David and Goliath – The Potential Advantages of Smaller Firms


goliathIf you find yourself competing against a much larger competitor, be encouraged. They have weaknesses! Just as Goliath did against David!

Part of the challenge for the mega firms is that they don’t easily see their weaknesses.

Consider an analysis of David and Goliath’s apparent strengths and weaknesses, as follows:

David’s strengths – Very brave

David’s weaknesses – Small, inexperienced in one-on-one combat, no armour

Goliath’s strengths – Huge, strong, experienced, good armour and brave

Goliath’s weaknesses -???

Doesn’t look good for David. But the analysis is misleading. The analysis misses several things:

  • David is quick
  • David is good with a catapult (slingshot) and has it with him
  • There are small stones on the ground
  • Goliath’s armour doesn’t cover his forehead

It turns out that you might be like David –  thinking you have apparent weaknesses, but actually with potential strategic advantages.

It’s very difficult for the larger firms to spot their weaknesses – the biggest of which are potentially complacency and poor strategic analysis.

Whether you are a David or Goliath, don’t be complacent about your strategic analysis.

Acknowledgement: The David & Goliath analysis is based on Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt. See http://goodbadstrategy.com/

This entry was posted in Leadership and Management, Managing Change, Strategy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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