We're all faced with what may look like insurmountable problems.  A competitor may have more money in their petty cash drawer than we have in our total budget and an R&D team larger than our entire company.  Competing with giants on an equal footing, under the same assumptions and playing by the same rules, is a losing game!  You may go down in glorious flames, but you'll still end up on the floor.  So, shift your perspective.

What vantage point can you climb to survey the field from a different angle? What givens can you question that might upset the balance of power? There are some people who are naturally gifted at strategic shifting.  For the rest of us, we can purposefully choose to put these tools to work for us by carefully going through our own serious of metal diagnostics. What assumptions am I making? What are the "facts"?  What happens when I change them? What patterns of behavior, structure, or timid do I see?  Forget my vantage point for a moment: What does this situation look like from my opponent's perspective? What about the people we're both trying to serve---what do they see, or believe, or care about? How do each of these variables impact my options?

Many of these appear to be difficult questions to answer when you're neck deep in a sticky problem, but that's what makes them powerful.  Every time we see a stunning example of strategic shifting---particularly when the shift is simple but creates a tremendous effect---we always wonder why we'd never through of it before.

Fighting Dirty is about making those strategic shifts that no one else can see, turning everything your opponent believes upside-down.


Contributed by Stephen Denny, Keynote Speaker & Author of Killing Giants