and it becomes quickly clear that few things set an individual or organisation apart more than sincere, unhurried and attentive care.
Trust is a non-negotiable in today’s economy. For obvious reasons, businesses that are trusted are more lucrative and more loved than their competitors. However, time has told that trusted brands also outlast their competition. Trust consistently emerges as the common denominator between the world’s longest lasting companies, proving to keep them afloat through every new fad, wave and trend.
Looking back over the last two years quickly reveals a narrative of fear. In all the frenzies of panic-buying, the conspiracy theories and the misinformation that fed our anxiety, we have consistently been driven to hysteria by a very primal sense of fear.
While this kind of fear has led to some unfortunate consequences, the reality of fear in general is that it is our greatest mechanism for safety and survival – it is designed to keep us alive. In fact, while confidence may be attractive, it is simply dangerous when it reaches the level of arrogance – consider the cars full of over-confident young men in situations that have so often led to disaster.
This principle applies as much to business as it does to life. A healthy sense of paranoia in business is a crucial mechanism for remaining relevant. More often than not, the businesses that crash the hardest are those that were so distracted by their own success that they failed to read the signs and take seriously how quickly the competition was catching up.
Any of us who are familiar with the process of writing will no doubt know the critical importance of fresh perspectives. You can write the work, edit it, proofread it, reread it, and still miss the most glaringly obvious of mistakes. Within seconds, a set of new eyes picks up errors that had simply disappeared into the rest of the writing.
The power and importance of outsiders’ perspectives cannot be overlooked across all works, not least of which our businesses. Falling into comfortable patterns, familiar rhythms and efficient systems is an impulse that is hard to avoid in organisations, but nothing will kill agility, creativity and innovation faster than these.
When did you last truly look at your organization from an outsider’s perspective?
In an age characterised by disruption and change, competition which breaks the standing paradigms and conventions of the past is not only rampant but important. Unconventional competition is the biggest threat to established businesses and industries whose practices and market seem set and secure.