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Article -> Organizational Repositioning

Date Added: August 2004

In today's market of commoditized products and services, organizations are continually searching for ways to differentiate themselves from competitors. Effective differentiation requires taking a step back to reposition the organization, which generally results in a more successful and productive organization when compared to competitors.

Organizational repositioning is different than reorganizing or re-engineering, as it can be a much faster and smoother process. Repositioning requires:

  • Recognizing the need to reposition (by senior leadership) to gain a competitive advantage.
  • Understanding customers' needs and requirements. This should be done via an external view through primary research - by actually asking customers - not by presuming to know their needs.
  • Reviewing strategic plans, target markets and core competencies to determine if they are consistent with customers' needs.
  • Delivering and acting upon customers' needs.

The ability to act and deliver upon customers' needs helps reposition an organization's products and services - as defined by the customer. If an organization's competitors are not asking customers what their needs are, it already has a competitive advantage.

As more and more organizations understand the need to interact and engage customers, an organization's differentiating factor will become its ability to execute customers' requirements through personalized products and services.

The final step to repositioning involves internally aligning the organization. Senior leadership must communicate customers' needs and differentiating factors throughout the organization to all employees. This builds a cohesive internal culture as the organization becomes more customer-centric, while engaging employees in the repositioning process.

A recent article* noted that organizational repositioning can be more successful by engaging a consulting organization as it can offer an independent perspective and help facilitate the repositioning process. Estimated repositioning costs are $25,000 - $250,000, based on organizational size, customer base, travel, new products and services (if necessary) and consulting fees.

* Crawford, Mark. "Tools for Survival." Corporate Report Wisconsin. July 2004: pages 42-45.

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