Leading Blog


Getting the Attacker’s Advantage

Attackers Advantage

TO Ram Charan, The Attacker’s Advantage is the ability to detect ahead of others those forces that are radically reshaping your marketplace, then position your business to make the next move first.

The key is not fearing uncertainty but immersing ourselves in it. It is in the uncertainty that we find the possibilities we can combine to create something new and immensely valuable. We miss the possibilities says Charan because we’re flying at low altitude—immersed in the daily minutia.

The other problem is that we gravitate towards being comfortable. Uncomfortable and uncertainty is where the growth is. Uncomfortable and uncertainty is where possibility exists.

What we are facing is structural uncertainties or uncertainties arising from our external environment. Charan says the opportunity in structural uncertainty was summed up for him by G. M. Rao, who said, “Every bend in the road contains a message about a future growth trajectory that someone could explore and exploit if he or she looked at it through a different lens without being controlled by an existing core competency.” A world in flux “creates new possibilities and lowers the entry barriers.”

Seeing what is happening requires that we develop sharp perceptual acuity. It is seeing in all of the noise the anomaly, the contradiction, the oddity. The more you start looking for these things in your own industry, but perhaps more importantly, in unrelated industries, the better you will get at it. Talk about what you see with others, ask questions, seek contrary viewpoints, ask what’s new daily, watch the social scene and read voraciously, are all ways to help you develop perceptual acuity.

Charan notes that “seizing the attacker’s advantage is not the same thing as seeking new ways to use your core competencies.” Attachment to your core competencies interferes with your ability to see clearly and make the right choices. Uncertainly will that we look for ways to grow and expand our competencies—not merely tweak our old ones.

“Trying to ignore uncertainty only increases fear, triggering a variety of symptoms, from withdrawal or losing control of your temper to suppressing bad news and blaming others.” Dean Stamoulis commented that “blaming and rationalizing is an extreme red flag….Blaming indicates a thinking style that is not effective in uncertainty, and it erodes the connection with whatever constituencies are taking the heat.” The more you embrace uncertainty the more you’ll be energized by it.

bend in the road

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 05:28 PM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Creativity & Innovation



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