Check Out Your Company's Competitive Quotient

by CXOtoday News Desk    Sep 11, 2014


Emerging new technologies force business leaders to be in constant pursuit of innovative operational processes and products. Business growth is not necessarily based on a formula that has the same benefits for all. Though the underlying principle and goals remain the same, the methods of approach differ.

It’s just the way success is measured in different ways. Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter  distinguishes between strategic positioning and operational effectiveness in this way: “Operational effectiveness means a company is better than rivals at similar activities while competitive advantage means a company is performing better than rivals by doing different activities or performing similar activities in different ways.”

It could be either of the two that determines a company’s performance, but the strategy for that needs a multi-pronged approach. From product innovation to workforce management, every company needs to devise a plan that is in accordance with the organizational culture and the economic conditions. 

Amazon for example derived benefits of implementing kaizen ideas in its organization. In the recent past, kaizen has emerged as the most accepted approach that is based on continuous improvement of products and processes by eliminating waste or non-value-added activities throughout the organization. 

Amazon’s former head of global operations Marc Onetto says, “You have to ask people to use their brains and their imaginations to solve problems.” He writes in a report: “Our ideal kaizen teams are a combination of frontline workers, engineers, and a few executives who are going to ask questions and have no preconceived ideas. You put these people together and you say, ’Here’s a problem; we’re going to improve it.’ Then you raise the bar on improvement.”  

If that is part of the in-house strategy of managing workforce and inculcating a sense of competition across the organization, there are several other external factors at play. According to Mckinsey, about two-thirds of a company’s growth is determined by the momentum of the markets and factors like inflation, income, and spending power.

Basically, being competitive doesn’t mean you strive to be better than your rivals; if you have the right direction, you can orient your resources towards it and emerge as the best, not just better.