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Necessity breeds opportunity

Constraints, innovation and competitive advantage


Necessity breeds opportunityIn this article, we look at ways companies can drive innovation to address external constraints and sidestep trade-offs between efficiency and responsiveness.

A better understanding of constraints

Companies essentially have four options when trying to innovate and build a competitive edge, based on whether external constraints affect the company or its consumers, and whether the firm can gain an edge over competitors by improving products or processes. Each of these options offers the possibility to move to a new frontier on the efficiency responsiveness map. If firms manage to cover multiple options in this matrix, they may develop a business model that will be difficult for competitors to replicate.

Four paths to success:

  • Design new processes
  • Collaborate with stakeholders
  • Create new products and markets
  • Develop new service-delivery models

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