Monday, June 4, 2012

Sustainable differentiation & competitive advantage

There has been much discussion over the years about what really is or are the "real" competitive advantages of an organization that provide lasting and sustainable differentiation. Schools of thought and models that try to capture, encapsulate or create a replicable concept known as "the competitive advantage".

No doubt, there are various aspects to such differentiation that maybe based on product, value creation, service quality, talent etc., providing varying degrees of differentiation under a variety of business contexts. The one that is sustainable, difficult to replicate and adds tangible substance to competitive advantage under any business context is Leadership. Investing in developing leadership depth can provide a unique differentiator and lasting, sustainable differentiaion through this 'IP'.

And really, there is no 'off the shelf' leadership model, if ever such a thing existed to conjure leadership depth for an organization out of thin air. Have to get your hands dirty. There are several tools to capture, measure and communicate how leadership impacts, however the framework of and value from a leadership model is always unique to an organization - a huge opportunity for HR and Boards and CEO's to define and design.

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