By Constantinos Markides
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Extra info for All the Right Moves: A Guide to Crafting Breakthrough Strategy
By implication, it < previous page page_42 next page > < previous page page_43 next page > Page 43 also tells you about which customers they will not pursue, which products they will not make, and which investments they will not undertake. In other words, this analysis can be used to predict your competitors' future behavior. You might use it to predict a competitor's likely response to a specific move you are about to make. Similarly, you can use it to identify the kinds of products or customers your competitor might be willing to give up without too much of a fight.
Almost forty years ago, Professor Ted Levitt of Harvard Business School wrote the influential article "Marketing Myopia," quoted above. S. railroad companies lost market share because they did not define their business properly. By taking their business to be the railroad business, they failed to see the threat posed by competitors such as airlines and buses. Levitt proposed that railroad companies would have been better off had they thought of themselves as being in the transportation business.
Despite their divergent fortunes, Boddington and Blue Circle serve to illustrate the same simple but powerful point: Everything a company does in its business is conditioned by its perception of what its business is. This business definition is often tacit and unarticulated, but it still governs the behaviors of people in the company. " Not only is defining the business the crucial first step in strategy formulation, but questioning the accepted definition and possibly redefining it can open up the mind to new strategic actions the company could be taking.