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It’s Not a Strength If You’re NOT DIFFERENTIATED

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Feb 25, 2019

outthinker Self AssessmentThe problem with traditional SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) is they don’t differentiate you from your competition.

People is our strength. 

Values is our strength. 

These are meaningless, unless we compare your strengths to the competition.  Just because you see your people as an internal strength of your business, does not mean they compare favorably with your competition. How do you know if you’re people are better than any of your competitors? 

The only measure of strength is how you measure up against your competition.

In competitive sports, there’s always a winner or a loser, and there’s no question usually who is the better team.

The scoreboard tells the outcome.

A discussion of your strengths, and weaknesses isn’t real if you are not comparing yourself to your competition.

The 8 P’s

Kaihan Krippendorff book Outthink the Competition, and the Outthinker Process provides an assessment called the 8 P’s to help assess your true strengths by comparing your capabilities in 8 dimensions of Strategy. 

Rate your business as being “behind” the competition, “competitive” or “different and superior” to the competition.

8 P’s of StrategyOutthinker 8 P's Assessment (1-6)

Outthinker 8 P's Assessment (7-8) Have your leadership team complete the 8 P’s assessment to determine where your business is. Then engage in a healthy debate on where your business truly ranks.

Differentiate = 40% Higher Revenue & Profits

What does it mean to differentiate yourself?  To gain an understanding how much leverage differentiated strengths have, read  8 P’s – A Powerful Way to Discover Strengths, Weaknesses, Trends and the specific example for Urban Outfitters.

Diferentiate - ApplesKrippendorff’s research shows if you can increase your score over your competition, you achieve 40% faster growth and/or profitability.

Differentiation translates into Revenue and Profit for your business!

Once you’ve completed the 8 P’s assessment, the next step is….

Advantages to Leverage

Two weeks ago I met with a former E-Myth Customer of mine, looking to grow and expand his business.  He and his wife went through the 8 P’s Assessment to discover where they could leverage their business strengths to develop a 10 year plan.  They also looked at their weaknesses they need to correct.

Levearage AdvantageAfter much debate we determined their business is different and superior to the competition in 3 strategies, Physical Experience, Placement, and Process.

In these three strategies they are significantly differentiated from their competition.

By exploiting these strategies they can attract more customers, employees, ownership and possibly franchise/license opportunities, and possibly develop partnerships with large organizations.

Weaknesses to Correct

Weaknesses can be leveraged into strengths.  Business weakness are often due to a lack of focus.  After completing this exercise, the gap between your competition is sharply revealed.  Innovation, creativity, and simply inspiration can often turn a weaknesses into a strength.  Playing to Win Chess PC 1 Strategy5Often a customer will tell me, they had an idea how to differentiate themselves in one of their weaknesses, but haven’t acted upon it simply because they’re consumed with another strategy that is working.

Narrowing your focus, eliminating a common practice your competition does, how you hire, who you hire, are all differentiating ideas. 

Steps to differentiate yourself require time, consideration, and thought.

The Outthinker Process, Playing to Win, are tools to help you increase top line revenue growth. 

Is your business differentiated from your competition?

For a more in-dept look at the first step in the Outthinker Process visit: The OUTTHINKER PROCESS – FIRST STEP (Example)

Acheive Execution Excellence BP Guarantee poster-1Growth demands Strategic Discipline.

Strengthen your teams performance and accountability!

An essential part of Execution is meeting rhythms. Annual, Quarterly, and monthly meetings are critical times to work on your Strategy.

Positioning Systems is obsessively driven to improve your business and your team’s execution.  3 Strategic DisciplinesPriorityMetrics and Meeting Rhythms help your business dramatically improve your forecasting, individual, and team performance creating alignment.

As an Execution Decision, Strategic Discipline increases your Profitability.

Positioning Systems helps your business achieve these outcomes on the Four most Important Decisions your business faces:












We help your business Achieve Execution Excellence.

Positioning Systems helps mid-sized ($5M - $250M) business Scale-UP. We align your business to focus on Your One Thing!  To achieve growth, you need to evolve in today’s rapidly changing economic environment.  Have you been avoiding a conversation on how you can successfully grow your business? Contact to Scale Up your business! Take our Four Decisions Needs Assessment to discover how your business measures against other Scaled Up companies. We’ll contact you.

The Energy Bus - Ten Rules for LifeNext Blog: How to Become CEO

What day and time of the week do most people die? The answer may surprise you.  It’s indicator of why you need to become a CEO.  I’ll have the answers, next blog.

Topics: strategy, SWOT, Strengths, Strategy Decision, OUTTHINKER SCORE - ASSESSMENT, 8 P's

Challenges of Scaling Up a Business 







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1. Priorities: Determine your #1 Priority. Achieve measurable progress in 90 days.

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Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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