How to Identify Your Enemies
"When trying to anticipate competitive threats, managers often have trouble
distinguishing signal from noise. This tool can help."
How to Identify Your Enemies Before They Destroy You
By Paul Kampas and Farshad Rafii
Harvard Business Review (November 2002) (Link to publisher's description)
heard the stories about corporate giants who ignored disruptive innovations
and paid a steep price. Most of the nascent technologies that typically bombard
executives will not amount to competitive threats and deserve to be ignored.
As a result, disruptions are usually not taken seriously until they become
obvious--when it's often too late. But, the authors argue, disruption isn't
inevitable. They have developed a tool that can help companies detect potential
disruptive innovations while management still has time to respond effectively.
The tool's decision-making methodology harnesses the organization's collective
wisdom to determine how likely it is that a particular innovation will seriously
damage an incumbent's business. The methodology has two components: an analytical
instrument and an organizational process. And the tool's rigorous approach
can spell the difference between flailing around and acting effectively in
the face of a serious competitive threat. (Author’s note: On the flip side,
entrepreneurs and their supporting venture capitalists and investment banks
can also benefit by using this tool to help assess and enhance their likelihood
of success in disrupting an incumbent.)
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