Punching above your weight
During the past few years, the likes of Uber and Lyft have roared into town to challenge the traditional taxicab industry. Spotify have done to iTunes what iTunes did to CDs. While Slack, the cloud collaboration software company, is busy (although less busy than most of course) revolutionising the way that organisations communicate.
With relatively fewer resources at their inception, these companies have been able to outthink and outmanoeuvre their more established rivals in a short space of time.
We see similar disruption in football, where certain clubs have recently demonstrated that money isn’t the only differentiator. Last season Leicester City shocked the world by executing a playing style – among other things – that rivals found hard to stifle. Clubs like Dinamo Zagreb continue to demonstrate their ability to balance youth development with repeated Champions League qualification. In Spain, Atlético’s succession planning process has enabled them to replace Torres, with Aguero, with Falcao, with Costa and now Griezemann, while remaining fiercely competitive in an unbalanced league. And Atalanta have accumulated more than €30m of income from player trading over the past 3 seasons, yet sit 6th in Serie A (and deservedly so, according to their current underlying performance).
Paradoxically, having tasted success, these market leading companies and clubs are now relatively cash rich and so face a whole new challenge – how to avoid complacency and maintain success. But that’s for another blog.
So, if access to resources are not the only differentiator, then suddenly the challenge becomes less about the resources that constrain us and more about the thinking that can propel us.
And then the conversation changes to: what are we willing to do differently in order to get an edge on our rivals?