Deep Thinking

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Summer must have been quiet in the analyst community, as I recently covered Forrester’s efforts on taking a consultative approach to the innovation organisation and am currently working through a 53-page white paper from McKinsey. CurrentAnalysis, an up and coming analyst shop last month issued a whitepaper called Competitive Response: A New Lens for Evaluating Company Performance. No link I am afraid as the paper arrived as an email attachment.

CurrentAnalysis have obviously put a lot of the thought into the document with a view to having their competitive response quadrant quoted as widely as the BCG matrix is at present.
Very simply:

High business performance/ low competitive responsiveness: vulnerable coasters

High business performance and competitive responsiveness: responsive performers

Low business performance and competitive responsiveness: laggards

Low business performance / high competitive responsiveness: under acheivers

What is competitive responsiveness?Competitive responsiveness is the measure of a company’s capability to respond to changes in external conditions and events. (So it sounds like the agile business concept that many companies such as Microsoft try to hang their hat on.)

What the key attributes influencing creative responsiveness?

We have identified three recurring dimensions that companies should use to measure competitive responsiveness: speed, consistency and effectiveness.

The model is an externally driven view of the business

They view the competitive response model as consisting of six stages that occur in iterative cycles:

  • Sense & capture
  • Interpret & create awareness
  • Analyse & inform
  • Deliberate & decide
  • Respond & engage
  • Measure & correct

In summary, CurrentAnalysis’ paper is interesting but presupposes a value based approach to running a business rather than a growth approach. Amazon for instance would would be ranked unduly low in the quadrant because they pursued a rigorous policy of growing the business to critical mass.