Friday, 14 December 2012

Skyfall moments in business

There is a moment in the new James Bond film, Skyfall, when 007 realises that he is the victim of someone else's plan. Its an uncomfortable feeling for him, as he feels he is always trying to catch up and never in control.

Many firms find themselves in a similar position, where markets become dictated by larger competitors, suppliers, customer and regulators. It is what you do in such circumstances which makes all the differences. Many first simply redouble their efforts to catch up and get ahead of the competition. Most find that this is an expensive exercise by no means guaranteed to succeed.

James Bond did not do that. Instead, he withdrew from the field, fell back on his own strengths and sought out competitive environment he knew better than anyone else. Then he forced the competition to come to him, in his territory, and on his terms.

And that is the secret to success. Whether you call it competitive differentiation, relative competitive advantage, or Blue Ocean Strategy, companies that succeed do so by relying on their own strengths and picking their own competitive arenas, and not by competing on other people's terms.