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Business is moving faster, change is constant.  It used to be that constant improvement provided the opportunity to pull away from your competitors but now with constant improvement being the norm this scope is far more limited.  To pull away from the crowd now a much more innovative ‘game changing’ approach is required.

But what do we mean by game changing approach?  Fundamentally we mean different means of market engagement (from disintermediation to improved demand satisfaction, segmentation, targeting and proposition mapping) and business operations models (using new technology, new business processes, new delivery models etc) to satisfy this demand.

You can’t shrink yourself to greatness!  In a recent example we demonstrated this game changing approach.  In the ‘over-crowded’, low margin telecommunications industry we identified an under-served high demand high value niche which our client had the core ability to serve.  We developed a revised market proposition and a new business delivery model.  The result was a 30% reduction in operating costs without impacting service.  Prior to this, the business had fallen into a spiral of capability sapping job cuts, revenue shrinkage and further job cuts!

How do we look for game change opportunities?   The starting point is market and competitive analysis.  Based on this we can identify opportunities for improved market engagement through precision market segmentation, demand and competitive supply analysis, and improved operational effectiveness.

It’s the same with the business operations model.  Based on analysis of the business operations, capabilities and activities, we seek to identify those activities providing greatest competitive differentiation and customer ‘value’.   We focus attention on the delivery of market propositions/capability and use process re-engineering to deliver both enhanced competitive effectiveness and operational efficiency.   In the case of activities with low competitive differentials, we will seek direct means of cost reduction or through outsourcing, improved procurement effectiveness, or activity redesign/elimination.

But it’s a threat too!  If there is scope in your industry to change the engagement with the market and or the business operating models used, and you are not leading this, you run the risk someone else will.  And with all change of this type there is normally significant first mover advantage - you may be able to recover but you will have missed the opportunity to lead the game.  
Mind the Gap