Know Your Enemy

  • Tim Calkins


GOOD DEFENSIVE STRATEGY IS GROUNDED in information. Before you can properly react to a competitive move, you have to understand it and determine what it means to you. A military general needs information to develop a battle plan, and a business leader needs information to assemble a defense plan. As Willie Pietersen, former CEO of Tropicana, observed, “In every competitive arena, including business, you must know your enemies in order to defeat them.”1


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  1. 1.
    Willie Pietersen, Reinventing Strategy (New York: Wiley, 2002), 82.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kevin P. Coyne and John Horn, “Predicting Your Competitor’s Reaction,” Harvard Business Review 87, no. 4 (April 2009): 96.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    David Barboza, “One Entrepreneur’s Rival in China: The State,” The New York Times, December 8, 2011, 1.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Sun Tzu, The Art of War, new translation by Ralph D. Sawyer (New York: Fall River Press, 1994), 232.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Tim Calkins 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Calkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Kellogg School of ManagementUSA

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