The best way, of course, is to play a different game.
Companies invest a huge amount of time and energy looking at and thinking about their competition. Energy which might be invested in helping clients be or do better. We only have a finite energy resource, so making sure you’re using yours in the most effective way is important.
This is true of big companies as it is little. Over the years I’ve worked with Nike, Adidas, Sony, Samsung. For each, that we’d worked with one was a big reason for the other to buy. This is useful if you’re selling to them, but its less useful when you’re on the inside.
Spending time watching the competition means you’re invested in things you can’t control.
Why not focus instead on agenda setting? Sure, some things you do should change very little. Jim Collins, the master observer, can teach us much about that. But some things can and should change all the time.
The market in which your customers operate is subtly changing - all the time. There are some big macro shifts happening, which is partly about technology, partly about underlying social change. Understanding them and working them to your advantage will ensure you keep connecting with your customers in the most powerful way. The value of wise leadership in a fragmenting world. In addition to the big, there are thousands of little shifts happening each and every day too.
What your customers want and need is a constantly shifting beast. They have good days. They have bad days. They have shifting preferences. They like, they dislike. The more you’re attuned to these changes, the more you can lead a client - the more useful and valuable you can be.
The more useful and valuable you are the less turnable their heads will be.
Its simple really.
Show you care.
Invest in them.
Its difficult to do these when we’re obsessing about the other guy.