Customers, Competition and Change
The Three C’s of the external business environment. Leaders must monitor these elements in order to encourage organizational innovation.
Leaders recognize that customers are the organization's "gold." They understand (and help others to understand) that high performance organizations have the customer as the focal point in each and every transaction.
Leaders recognize that in a global economy the competition must be a major concern. Leaders monitor the competition (e.g. benchmarking), not to do what they are doing, but to understand what they are doing for purpose of differentiating. Leaders know that the idea is not to be like the competition but to be different from them. That way, the organization will stand out prominently to customers and potential clients.
In a fast-paced world, leaders are "change champions." They lead change. They drive change. They harness change. They recognize that a primary driver of being different than the competition is being faster than competition. They understand that to excite the customers, the organization has to be maximally responsive to their needs/problems/concerns.