Ceramic Industry

Keeping Up with the Joneses

August 7, 2008

I remember taking my daughter to the park when she was younger. It seemed like nearly every other mom there wanted to discuss the accomplishments of their kids, which is fine, but only in relation to mine. In other words, they would ask about potty training or word development and then make sure to point out that their child said her first word a good two weeks before mine did.

I didn’t want to be rude, but the truth is, I just didn’t care. I was there to play with my kid and have fun at the park, not rank all of the little ones by their familiarity with the ABCs or number of successful potty trips. I guess I’m just not that competitive-minded in general, but it seems like all of that jockeying for position would be exhausting.

It’s important to be competitive in the business world, of course, assuming it serves your company well. It might not matter that one of your competitors has the biggest high-tech kiln money can buy, as long as your company’s firing process meets its needs. On the other hand, if updating your company’s equipment could increase productivity or reduce energy costs, it would certainly be worth investigating.

Dan Burrus (www.burrus.com), a technology expert and trend forecaster, suggests that companies should focus on gaining a strategic edge by: “looking to the future for trends and ideas, doing what the masses aren’t doing, competing on issues other than price, and innovating instead of imitating.”