Common Sense Comes to Town!

Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have. (Descartes)

Competitive Edge

Posted on | June 7, 2010 | No Comments

In business, we often talk about this essential ingredient: the competitive edge. It is added value, the extra mile which sets you apart from others and pulls towards you customers and, of course, their money. Fortunately, this notion is not restricted to the business world; in fact we could apply this concept to biology or even to personal relationships.

Did you ever wonder about your own personal competitive edge? Why would someone want to know you rather than your neighbour? To be your friend or not? To hire you or not?

Often the business edge isn’t very substantial. A more convenient location can make all the difference. Is friendship built on the same basis? Would you select your friends solely on the fact that they are people appearing in your daily life? Would you abandon them if you moved? Probably not; other criteria may motivate your choice.

You may go out of your way to visit a store which opens at hours more convenient to your schedule. Availability is an important characteristic of friendship as well. We expect our friends to be available when we need them. But is that chiefly how we choose them?

Marketing specialist sometimes wish to personalize customer relationship. Customer experience becomes unique, specific to each individual according to what we know about this person. You can safely bet that the in-depth knowledge your friends hold about you strengthens your relationship. But others may know you very well without sharing a bond with you. In fact, they could genuinely hate you as well!

Where is then this elusive competitive edge? Is it in one’s sense of humour, in shared values, in a golfer’s handicap, on recklessly spent money? Is it only in the uncompromising acceptance of the other person for what this person is?

Maybe there is no such edge. When we discuss friendship, we do not involve competition but cooperation. Our best friends have understood this, which is undoubtedly why our relationship is mutually nurturing and renewable.

Now, imagine if businesses understood this as well…

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  • Photographie par Patrick Meunier

    Tous droits réservés, Patrick Meunier, 2010

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