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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)

HBR Summary:

We've all 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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