Below, is an excerpt from the book, Competing For The Future, by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad. It ties in nicely with my last post on SWOT Analysis. You don’t want to make the mistake of dismissing anything these two brilliant minds on business strategy have to say as mellifluous poppycock.
- Does senior management have a clear and broadly shared understanding of how the industry may be different ten years in the future?
- Are its “headlights” shining farther out than those of competitors?
- Is its point of view about the future clearly reflected in the company’s short-term priorities?
- Is its point of view about the future competitively unique?
- How influential is my company in setting the new rules of competition within its industry?
- Is it regularly defining new ways of doing business, building new capabilities, and setting new standards of customer satisfaction?
- Is it more a rule-maker than a rule-taker within its industry? Is it more intent on challenging the industry status quo than protecting it?
- Is senior management fully alert to the dangers posed by new, unconventional rivals?
- Are potential threats to the current business model widely understood?
- Do senior executives possess a keen sense of urgency about the need to reinvent the current business model?
- Is the task of regenerating core strategies receiving as much top management attention as the task of reengineering core processes?
- Is my company pursuing growth and new business development with as much passion as it is pursuing operational efficiency and downsizing?
- Do we have as clear a point of view about where the next $10 million, or $1 billion of revenue growth will come from as we do about where the next $10 million, $100 million, or $1 billion of cost savings will come from?
- What percentage of our improvement efforts (quality improvement, cycle-time reduction, and improved customer service) focuses on creating advantages new to the industry, and what percentage focuses on merely catching up to our competitors?
- Are competitors as eager to benchmark us as we are to benchmark them?
- What is driving our improvement and transformation agenda – our own view of future opportunities or the actions of our competitors?
- Is our transformation agenda mostly offensive or defensive?
- Am I more of a maintenance engineer keeping today’s business humming along, or an architect imagining tomorrow’s businesses?
- Do I devote more energy to prolonging the past than I do to creating the future?
- How often do I lift my gaze out of the rut and consider what’s out there on the horizon?
- What is the balance between hope and anxiety in my company; between confidence in our ability to find and exploit opportunities for growth and new business development and concern about our ability to maintain competitiveness in our traditional businesses; between a sense of opportunity and a sense of vulnerability, both corporate and personal?
Now Rate Your Company
How does senior management’s point of view about the future stack up against that of competitors?
Conventional And Reactive ● ● ● ● ● Distinctive and Far-sighted
Which issue is absorbing more of senior management’s attention?
Reengineering Core Processes ● ● ● ● ● Regenerating Core Strategies
Within the industry, do competitors view our company as more of a rule-taker or a rule-maker?
Mostly a Rule-taker ● ● ● ● ● Mostly a Rule-maker
What are we better at. Improving operational efficiency or creating fundamentally new businesses?
Operational Efficiency ● ● ● ● ● New Business Development
What percentage of our advantage-building efforts focus on catching up with competitors versus building advantages new to the industry?
Mostly Catching Up To Others ● ● ● ● ● Mostly New to the Industry
To what extent has our transformation agenda been set by competitors’ actions versus being set by our own unique vision of the future?
Largely Driven By Competitors ● ● ● ● ● Largely Driven by our Vision
To what extent am I, as a senior manager, a maintenance engineer working on the present or an architect designing the future?
Mostly an Engineer ● ● ● ● ● Mostly an Architect
Among employees, what is the balance between anxiety and hope?
Mostly Anxiety ● ● ● ● ● Mostly Hope
If your marks fell somewhere in the middle, or off to the left, your company may be devoting too much energy to preserving the past and not enough to creating the future.1