“Number one, cash is king… number two, communicate… number three, buy or bury the competition.”

– Jack Welch, Former CEO of General Electric

As Thomas Friedman declared in his illuminating 2005 book, The World is Flat. Think about the next few statements. Over the past two years, 90% of all data was created. A morning call to your bank can be answered by a college grad working the night shift in Bangalore. A disgruntled customer, with a simple social post, can make a dent in the polished brand of a Fortune 500. I can get a factory in China to make just about anything with some design schematics and cash (trust me, I’ve seen it firsthand). And, you have no idea from where your next big competitor will emerge from.

More so than at any time in history, it is critical for strategic leaders to understand and navigate through competitive dynamics. We don’t live in a time when the slow and steady wins. We live in a time of super-compressed competitive cycles, globalization disrupting cost curves, the blurring of the traditional boundaries between industries and markets, innovation spurring radical progress, and the internet giving anyone a potentially global audience. More so than ever, it is essential to understand competitive dynamics.

Here are the top tools and concepts of competitive dynamics and markets:

1. Markets & Competition

2. Adoption Curves

3. PESTLE Analysis

4. Porter’s 5 Forces

5. SWOT Analysis

6. Game Theory

7. Three Horizons of Growth

8. Ansoff Growth Matrix