Sustaining Competitive Advantage

Robert Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

What’s your competitive advantage in the market? How do you preserve it?

Sustaining a competitive advantage over time is always a challenge, but doing so in an increasingly dynamic market is very demanding. Time spent protecting an advantage against competitors can turn

out to be wasted time.

Growth is more likely to be the result of pursuing new opportunities that leverage your advantage to create strategic value for your customer. And on your actions that validate this culture – the evidence of your caring, your willingness to share knowledge and experience, or the consistent quality of your efforts.

Your customers and you experience the same market dynamics, so what they value can change over time. Creating strategic value for them, which then drives the progress of your business, has more to do with remaining curious about their evolving needs and goals than it does with reacting to competitors.

While it’s important to maintain efficiency and to minimize risk, and to know the offerings and strategies of the competition, your progress will depend more on identifying your next value creating opportunity and bringing it to fruition. From where is it likely to emerge? How will it go beyond satisfying a customer’s need to helping fulfill one of their strategic goals? What obstacles must be overcome to bring the opportunity to life?

Sustaining an opportunistic, value-creating mindset that preserves your competitive advantage relies on stimulating curiosity, initiative, and innovation as key elements of your culture. And then providing channels in which your people, from any function, can contribute to emerging new ideas, knowing that leadership encourages and supports their contributions.

How does your business sustain its competitive advantage over time?

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