How often do you find your company doing the same things in the same ways as your competitors? Many managers are trapped in this loop of operational effectiveness: doing the same activities in the same tactical ways as others. A study of 200 companies found that 93 percent of the top 20 percent of performers have a strong form of differentiation in their core. This core of differentiation is the foundation of their competitive advantage. Answer these three questions to see if you’re running the exact same race as the competition (operational effectiveness) or if you’ve created a different course to run (strategy):

1. What activities do we perform for customers that are truly different than the competition?
2. What resources do we have to serve customers that are truly different than the competition?
3. What is the primary differentiated value our offering provides to customers?

In my new business graphic novel, StrategyMan Vs. The Anti-Strategy Squad: Using Strategic Thinking to Defeat Bad Strategy and Save Your Plan, the villain that represents this issue is The Same.



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