“The ability to learn faster than your competition may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.”
Arie de Geus, Royal Dutch Shell
In my last post I stressed the importance of knowing where you stand compared to your competition. I hope you had a chance to try the “External SWOT” exercise I shared – it’s a simple, practical tool to help you assess your industry. A SWOT analysis is one of many tools you can use to develop a “learning culture” in your organization. Imagine the insight that could be gathered if every member of your team was equipped to think critically, creatively, and competitively about your products and strategies.
In a recent issue of Inc. Magazine, scholar/businessman Darren Dahl shared 10 tips that any team could use to research the competition. What impresses me about his suggestions is that they’re not “quick-fixes” that you’ll use today and forget tomorrow. Rather, they’re strategies that your team can use every day to observe, analyze and anticipate your competitors’ next move. As Arthur Weiss, director of Aware, a company specializing in competitive intelligence, explains: “By monitoring competitors on an on-going basis you get to know their behavior and so can start to anticipate what they will be likely to do next. You can then plan your own strategies so that you keep your customers and win (not steal) customers away from competitors.”
Wouldn’t we all like to keep and win customers? Click here to learn more: “10 Tips to Help You Research Your Competition”
I’d like to know how you keep an eye on your competition. Leave a comment to share your tips for gathering competitive intelligence.