Don’t Be a Copy Cat

Although imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, it doesn’t guarantee success. Assuming that the success of one business assures the same result for yours is a bit absurd because fundamentally the two companies are different, each with its own challenges, strengths, cultures and dynamics. You may think this concept is self-evident, but I’ve seen many executives approach their business strategy this way.

It’s important to remember that businesses in the same industry, even competitors, have very different strategies. For example, think about how Target and Walmart operate. Blindly taking another’s strategy and dropping it into your business would be like using a blueprint for an apartment high-rise to build a single-family home in the suburbs. It just doesn’t work.

That’s not to say you can’t learn from others or adopt best practices, but ultimately you – not your competitors – should drive your business strategy. Focus on yourself: identify the best opportunities and best growth strategies for your company. Leave the copying to the cats.

Photo Credit: Christian Holmér via cc