Bypassing Competition (Article)

Bypassing Competition (Article)

Businessman Leading Sheep Over Cliff
CPL046 Photodisc (Illustration) Royalty Free Photograph

Bypassing Competition (Article)
Published Friday, December 08, 2006
in COACH Newsletter, Teamwork, Communication, Delegation

You may have seen a poster with the flock of sheep all moving in the same direction towards the edge of a cliff. In the midst, there is one sheep going the opposite way, saying “excusez-moi” as he pushes through the crowd. The focus here is that the lone sheep dares to be different. He seems to have a different perspective from others and he also have the courage to do something with the knowledge that he can create a bigger future for himself.

The cliff represents commoditization. In many industries, entrepreneurs are finding it more difficult to differentiate themselves from a host of competitors with seemingly similar offerings. The effect over time is that they end up increasingly having to compete on the basis of price, often giving more away for free and working harder to get less in return.

Similar to the lone sheep, however, there are some entrepreneurs who are making the choice to do things differently, even if it means pushing against the crowd. Often it’s because they’ve seen what’s coming and realize that the long-term suffering of continuing along the same path is worse than the short-term suffering associated with shifting directions now.


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