The McEnroe Innovation

How to grow and improve your results in a highly competitive environment and make your competition irrelevant.

Based on:

  • a series of sustainable and unsustainable advantages
  • combined, complementary needs in the market
  • new connections

 Innovative Transcending Strategy

The McEnroe Innovation is an Innovative Transcending Strategy using world famous tennis champion John McEnroe as a metaphor translated to and implemented at Finnish multinational Kemira (3.5Billion/11.000 people).

Companies will face highly competitive environments more and more the coming years as a result of globalization, digitalization, lack of market growth, political tension and increased anti-cartel activities.

In highly competitive environments it will not be sufficient to strive for one sustainable competitive advantage, which is a defensive approach. In highly competitive environments companies should develop a series of sustainable and unsustainable competitive advantages based on combined, complementary needs in the market and new connections to transcend your current business.

We can learn from the tennis environment.

John McEnroe was a very ambitious 16 years old and one of the most gifted, talented tennis-players who wanted to be number one in the world.. Unfortunately he was facing a hyper-competitive tennis environment in the late seventies. Bjorn Borg was winning many tournaments despite extreme efforts of his competitors like Connors, Gerulaitis, Vilas, etc.

McEnroe made a competitors analysis and found out that the 4 main criteria to win tennis-matches were fitness, solid base-line play, speed and mental strength.

He came to the conclusion that when he compared himself with Borg it would be a 4-0 score for the advantage of Borg…

A new way of playing (strategy) and new criteria to win

McEnroe wanted to be number one in the world, so he needed a clear new strategy. He and his team developed and implemented a new way of playing (strategy) and created new criteria to win and made his competition insignificant. Next to that, as finding a blue ocean and a sustained competitive advantage is not sufficient in a hyper-competitive situation, he created a series of advantages to keep the initiative and the momentum.

Hyper-competitive business situation: Kemira

Finnish chemical multinational with HQ in Helsinki with 3,5 Billion euro turnover was facing a hyper-competitive market as a result of globalization, digitization, commoditization, increased anti-cartel activity, lack of growth in the Pulp & Paper market and ambitious competition of BASF, Nalco, Ciba, Hercules, etc…

Ambitious, but…

Target was to be global number one as a supplier of chemicals to the Pulp & Paper industry. All the basic requirements were great. Excellent service, rationalized lean and mean organization, outstanding R&D and product innovations, optimized supply chain and manufacturing, excellent relationships, multi-level key customer approach, excellent people, etc.

Not enough…

Unfortunately this was far from sufficient to increase prices and/or business. It was even worse, Kemira lost business and had to lower their prices structurally.

Implementing The McEnroe Innovation successfully

Despite of this environment we managed to transcend this hyper-competitive environment to change the rules of the game to win: increasing sales, ebit and position.

Since then we did this with many companies outside Kemira. See our testimonials.

For more info how this was developed and implemented by McEnroe or possibly in Your Company, please

  • join ’The McEnroe Innovation: How to manage hyper competition’ lecture
  • join our Academy
  • contact Peter Olyslager ( +31 622 803 746)