WHEN: June 4-5, 2024 Virtual
SUMMARY: Learn how to anticipate shifts in the drivers of innovation, then how to position your company’s service or product developments for maximum competitive impact.

kevin curren

There are two different types of disruptions to an organization’s strategy and competitiveness. One is current and regards a misalignment between management assumptions about their competitor positioning and the reality of their financial performance. The other involves more long-term and less concrete spoilers to the company’s strategic positioning.

The first morning of this two day workshop focuses on determining that you or your decision makers are getting your competitive picture right. To be sure that correct assumptions are driving competitor comparisons, you need to test your competitive story with Key Success Factors and a comparative Financial Snapshot. “Key Success Factors” (KSF) reflect management and analyst assumptions about the drivers of success in a strategic group. It can be a powerful tool for quickly identifying where advantage may reside and whether your company has it.

You will learn how to:

  • Design a simple but powerful format for competitor comparison.
  • Understand the impact of industry structure, life cycle, and trends for selecting KSF.
  • Create a comparative, quantitative KSF analysis of 5 or so factors in order to provide a succinct quantitative perspective of how competitors stack up against each other.
  • Craft a telling and tight Financial Snapshot to identify comparative performance.
  • Surprise yourself when you test competitive assumptions or KSF against the competitor group’s Financial Snapshot.

The next day and a half will focus on how to anticipate long-term disruptions. In a world filled with uncertainty, long term planning is at best an art. The longer the forecasting horizon, the less accurate the traditional prediction tools are. Worse – change drivers that can change your industry’s structural foundation and wreak havoc on your company’s business model are extremely hard to predict. Yet not all unknowns are also unknowable. There are some tools available to intelligence professionals to try and mitigate uncertainty. Scenario Analysis is probably the most effective tool for anticipating and responding to potential disruptions.

Scenario Analysis is a means to explore multiple outcomes to complex or rapidly changing competitive situations. A perfect complement to War Gaming, which focuses on short to medium term predictions, Scenario Analysis facilitates decision makers’ strategic thinking about longer term competitive landscapes. It is a critical element of any company’s early warning system. Filled with real-world cases and examples, Scenario Analysis relies on identifying and examining drivers of uncertainty – those factors and forces that can propel a particular competitive situation forward. Drivers may include regulatory developments, competitive behavior, industry consolidation, and other external forces over which organizations have little or no control. You will learn how to identify, qualify and apply key drivers to develop alternative outcomes, and plan your strategic moves to match those expected outcomes.

In this course – filled with cases and exercises – you will learn how to:

  • Identify significant change drivers and determine their plausible impact on the firm’s current positioning.
  • Learn methods for developing different “futures” for your company, thereby offering your management potent strategic options.
  • Build scenarios, based on first-hand case studies drawn from actual client engagements.
  • Use the results of Scenario Analysis to craft resilient competitive strategy despite being faced with highly uncertain competitive conditions.
  • Apply Scenario Analysis as a fundamental building block for your early warning system

All ACI programs teach students how to overcome the most challenging competitive intelligence issues. The following are sample lessons taught in this module.

  1. You are a global business impacted by the price of commodities and relationships with foreign governments. You want to create an early warning system to help discern when and how to shift your client portfolio. You run a scenario analysis using the fluctuating price of the commodities, shifts in government orientation, a black swan disruptive technology, and product demand.
  2. You are venturing into a new consumer product area that crosses over different functional categories. You will have to charge a premium for the product to become profitable. You run a scenario analysis with drivers focused on consumer’s willingness to pay, the product’s relationship with regulators, whether endorsements will be forthcoming and whether demand is elastic.