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Distributors that cling to their "fading advantages" are at risk of missing new opportunities, said Rita Gunther McGrath, author of The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business, in MDM Interview: Redefining Competitive Advantage.
"Historically, strategy was about the search for superior performance and a thing called sustainable competitive advantage," she says. "And the idea was you found something that you did better than other companies in your industry and you threw up entry barriers like crazy, and you then got to enjoy the fruits of your advantage for a long time."
However – with increased competition, technological innovations and lowered barriers to entry – holding on to the advantages of the past can often cause long-term problems, she says. Taking a different management approach helps you adjust to current conditions and take decisive action on new opportunities.
According to McGrath, "the only real competitive advantage is found in network ties and in the way that you build complete customer experiences, which often depends on the quality of the network ties that you have."
Read more about being strategic about capturing opportunities in MDM Interview: Redefining Competitive Advantage.