Does your business deliver value in ways your competitors do not?
While your business might survive without this differentiation, it won’t thrive. Businesses that plateau almost always lack a differentiated offer. After all, no amount of operational excellence will overcome an uninspiring offer.
That’s because businesses that don’t focus on producing outcomes superior to competitors’ will struggle to gain prospects’ attention and convince them to act. The competitive spoils have always gone to those who have built a unique collection of capabilities that are highly valued by customers.
Strategically Investing in Capabilities
While a solid business strategy defines how your business provides value in a way that competitors don’t, it is only the beginning. Enduring growth requires maintaining the advantage while consistently delivering on your promise.
To survive the current economic environment, organizations have invested time and resources making obvious adjustments, like enabling employees to work from home and developing remote support options for customers. Just as important, yet more challenging, is anticipating market and competitor movement so you can explicitly prescribe where your organization must strengthen its ability to compete.
Amid any crisis, leaders’ thinking and focus narrow. Unchecked, daily work becomes dominated by reactive, short-term concerns rather than balancing today’s tasks with proactive, longer-cycle efforts required to build future competitiveness.
Forward-thinking leaders develop rituals that act as an antidote to today’s rampant short-termism. And arguably, your highest value work is an ongoing, insightful point of view on the collection of capabilities that will distinguish your business in the marketplace. Leaders with coherent answers to the following questions are putting the probability of future success in their favor:
- How are the spoken and unspoken needs of your market evolving?
- What are your current competitive advantages in meeting those needs?
- What investments are required to strengthen those capabilities?
- What programs to create new, unique capabilities are being funded?
- What new skills will be necessary to execute these programs, and how will we acquire or develop them?
- How are answers to the previous questions reshaping department goals and daily work?
Without operational strategies and day-to-day work that are informed by clear answers to these questions, you will fail to build the robust capabilities required to keep your company relevant and compelling. And because impactful capabilities take time to develop, getting clear and then getting started is a competitive imperative. Otherwise, your teams will continue to focus on being more efficient with efforts innovative competitors are marginalizing.
Who Must You Become As a Leader?
In slower, less competitive markets, determination, work ethic, and smarts might be enough to be successful. But in today’s rapidly changing markets, those traits are no longer enough.
To keep up and stay ahead, you must focus organizational work on building new strategic and operational capabilities that enhance competitiveness, allowing your business to better meet threats, exploit new opportunities, and fulfill promises to customers.
Developing the capabilities to unlock a steady stream of breakthroughs is challenging. It requires a recognition that the thinking and skills that got you where you are will be unlikely to get you where you want to go. Instead, future success requires seeing opportunities no one else can see and developing the organizational discipline to deliver on them. The question is: how will you do it?
Most leaders will not be able to do this on their own. They need a community of ambitious peers to keep them from falling back into old habits while simultaneously supporting them for staying focused and motivated amidst distractions. A community committed to internalizing the thinking and skills that will allow them to outthink, outmaneuver, and outperform the competition.
If you are hungry for breakthroughs that will save you years of trial and error, then see if you qualify for Max Q.