What is a competitive advantage and why should it matter to you? Competitive advantage is defined as the ability to stay ahead of present or potential competition. This is typically done by evaluating strengths and weaknesses of competitors and seeing where you can fill in the gap or step up and improve.
Companies develop a competitive edge when they produce attributes that allow them to outperform their competitors.
Here are seven ways companies and individuals can create an edge.
Cost Leadership Strategy. Companies may place themselves ahead of the pack by offering attractive pricing. Wal-Mart and Amazon are two companies that have risen to the forefront by this strategy. While this is effective for companies, low pricing is seldom a desirable method for individuals. Differentiation Strategy. Branding is likely the most widely used method to differentiate one company from another. With this method, a name like Nike or Rolex … Continue reading 7 Strategies to Define your Competitive Advantage
A recent study of 250 senior executives found only 20 percent believed most of their employees understood their companies’ strategy and what’s needed to succeed in their industry.
Employees who know their companies’ strategies have a powerful advantage over those who don’t.
They are able to:
Prioritize more effectively. Make greater contributions to their company’s success. Be viewed by leaders as “big picture” thinkers.
But you must take the initiative because, according to USA Today, an astonishing 95 percent of companies don’t share their strategies with employees!
Three things you can do to embrace your company’s strategy:
Read your company’s annual report, presentations to the investment community, executive speeches or articles from the trade press. Schedule a meeting with an executive or department head or ask him or her to give an informal presentation about strategy to your work group. Once you’ve learned your company’s strategy, … Continue reading Know Your Company’s Strategy
Brand perception is simply the way customers perceive your organization. This perception is influenced by many factors: your products or services, style of communication, corporate culture, and the quality of service you provide at every “perception point.”
A prime example of effective branding is Starbucks. Core values of the company are service and relationship and this is clearly articulated in the brand message. Starbucks isn’t simply a place to buy a cup of coffee, it is distinguished by offering a personal touch to service. Regular customers at many Starbucks locations form relationships with baristas who know their preferred beverage and other details of their lives. Starbucks has also given rise to the term “third place” since it accommodates both social and business meetings. Walk into any Starbucks and you will invariably see students and business people sipping their lattes with laptops open.
Corporations in nearly every sector of the economy are on a quest for innovation – be it a new techno gadget, a more effective means of delivering a critical service, or strategies for breaking into new markets. Silicon Valley is especially prized for its ability to innovate, and companies across the country hope to bring that same level of energy and creativity to their own industries.
Wouldn’t it be great if you worked at a company where people were routinely recognized for doing outstanding work? Where others tooted your horn for you so you didn’t have to blow it quite so loudly yourself?
A credit-sharing culture doesn’t have to be a fairy tale. In fact, you can help create one by being the person at your company who always goes out of your way to tell others what a great job they are doing.
Here are some things you can do to create a credit-sharing company culture.
A Towers Perrin study of 86,000 employees worldwide, states that only 14% of the global workforce is highly engaged on the job. These individuals feel a connection to their work and the company and a passion for what they do. They are focused on the job and excited about the work they are doing. They are high-potential employees who are helping the organization move forward. When a majority of its employees is highly engaged, the company gains stronger revenue growth, lower costs, and higher income than companies who are less engaged.
An especially discouraging finding of the Towers Perrin study is that 62% of employees are only moderately engaged and about 25% are disengaged. A 2005 study by the Gallup Poll found that only 55% of the US workforce is not engaged. Gallups research also stated that by the time employees have been with an organization for six months, less … Continue reading Power of an Engaged Workforce
Change is the driving force of most leading corporations today. Failing to adapt to change in a fast-paced, cut-throat industry can leave you behind. Most prominent organizations and top level executives know this, yet research has shown that for the past fifteen years, an estimated 70% of transitions in multinationals that involved change failed.
Global trends including the age of the Internet, globalization, rising technologies, government policies, and economic instability are just a few reasons why corporations are forced to drive change. If you want to be in the 30% of organizations that do succeed with handling change, customized change management coaching and consulting for your industry can make a huge difference.
Most successful organizations recognize that being proactive rather than reactive is what is needed to manage change. Here are 7 tips to help you prevent change management failure in your organization that you can implement now:
Overcome anxiety … Continue reading 7 Tips to Prevent Change Management Failure
Most C-level executives and top management leaders know that establishing positive relationships with colleagues and building strong teams is necessary to improve work productivity levels and increase profits. Some common management approaches to building a team of relationships include attending team building workshops and hosting corporate events, outings, and parties to encourage camaraderie. Managers often send employees to personal growth seminars in the hopes that they will become better team players.
Although all of the above approaches work to a certain level, smart executives know that the best kind of team building is that which happens every day in the regular work environment.
For example, when Hewlett Packard just started out, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard formulated a system to manage their staff by a method they called “management by walking around.” Each week they would get away from their computers and walk around the office and have … Continue reading 3 Strategies to Build a Team of Relationships
Harvard Business School is one of the oldest, most-acclaimed MBA-granting institutions in America. Its success relies heavily on case studies. Students read exhaustive write-ups of both monumental successes and abject failures, with the point being to learn what works—and what doesn’t.
In the spirit of HBS’s “what doesn’t” case studies, here’s a list of the most common saboteurs of business success: