Competitive Advantage

competitive advantage
There’s no more such thing as knowing your competitor and have a competitive advantage – as digital disruption comes from anywhere with completely new business models.
The new advantage is about adaption. The question is, what can you do today to ensure your company stays ahead of the competition.
In this fast changing world it’s not the strongest who survives, it’s about quick adaptability. That’s true for organizations as well as for individuals.
There are many facets you have to deal with, to be able to adapt quickly and seamlessly to new realities. Just think about  technologies, system architecture, financing, workspaces, industry 4.0, organizational structures, compensation models, working models. Now you can struggle to decide where to start, but there’s one thing that’s definitely needed and that is a diverse & digital workforce with engaged, fired-up, productive and highly creative employees that know how to deal with the fear to fail and celebrate success.
No matter if you think about it as individual or as organization, think how you can play to that need – and keep in mind it’s not about what you know, it’s about what you do.
What skills do you see going along with digital evolution? Happy to read your thoughts.
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New Industry Definition

industry definition
In my last post I wrote about the pace of change based on an example of the automotive industry. Established car manufacturers have to face a new competition having its origin in the IT industry.
At the same time amazon moved on from an online bookstore, to an online retailer now starting its own physical stores and at the same time using its online store knowledge to build up one of the biggest cloud platforms.
So what does that mean for the definition of the known industries. At least the boarders between industries are more and more blurring.
New Business value spans more and more across the defined industries or can be found in between industries.
Business networks are on its rise. Data ownership is definitely a business advantage or even the business itself.
One thing I’m observing is that more and more companies want to understand what other industries are doing, find out there’s some potential for their own and how to adapt.
As a company you can’t focus anymore on your own industry to stay ahead of your competition. At the same time you have to open your own company to the outside world to build a strong alliance and bundle forces. The rising trend of business networks and their projected value in the coming years is also indicating the importance of having an reliable ecosystem.
Following this trend, industries will lose their relevance in the next years. At the same time business networks are at its rise and will establish a completely new kind of industry definition.
From a scientific point of view it’s closely related to the blue ocean strategy.
Do you already see a blue ocean (new industry definition)?
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The Pace of Change

pace of change

Outperform your competition in this disruptive digital age?
You can be happy if you even know who you competing with. When German Car Manufacturers started realizing that the next evolvement of electric cars is not coming from their well known competitors but from someone completely new in the field, the rise of Tesla was already of a tipping point.
Looking at the automotive industry, you see more and more improvements from almost all known high class car manufacturers in the field of hybrid and electric cars, reach, speed and new gadgets to don’t loose or gain back marketshare from their new competitors.
But as this competition goes on, a new competition already started. Google aims to enter the market of autonomous driving – again an attack from a completely new player in the automotive industry trying to gain an advantage in a market that doesn’t even exist yet – it’s not anymore a question if this will happen, but when.

So what does that mean in sense of know your competition?
You can’t be sure what’s next as long as you’re not involved in defining it. So putting that in an enterprise context likely the ones we know from the past, questions about ROI or other financial key indicators need to be completely rethought.

It’s not about some key figures telling you to invest in some process innovation.
In case you want at least to have a chance, you have to innovate on all dimensions (Business Models, Business Processes, Product/ Service)
…and better you’re getting a master in this field very quickly.

The pace of change is high and rising.

The word that matters most these days is survival.

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Connected Challenges – An Introduction

connected challenges
Where ever business happens today, you see a lot of talk about new technology – Internet of Things, Machine Learning, Cloud, Smart Home, Smart Electric Vehicle…
By having an even closer look to the digital edge of today’s business, you see that it is also about disruption.
Mature businesses are being attacked by new competitors coming from totally different angles. Or even worse a new market comes up with a new business model targeting your customers.
Take Blockbuster as example, replaced by Netflix or external storage manufacturers for CDs/ DVDs replaced by USB sticks or even USB sticks replaced by online storage.
A few years ago exchanging large data files via USB stick was so much better than burning a CD/DVD. Today you have dropbox, google/  amazon drive or services like wetransfer.
All of them have something in common, they created a new field making the established one obsolete. As soon as a new player gets traction, there’s not even a competition as the established market leaders are not able to react and adapt fast enough.
That means being a first mover is not just an advantage, it could be the only way to survive in the digital economy.
In the past you did well by knowing your competition and making sure to be one step ahead. Today you don’t even know who’s your biggest competitor. Google starts building cars, Tesla the hyperloop, Apple and Samsung sell watches, Amazon attacks retail stores,…
If you observe what big companies strive for these days, often they address the importance of culture or even the need to adjust their culture.
Employees and customers are getting more and more right in the center of almost every decision they take. This brings up completely new challenges for them as they need to rethink their leadership style, their payment/ bonus systems, their customer interaction, their own brand and how the world sees them.
And now the digital evolution makes it even harder. IoT as example will force your company to open to think about how to open your systems/ data to the outside world and your ecosystem to stay competitive and create new value scenarios.
Have you ever thought about how your challenges connect? – stay tuned more to come.
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Let’s play with some thoughts on digital disruption, new leadership styles and startup culture.

This blog provides you a view on these topics and answers the following questions.

  • What do these topics have in common?
  • Are they somehow connected to each other?
  • At its core it’s about motivation, happiness and success, isn’t it?
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