How to Assess Competitive Position

 In EssentialWorth Moments


Knowing how to assess competitive threat, and how to allocate resources accordingly, is a key management skill.  Let’s review a few warning signs that your approach to competitive threats needs more attention.

Have you ever experienced these feelings?

  • You sense a direct competitor bearing down on you and you don’t feel ready to compete
  • You generally feel aware of your direct competitors, but keep being unpleasantly surprised from unexpected quarters
  • You are comfortable with your assessment of your current competitive position, but are vaguely uncomfortable with your sense of the future?
  • You want to engage your people in looking at the competitive landscape together but aren’t sure how to frame such a complex topic with elegant simplicity

These are signs that you need to reflect on where and how you direct your management attention, relative to competitive position. You need a perspective or frame of reference that helps you judge where to invest effort, and where to withhold it.  Stepping back and looking at the dynamics in play is useful. Who are my actual, direct competitors now?  And who will they be in the future?  What other sources of competition affect our same audience, and same mission, albeit indirectly, now, and in the future?  Here is our Top 5 list of When It’s Time to Assess Your Competition:

  1. Whenever you sense a new, growing, or more impactful direct competitive threat that needs a coordinated response from your people
  2. When conducting a strategic thinking exercise prior to a strategic planning process, aimed at building your team’s abilities to engage in strategic discussions
  3. When leading a strategic planning process that aims to map your organization’s future for the next three to five years
  4. When you feel you are operating at the top of your game, and you just want to double check your assumptions to be sure you’re not missing an emerging threat on your “blind side”
  5. When you notice performance slippage, and you’re not sure why, triggering thought that perhaps a new, indirect competitor is affecting your marketplace

Doing this reflection will yield tangible benefits, including:

  • Being ready and able to respond to direct competitor threats
  • Avoiding being blindsided by new and indirect competitor threats
  • Galvanizing your team to perform well against known competitors

Learn a simple yet powerful tool for focusing your management influence here.

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