BECOMING YOUR ORGANISATION’S COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE- Authored by Ifade Olusegun
In our present globalized competitive world, most organizations can acquire the most sophisticated technology to have efficient service and products as a way of having competitive advantage over other competitors. However, as revealed recently by studies, many leaders in industries are waking up to hard reality that, what gives competitive advantage is what is unique that cannot be easily gotten or replicated by competitors in a matter of time.
Technology and products or services differentiation is no longer a core competitive advantage. For example, most telecommunication provides same services (e.g prepaid calling, postpaid calling, internet access etc), just like beverages manufacturers. If a particular telecom brand decides to lunch another products or services tomorrow, in a matter of a week, other competitors may replicate such products or services under a different name. The concept of industry leaders and industry followers, clearly prove that any new initiative by industry leaders will easily be replicated by industry followers.
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Therefore, the questions to ask are, what makes some organizations much more successful than others in the same industries? What gives organizations competitive advantage in today’s global market? The golden answer is YOU! The workforce of the organization.
Organizations with highly motivated workers, who align their personal objectives with that of the organization, are the secret of successful organization. Employees that share in the vision and values of their organizations are much likely to provide extraordinary service to clients/customers; giving customer experience that place them ahead of the competitors even if they are many offering same products and services. Customers do not care how far you go to satisfy them, but only engaged and motivated employees can travel to Mars planet to satisfy such customers. Only people can makes such happen, building good relationship while offering great service that will be easily remarkable for customers. Sustainable competitive advantage lies comfortably in people!
Having known that workforce is the competitive advantage other competitors cannot have easily, today, many organizations are investing heavily in ensuring they have motivated and talented workforce; investing adequately in recruiting the right candidates with the right competencies and ensuring there is High Performing Work System (HPWS).Yet, they are aware that it cost less to train and develop an individual that has certain good behaviors and skills already, driven by vision and having personal development plan than a person that is still wandering in the jungle of the world, looking or waiting for organization that will invest heavily to develop them.
You are the employee; your organization is relying on to achieve the dividend of having competitive advantage. What are you doing to properly position yourself as the competitive advantage that organizations are greatly seeking for in this highly competitive business market?
These are few brief tips to help you position yourself to be the competitive advantage of your team, department, and organization and also for organizations seeking for competitive advantage to recruit you.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN
What is your development plan? Let’s assume that your employees has no training program for your development. However, you should know that learning is still within just like training lies in organization. An employee that is passionate about personal development, do not wait for organization; they have development plan that they commit to. What competency are you currently lacking, that is needed in performing your job roles? What skills, if you have, will make you better, is it, leadership ability, coaching, organization ability, communication etc? Development plan is drawing up a plan on how you will achieve these competencies. It could be acquiring books on the subject, reading it and practicing what you read. It could be talking to a colleague that has such skill, and seeking for their hand in developing yours. It is important to know, that the development plan must be time bound and measurable.
2. INVEST IN TRAINING
How much are you investing in yourself? It is advised by several leading life coaches, that at least 15-20 percent of disposable income should be invested in personal development. The reality is, there are certain skills and competencies that are easily acquire only through training by professionals and expert. How many training have you attended? To becoming a competitive advantage, you must be ready to attend trainings to increase your competencies and technical knowledge of your profession. You must have something that sets you apart from others. You must possess what gives you insight to solutions others cannot see when challenging problems surfaces.
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3. BE PROACTIVE
Develop your proactiveness as an individual. Proactiveness is not a natural habit. It requires years of deliberate and conscious development. It is not easy to anticipate future and start working to provide solutions or prevents the problem coming. You can start practicing being proactive in family and friendship relationship, see the mistakes, review, makes amendment and continue, until you have develop yourself to be a proactive individual, you cannot be the competitive advantage.
4. UNDERSTAND YOUR INDUSTRY
What are you doing to know your industry better than anybody in your organization? Are you the type that closes eyes on competitors? Are you the kind of employee that cares less about industry? To be a competitive advantage of your firm, you must understand the “HOW” “WHO” and “WHAT” of your industry. You must be aware of how the ongoing debate over a policy will affect your industry? Everything that affects your industry will definitely have impact on your organization. Reading industry report, following shakers and movers of your industry, LinkedIn and others are making this easier. Your ability to understand your industry, empower you with the capacity to be proactive. You will be much prepared for upcoming trend in your industry. It empowers your ability to be more strategic in planning and execution. It enables you the ability to give insight suggestions and advice during board meeting, team and even with colleagues to solve problems and achieve goals.
Authored: Ifade Olusegun
HR Business Development, Simeon’s Pivot Resources