I admit it I have an addiction. Back in 2001 I was introduced to the writings of Kathleen O'Neal Gear and her husband W. Michael Gear who have written a series of 23 historical fiction books centered around the lives of the North American Native Americans(http://www.gear-gear.com)They are fast reads but full of twists and turns. Their latest one is called People of the Back Sun in which the Standing Stone village is manned by about 400 warriors and they are up against the opponent who is taking on the Standing Village with a force of several thousand warriors. Through out the book there are reference to how the matron of the Standing Stone village is looking at things from a strategic perspective as she tries to plan a response to this elephant at her door.

Turn your concentration away from the Gear book and think for a moment how do you respond when the elephant is knocking on the door of your organization? Many organizations take the road of trying to imitate the elephant. The view is that the only way for you to win in this market is for you to become the other elephant in the room. Not only is this not practical it seldom works. As the high matron did in the Gear book, you have another path which more than likely will succeed more often than trying to match the elephant.

 In People of the Black Sun, the high matron took stock of the assets she had and reviewed what actions she could take strategically to combat the elephant. She reviewed her assets and what her ultimate strategic goals were. How can she utilize those assets to deliver a win faster, cheaper and better than the elephant. Consider these strategic responses:

  1. If you are worth your salt you have benchmarked the elephant - Your benchmark survey has shown that the elephant is trying to reach the point where they have the largest proportion of the market share. You on the other hand have looked at what they are doing and you strategically strive for a larger share of customer.
  2. Look at their human capital assets - What skills do they have to bring to the market and how can you utilize your human capital assets to match or bring to the table skills which will allow you to do the same job in a better or unique way which will outflank the elephant.
  3. Review their marketing materials - Whether it is their web presence or their social media presence what message are they bringing to the marketplace. Is your message a copycat or can you show you have a different message to bring

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