The importance of adopting a competitor’s perspective and applying “competitive insight” to stay ahead in business is emphasized by John Horn, a professor at Washington University and McKinsey wargames expert.
John Horn, a Washington University professor and McKinsey war-games expert, emphasizes the importance of adopting a competitor’s perspective for gaining a competitive edge. He introduces the concept of “competitive insight,” which goes beyond traditional competitive intelligence and is often overlooked. Horn argues that dismissing competitors’ actions as irrational can be detrimental to business leaders, leaving them unprepared and ineffective in their responses. In his book, “Inside the Competitor’s Mindset: How to Predict Their Next Move and Position Yourself for Success,” he offers guidance on understanding competitor behavior and formulating effective strategies. Horn outlines a four-part process for converting data into action: gathering competitive intelligence, understanding how competitors use that data, analyzing decision-makers’ past behavior, and making short-term predictions while remaining adaptable. He advises against relying solely on artificial intelligence for competitive insight, as it lacks human intuition and the ability to account for unpredictable patterns. Horn emphasizes the need to integrate competitive insight into decision-making processes through people, processes, and performance measurement to maximize its impact on organizational outcomes.