Date Added: February 2005
Despite a highly competitive, commoditized marketplace, it is possible for organizations to obtain and sustain their competitive advantage. Doing this effectively consists of cautious navigation between recent data and future indicators.
Recent data* of more than 16,500 businesspeople from 148 countries stated that executives are less optimistic than they were in January 2004. These businesspeople also believe that pricing pressure is the most pressing business concern during the next 12 months.
Conversely, future indicators** note that between now and 2008, most industry markets will continue to rise and business will be profitable. Companies should be concerned with having the right people and resources to foster this growth.
While this information is alarmingly in contrast with each other, even the most pessimistic executives cannot stop conducting business. They must determine key steps to creating and sustaining their competitive advantage - the same as the idealistic executives that will follow the future indicators.
A roadmap of key steps includes:
Whether you're an idealist or a pessimist, following this roadmap will help sustain your competitive advantage. It won't be easy. It requires strategy, planning, and execution with your organization, employees, market and customers. Without it, you may be another one of the 16,500 businesspeople that will continue to become less optimistic, complain about pricing pressures, and find yourself with a lot of extra time because your competitors will be busy working with your customers.
* "Global Survey of Business Executives." The McKinsey Quarterly: November 2004.
** "Road Signs to the Future." Presented by Brian Beaulieu and The Institute for Trend Research. February 2005.