Built to Compete Quadrant™Results:


Q3 2019


Your results: “Response Constrained”

92% Sense Enabled & 40% Response Enabled

You know what should be done. But you lack the ability to act on this knowledge quickly enough to maximize the impact for customers.


As a result your organization likely…

• Focuses on trying to go faster to overcome your challenges

• Struggles to build organizational alignment, even when embracing agile ways of working

• Deploys people that are more invested in building competitive advantages for their functional areas than for customers.

Executive Briefing

Based on your survey responses, your organization or line of business’s impulse is to go faster to overcome internal alignment challenges. This creates a tension between technology and business functions, as they try to push harder against one another to self-protect, meet goals and push past the pain of misaligned goals and priorities.

As a result leadership in their frustration spends a majority of its time trying to navigate organizational gridlock. The true answers lie in alignment, but the prevailing mindset of going fast makes taking time to slow down almost impossible. 

Reflecting this frustration, the people who do the day-to-day work of selling, marketing, building product and providing services lack the ability to fix their most pressing challenges. These roles are functionally intrenched more than customer focused, which is likely a cause of a certain level of disengagement as a person’s business function gets further away from the market and customer. 


Response Constrained means that your company can sense the market opportunities, but are slow to respond to capitalize on them. Companies in this quadrant experience the dilemma of “knowing what to build, but not being able to act on this knowledge fast enough to satisfy the customer or market”. Although agility practices may have success within departments or functional areas, there is not a strong connection between product and service delivery, operations and the strategy components in your organization.

In other words, your company can “semi-respond” to opportunities by building the right thing, but deploying them too late. When delivery builds something fantastic that the customer will love, they may quick deliver this, but rely on the business in order to take it to market. It’s very exciting to know when delivery has created a breakthrough innovation that customers have been asking for. But that’s only a part of the answer. There are other business entities that need to take this product to market and get the customer to use it. More importantly, and often forgotten, finance, marketing, and channels need to take the product to market. Once it’s ready to deploy, these products then need to be priced, marketed, and sold.

Given a delivery and business gap likely exists, the result is products and services that do not necessarily “move the needle” and go to market on time to support your company strategy.  In your company, employees are busy cranking out great work fast, yet falling short of realizing business value and positive customer outcomes as anticipated. Consequently, the full cycle from concept to cash is too slow, and value trickles through the various business’ and delivery functions.

Your company is a prime candidate to cross the chasm to become pivot-enabled. That’s because you “get it” - you realize the developments with customer needs are evolving too quickly to keep up and have already made the decision to improve its ability to sense. These companies are ahead of the game and have been making the changes to focus more on the customer by investing in scaled agility and lean practices to focus on the customer and value delivery.

However, this laser focus on sensing the market comes at a price of failing to properly organize to respond. This over rotating toward sensing while neglecting the need to align for responding can work your company into a competitive dilemma. Being response constrained typically creates a vicious circle where “good enough” is replaced by “done enough”, and the impact on the market and on customers is predictably lackluster.

Potential “At Risks”

You are in the At Risk quadrant for Question #6: “It’s typical that both leadership and the product development team, i.e. everyone who has a hand in strategy and product development, has meaningful ‘idea shaping’ experience with the target customer(s) and not just the solution.” Your Answer: Somewhat disagree – We do this sometimes but don’t really use it as a real opportunity to grow people.

The ramifications of the answer to #6 may be that products and services that do not necessarily move the needle on the company strategy. In such an environment, employees could be busy cranking out work, yet falling short of growing and delivering customer-valued products.


All of the challenges captured within this report can be turned around with greater alignment, but they are the types of issues which are going to lead to further degeneration if not addressed. The typical result of this degeneration is the risk of falling out of rhythm with the customer and market.

This can come in the form of external disruption or a self-inflicted internal disruption, if the state of the company or line of business’s response capability regresses. In most cases this ultimately impacts a company’s sense capability, as it becomes a greater struggle to stay ahead or catch up to existing / rising competition.

Counter Your Competitive Challenges with AiMM™

You aren’t alone in your challenges, but they differentiate you and you need a partner who understands that. The Built to Compete Quadrant™ is the first step, wisdom begins with knowledge…but there is more to do.

We help you get the right amount of alertness around these challenges, and cross-functionally help your organization and line of business mirror their challenges. We then co-design an actionable plan to build greater agility or pivot readiness across your business and operating models.

Industry Average/Insurance: 55% Sense Enabled & 45% Response Enabled