Brilliant Manoeuvre
Businesses must be constantly on the lookout for threats from all quarters, even those that appear highly improbable or even impossible.

Wikipedia and Google Scholar have made Encyclopedia Britannica and Microsoft Encarta pretty much obsolete. Google, Ebay, Craig’s List and other forms of online targeted advertising have eaten into the traditional revenue sources of Yellow Pages and local newspapers. Now we’re seeing universities offering free online courses through the web, in some cases for some type of academic credit. The UK’s Open University, Harvard, Stanford, and many others are entering the fray. For instance, the latter offers a whole series of lectures on cutting edge physics by Leonard Susskind, one of the originators of String Theory! The Learning Company offers excellent university level lectures on dozens of topics at very reasonable prices through its Great Courses series. How long will it be before the traditional university, college, and even high school are overtaken by these threats that are seemingly “coming out of nowhere” and undermining their traditional revenue sources? Can these institutions react quickly enough to remain relevant in the coming decade?

Are you able to detect threats from any direction? These could be suppliers moving downstream, customers or distributors moving upstream, new technologies or products as substitutes, or completely new competitors entering your sector with innovative products and business models.

Richard Martin is a consultant, speaker, and executive coach. He brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to exploit change, maximize opportunity, and minimize risk.

© 2013 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.

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