This lesson is learned frequently, often dismissed quickly, and tends to be a major player in the success of any aspiration, service or product. Duplicability.
During my brother-in-law’s career path he reached a turning point that offered him an opportunity to gain a skill set that was very specialized, few have, and was on track for future expansion and demand based on the growing trend towards environmental responsibility and renewal. Did he have all this awareness when he took the challenge, no. What he did have, was the ability to recognize the value in the low duplicability factor.
What is your competitive quotient?
Consider this…ever heard of the Slanket? No? How about the Snuggie? Yes. Well according to the manufactures of the Slanket, they are the original creators of the blanket with sleeves. Too bad few have ever heard of them. How many versions of e-book readers are there? Or smartphones? Or consultants? Or profiling systems? You get the picture.
Welcome to the duplicability factor. Ultimately, to create value and strategic sustainability we must be unique – yes. We must also create a level of difficulty in duplicability by competitors. As a fan of the Dragon’s Den, whenever the panel is presented a product or service they do a quick mental calculation on market trends, their bounty of experience, and the duplicability factor. How can I be so sure of that? One regularly asked question on the show, “Do you have patents?”. Why is this question so relevant? Because it targets how you build a strategy on valuable resources, while making it rare and harder to imitate or substitute.
Fair enough not everything is patentable, and patents have plenty of loop-holes when not created properly. What else can one do? Work towards maintaining consistent outcomes while allowing business process variation and innovation. Look at building up strategies within your business process network(s) that are difficult to duplicate as a whole.
Especially in the recruitment area - what makes you standout? How is what you do or offer hard to replicate? Just a few thoughts to consider.