October 17, 2010 Leave a comment
Every successful company has a “core competency” that gives it the assets to be unique, strong, and ahead of the curve to beat the competition. Top managers know that “Core competencies can not be copied”. But still, sometimes the buzz around CEOs creates such a big pressure that they overlook the basic rules.
Social Media is the buzzword for the past several years. With Facebook taking the Silicon Valley by storm, a lot of people have started believing that every company should either have “Social” in their products or they are out of touch.
Core Competency: “Ability to connect users with each other in an informal way”
Core Competency: “Ability to distribute/broadcast content/information”
Core Competency: “Ability to find the meaning (context) of content/information”
Core Competency: “Ability to generate content/information”
All core competencies are good…but the business cycle makes importance of competencies go up and down with time. No matter what the business cycle is, the fundamental rule still holds: “Core competency can NOT be copied”. In layman’s terms: “You can not beat him in his own game”.
Let us see what these companies are doing now a days:
Facebook is pretty happy because the current buzz is “social”. They have to be careful because, with business cycle, the importance of their competency will change. Twitter also feels good, but somehow is being pulled into being “social”. Google is holding Search to its heart but is a bit disturbed by the “social” . I hope its not trying to copy Facebook’s core competency, else it will fail. Yahoo tried the “search”..and is now trying “social”..with no success.
So, what should the companies do?
Simple answer: Adhere to these 2 principles of Core Competencies:
1. Do not make a mistake and loose your own core competency. Remember, others can not beat you..but you can still loose (if you mess up).
2. Develop other (new) core competencies that are currently non-existent in the industry. Simply said: “Think beyond social”