The Cassandra syndrome, also known as the Cassandra complex, presents itself when a person’s warning goes unnoticed and is disregarded. This is a very familiar situation for consulting roles, and especially true for competitive intelligence professionals who try hard to get their insights acted on.
The term is derived from Greek mythology. Cassandra was a beautiful woman whose beauty seduced Apollo into granting her the gift of prophecy. However, when Cassandra refused Apollo’s romantic advances, he placed a curse on her. The curse was that nobody would believe her prophecies and Cassandra was condemned to a life of knowing future dangers, yet being unable to do much about them.
My most used strategy tool is the Strategy Map. In his Competitive Strategy book, Michael Porter describes them in his chapter on structural analysis within industries. He defines Strategic Groups as laid out or organized by strategic dimensions. This is my version of it and how I use it.
Porter's Five Forces is a very popular framework for analyzing the competitive dynamics of an industry. It is well taught to MBA students all over the world, yet I admit it is the one I use the least in Competitive Analysis. Not because I don’t find it useful, but rather because it’s a snapshot in time for an industry structure.
The premise is that by understanding the five forces, a company can identify the key factors that determine the competitiveness of an industry, and use this information to make informed decisions about how to position itself in the market.
Michael Porter is considered the father of Corporate Strategy, by many. He is a pioneer. Although he is well known for his Porter’s Five forces analysis framework, it is his Four Corners model the one I find most helpful in determining what to do, which actions to take. In Competitive Intelligence, this is considered an essential tool for early warning.
The Four Corners model is a predictive tool that helps in determining a competitor’s course of action, by looking at the firms motivations and actions. It is by adding the perspective of motivations in the form of values, culture, mindset, and self-reflection, what makes it powerful in the most likely future strategy of a player.