Competition is not all bad. Consider it an effective tool for growing your business and remaining relevant to your consumers. Many elements and trends affect how you interact with and respond to your competition. Your goal should be not to avoid the competition, but to focus on the current industry trends and ask yourself the right questions that allow for continued growth toward your future goals.

I recently attended the national conference of the National Association of Corporate Directors in Washington, D.C. This informative, strategic, and valuable conference featured the launch of the 2019 Blue Ribbon report on “Fit for the Future,” focused on eight important trends facing directors and C-suite executives today.

These trends included compelling topics such as growing social activism, climate change, and social media-driven hypertransparency, but I want to focus our attention on another presented trend, the reinvention of industry and business models. 

Research1 conducted in 2018 for the Fortune Future 500 initiative shows that, for large companies, there is less correlation between past and future financial and competitive performance over multiple years. 

This means that companies of all sizes cannot plan on growth that is solely based upon historical strategies and competitive advantages. Relying too much on past successes can lead to complacency, which is a significant threat in today’s rapidly changing business environment. It’s essential to make sure that you, your team, and the board of directors are focusing (at least quarterly) on your evolving business environment and giving it the attention that it demands.

Examine your organization

These 3 questions will allow your organization to develop a clear vision, plan for change, and strategize for growth. These answers cannot be answered in a 1-hour meeting and will provide the best information when all key individuals are involved.

What are our industry’s key trends over the next few years?

You don’t have to agree with the latest industry reports, but it’s essential that you at least know what others are predicting. Focus on the near future and delve into how you believe your industry will respond to change and implement strategy that could affect your company.

Given these trends, what do we need to do strategically to change our business model to react to these trends?

Knowing the trends is not enough. The most essential component of the reflection about and research of industry trends is what you do with the information. Consider how to best react to these trends so that your company’s business model remains strong and relevant.

What is our organization’s purpose and how will that need to evolve to match the trends?

Revisit your company’s mission and vision and tie your company’s “raison d’être” to the industry’s evolving trends. Maturing your organization’s purpose to align with the ever-changing industry landscape is a necessity that can propel your company ahead of the competition. 


In order to better compete in your industry, the most urgent key action required is to fully understand what you are doing to change your strategy and business model to remain current. What will you do to best prepare your company to advance in the marketplace?



  1. According to Martin Reeves, writing in the Oct.18, 2018 issue of Fortune magazine