If You Can’t Join ‘Em, Beat ‘Em

From software to search, the rivalry between Google and Microsoft has been heating up all summer, highlighting an aspect of business that drives all sorts of strategic decisions: competition. In this edition of Drucker Apps, you’ll find tools to help you understand what competition is truly about, a pitfall for companies to avoid if they want to stay a step ahead, why developing talent may be the most important thing a business can do to gain an edge, and the unlikely face of competition in the future. These insights—at once timely and timeless—are based on the ideas and ideals of the late Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management.

The spirit of competition

“Competition must always be defined according to the customer’s concept of what product or service he buys and thus must include indirect as well as direct competition.”— Peter F. Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices

  • How the customer defines the competitor. Read more here.
  • Hear Elizabeth Edersheim, author of The Definitive Drucker, discuss why traditional concepts of competition may no longer apply.

The perils of complacency

“There is…the tendency if an industry grows very fast to become complacent and, above all, to try to ‘skim the cream.’ This is what the Bell System did with respect to long-distance calls. The sole result is to invite competition.”— Peter F. Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Why you can never rest easy. Read more here.
  • Watch Peter Drucker discuss the questions companies should be asking themselves to stay competitive.

Getting a leg up by developing talent

“Developing talent is business’s most important task—the sine qua non of competition in a knowledge economy.”— Peter F. Drucker, Classic Drucker

  • The importance of nurturing your employees. Read more here.
  • Listen to Ana Dutra, CEO of Leadership and Talent Consulting at Korn/Ferry International, describe how the economy’s woes are pushing companies to rethink their approach to executive education.

Think globally, act competitively

“The competition is not local anymore—in fact, it knows no boundaries. Every company has to become transnational in the way it is run.”— Peter F. Drucker, Managing in the Next Society

  • Why the “traditional multinational may become obsolete.” Read more here.
  • How “the countries you have never heard of” may become your stiffest competition. Read page 13 here.