What Is Maneuver Strategy?

Maneuver strategy offers a new strategic framework that creates unique opportunities to magnify your competitive abilities out of proportion to your current abilities.  Unlike mindless attrition, maneuver creates opportunities to win more revenue, profit and market share at the lowest possible cost.  As the pace of change increases, technologies change and new entrants emerge, maneuver is increasingly more important and more relevant as a competitive strategy.

Maneuver relies on speed, agility, insight, stealth and innovation to win with less cost using three strategies:

Preemption

Winning a valuable, unoccupied space before competitors are aware of its existence. Example: Apple introduces iTunes, to help people manage their downloaded music. Apple was an unlikely competitor, since it did not publish music. Other corporations, like Sony, were more likely to identify and capture this market. Yet Apple preempted others, took the valuable but unoccupied position and ruled music distribution for a decade.

Dislocation

Attacking a competitor in such a way that the competitor cannot deploy its full capability in response, causing the competitor to vacate part or all of a valuable market or space. Example: Zara dislocates haute couture and other fashion retailers by producing new fashions at a pace that their competitors cannot match. Having identified a weakness or vulnerability, Zara attacks the industry and the industry cannot understand what happened, and loses valuable market share and profits.

Disruption

Attacking an equally competent competitor to disrupt efficient execution, distract the competitor from its task, delay implementation of new plans.

Maneuver isn’t new. Maneuver has been used in warfare since the time of the Greeks and Romans, yet it hasn’t crossed over into the business world at the same depth as attrition strategy, mostly we believe because maneuver requires a more thoughtful approach, and relies less on size and scale.

cmorganWhat Is Maneuver