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Porter's Four Corners

Use this tool to predict and counter the actions of your opponents

6 April 2020
rom the book "The Secret Language of Competitive Intelligence" by Leonard M Fuld, the author decribes another model developed by Michael Porter: Porter's Four Corners.

This model is a tool to assess how companies shape their strategies within an industry. And it can be used to assess individuals, groups and countries and why they do what they do. But best of all, it can be used to predict they will do. In the future. Such that you can take the necessary steps to prevent or counter it.

The trick is to balance the four corners so that they are consistent with each other:

1. Their Driver - What drives them? What are their goals and intention? Try to identify specific drivers and not be too general.

2. Their Capability - What resources do they have? What resources can they call upon? These should be capabilities related to their drivers.

3. Their Plan or Strategy - What are they doing about it? And what will they do in the future?

4. Their Assumptions - What do they know? What are their beliefs? Note that your opponents can make the wrong assumptions, which may be to your benefit.

I've successfully applied the four corners model in Sudan between 2006 and 2010 to predict the actions of individuals, partners and the government before the country split into two in 2011. Then, by changing their assumptions or by making a new capability available to them, we could get them to change their plans or reprioritise their goals.



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