Defending against an attack requires exercising clear vision on the threat and getting to the true underlying issues at play. Management needs to focus its efforts on leveraging the relevant strategic control points and take coordinated actions accordingly.
WHAT IT TAKES
The approach to a defensive business strategy must be thorough and precise to be effective. Fielding a strong defensive strategy requires four steps: (1) building a solid fact base, (2) getting to the core issues, (3) identifying effective response options, and (4) quantifying the impact.
Build a solid fact base of the situation
- Profit model
- Competitive threat
- Customer priorities
- Strategic control points in the industry
Analyze fundamental issues
- What is the nature of the threat?
- How vulnerable is the business?
- What is the form of the competitive attack?
- What is the strategic end game that the competitor is playing?
- What is the strategic control point at stake?
Identify effective options
- What options are available to respond?
- How will the competitor retaliate?
- What will be our second move? Can we win?
Quantify the impact
- Strategic merit
- Financial impact on profit and cashflow
- Business valuation
ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS FOR YOUR TEAM
Given the importance of a strong defensive strategy, the following questions provide clarity and relevance:
- What is the nature of the threat and the core issues that your company is dealing with?
- How long do you have to take action?
- What response are you formulating, and will it get you to where you need to be?
- Does your company have the capabilities to get there?
- Ultimately, if your team is not able to defend against the threat, what is your plan B?
Confronting these issues head-on can make the difference between success and failure in protecting your business.