Competition makes you better. Period.

It’s been far too long between posts (over 3 years, how time flies).  Since then I’ve been a little busy getting married to the love of my life and having a darling daughter who is exploring the world around her and just fascinating to watch!

Competitive Intelligence is still very close to my heart and day-to-day job and I’m keen to re-visit blogging, now with the growth of Twitter (globally as well as my addiction to it) which, I hope, can help me tie more of my thoughts and observations together.

I have also been hooked on another form of time suck, but this one is a little more productive. Crossfit.  Functional fitness and trying to be more dynamic on my excercise regiment has helped me drop a bunch of weight and also given me a more healthy approach to what “being fit” is.

But enough of that – what’s any of this Crossfit business got to do with Competitive Intelligence. Well one of my favorite blogs Fitbomb, blogged about an applied exercise physiology study at the University of Portsmouth in England that measured the effect of the presence of competition on athletes performance (cycling) and concluded that the brain is able to tap into additional reserves of energy in race scenarios.

In many ways, this mirrors the effect competition has on businesses. Monopolies grow inefficient and stagnant and are open to competitive shifts from outside their own industry from hungrier and more agile players. One only has to look at the disruptive effect that Apple has played in recent years in the music, PC, gaming and software distribution businesses to see how regular competition is healthy in driving advances for customers.

Embracing competition (and competitors) for what is it, an opportunity to make your products, services and processes better aligned to what your customers want should always be top of mind. All too often CI is used as a shield. Defensive in nature, looking for ways to mitigate risk, rather than positioned as a healthy measurement of what a company can do to remain relevant and vibrant in the market.

 

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