White Papers

Competitor Crazy Ivans

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Competitors can make sudden, radical changes in direction. Anchored by concrete examples from client experiences, this white paper outlines how seemingly irrational moves can overturn assumptions, spur insights, and inform robust competitive strategies.

“Russian captains sometime turn suddenly to see if anyone’s behind them. We call it ‘Crazy Ivan.’ The only thing you can do is go dead. Shut everything down and make like a hole in the water.”

One persistent challenge of developing and executing a robust competitive strategy is the often unpredictable nature of competitors, especially when they believe they are under competitive pressure — in essence, being “followed” by an adversary. I call these moves competitor Crazy Ivans.

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