Inside the Competitor’s Mindset

John Horn is an author, professor and consultant with a passion for competitive intelligence. He joined the Competitive Enablement Show to talk about what it takes to get inside the competitor’s mindset. Here are three takeaways from the conversation. Grab a copy of John’s Book “Inside the Competitor’s Mindset” here.

Pretending you don’t have competitors hurts the business

Executives like to control things — anything outside their control is anxiety-inducing.

The way a competitor acts is definitely outside of your control. But ignoring their actions all together is not the answer.

Even so, John Horn — ex-McKinsey, current Professor of Economics — has seen the “we don’t have competitors” trope over and over throughout his career.

“If you’re thinking about the world one without competitors you’re missing potential opportunities.”

If you’re not contemplating what your competitors are up to, it becomes impossible to effectively differentiate against them.

Don’t rely on your competitors making the same mistakes you do. Invest in competitive intelligence and make your next move better than theirs.

Chun Analysis Template Banner

AI is the future of compete, but for now…

GenAI is a quantum leap for competitive enablement programs — especially when it comes to data collection and categorization.

But for now at least, AI isn’t sophisticated enough to replace the need for human curation of intel, and decision making based on that intel. Especially when it comes to dealing with uncertainty and quick pivots from the competitor.

“AI is fantastic because there’s no way a human could keep track of all that intel themselves. But to predict where a competitor is going to go in the future, it’s not quite there yet.”

John’s takeaway is every company needs to be leveraging the efficiencies brought by AI. Every competitive enablement pro can now do their job faster.

Use this extra space and time to make better decisions instead of expecting the machine to do it for you.

Buyer and competitive insights from win-loss have been key to Vijay Gupta’s success. Find out more on the Season 3 Premiere of Blindspots with host Ryan Sorley

Operationalizing competitive enablement is the key to success

Start small, launch a minimum viable product, and iterate from there. That’s how you make organizational change. Operationalizing competitive enablement is no different.

It’s impossible to immediately and fully understand every competitor, so don’t make that the goal. Instead, John says you should start small, stay focused and earn the right to get bigger.

A simple way to start small is by running war gaming and other simulation exercises.

“We don’t get to practice business. But war games and these exercises do allow you to practice. They force you to actually have that external view and to think about it the competition.”

Just the act of getting a group of colleagues together and getting them to strategize about the competition is a step in the right direction.

Don’t boil the ocean. Start small and build from there.

Churn Analysis Template (Bottom)
c&c logo

Stay up to date with the latest from The Compete Network

Be the first to know about the newest episodes dropping on the Compete Network, upcoming shows with creators, and community events where you can learn from top leaders.

klue.com | thecompetenetwork.com