What's Your Competitive Advantage?

Cliff Bowman all

What's Your Competitive Advantage?

By Cliff Bowman, Paul Raspin
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What’s Your Competitive Advantage? offers a way to work with the realities of a complex world and the changing needs of your business. No-one can predict the future and we can’t predict the ultimate effect of any actions we take. What’s your Competitive Advantage? sets out an approach to managing change that reflects this complex reality. Built on insights from research into value creation and complex systems the book explains seven value creating strategies and the practices and change processes they require. Each play has an associated set of capabilities which deliver customer value efficiently:
  • SPECIALISATION - choose to focus on a single product or product group and compete through superior product performance.
  • ADAPTIVE - increase the system’s ability to respond to changing circumstances, particularly to changing customer needs.
  • LOW COST - Deliver equivalent product quality compared to competitors but with a continual and relentless focus on cost reduction
  • INNOVATION - Competing through product innovations.
  • EXCELLENCE - Continuous incremental improvement of product or service quality
  • NO-FRILLS - Serve price sensitive customers with a stripped down alternative product or service.
  • TARGETING - Focus on a specific market segment and serve the needs of these customers more effectively than less targeted rivals

Cliff Bowman is Professor of Strategic Management at Cranfield School of Management, UK. He previously held the post of Dean of the School of Management and Director of Graduate Programmes, and is a past Chairman of the European Case Clearing House. Cliff has also been a non-executive director for Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd. Bowman’s ‘Strategy Clock’ which emerged from his PhD is a widely use tool for analysing the competitive positioning of products.


Paul Raspin completed a PhD in Strategy Management at Cranfield School of Management in 2004. He established Stratevolve, a strategy consultancy in 2001, which works with executives and senior management teams to develop effective business strategies, resolve complex business issues, and develop strategic investment options. Paul is also a visiting senior fellow at Cass Business School where he delivers strategy and finance courses to Executive MBA students.