Next time you're asked to come up with a strategy - large or small - read this first ( new thinking on Strategy, Marketing and Value Innovation from INSEAD)
It's a pdf hosted on the SMLXL site (see recommended links).
It's a great reminder of where we all, so often, go wrong.
It really takes significant effort to break yourself away from traditional 'me-too' benchmarking (focusing on the competition) - but a quick read of the document should demonstrate why it's at least worth the effort of trying.
If you really haven't got time to read it in its entirety; here it is in summary:
"Perhaps the best way to start is to ask what it takes to win the mass of buyers even without marketing?"
"When companies frame their strategic thinking in this way, the futility of benchmarking
the competition becomes clear.
"To create a compelling strategy for an organisation, one that achieves the financial
rewards of value innovation, achieving both exceptional value for buyers and low
costs for companies, begin by asking four questions:
- What factors should be eliminated that an industry has taken for granted?
- What factors should be reduced below the industry standard?
- What factors should be raised above the standard?
- What should be introduced that the industry has never offered?
Brilliant strategic thinkers (and the rest of us...) are welcome to shout it down or big it up below. (click on comments)