Visioning and Competitive Differentiation


Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas

Do you and your colleagues have a compelling and agreed vision of where you would like your business to be in five to ten years time?

How distinctive is your business in the marketplace? What is unique, special or different about it?

Purpose and Benefits
This workshop should enable you to: provide strategic direction; and motivate your colleagues, customers and business partners with a clear, compelling and differentiated vision. You will learn what winners ‘do differently’.

Who should attend:
Members of the board and management team, sales and marketing teams and other groups with an interest in standing out, making an impact and focusing their energies and activities. The course is also relevant for those with responsibilities for creating new and differentiated offerings.


Dependent upon the number of people for whom the course is relevant. The approach adopted will reflect the number of attendees and nature of their interests and needs. A workshop could be organised for a corporate board, one or more groups concerned with developing a departmental, business unit, brand, or product line vision, and/or the community of people concerned with differentiating a business, company or other corporate organisation in the marketplace.

To help participants develop a distinctive and compelling vision, and differentiate their organisation and its offerings in the marketplace.

The workshop will include participative sessions to identify sources of competitive differentiation and craft a distinctive and compelling vision. Topics covered will include:

  • Understanding the directorial challenge and need to differentiate.
  • Considering dilemmas and trade-offs.
  • Shaping things to come.
  • Addressing key differentiation questions.
  • Understanding the differing approaches of commodity suppliers and business partners.
  • Identifying potential sources of competitive differentiation.
  • Crafting new and distinctive offerings.
  • Understanding how successful companies differentiate.
  • Reviewing the attributes of an effective vision.
  • Considering different approaches to visioning.
  • Crafting a compelling and distinctive vision.
  • Understanding how successful companies set about visioning.
  • Communicating the vision.
  • Understanding how successful companies communicate their visions.

Participants will understand how to recognise and craft a compelling and distinctive vision and differentiate their organisation and its offerings in the marketplace, and will have:

  • Formulated a vision for their organisation.
  • Identified sources of competitive differentiation.

Course Materials:
In addition to the short briefing note provided, course organisers can opt to buy copies of Prof. Coulson-Thomas’ book Winning Companies; Winning People which sets out what high performers do differently in areas critical for corporate success.

Course Leader:
Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas has facilitated or undertaken visioning exercises for a variety of companies, professional firms and public sector bodies, and helped companies large and small to differentiate their visions and offerings in a competitive marketplace. An experienced chairman of award winning companies he led the performance improvement, corporate transformation and winning business research and best practice programmes, and has recently completed a five-year investigation into more affordable routes to high performance. He became the world’s first Professor of Corporate Transformation and is the author of over forty books and reports including ‘Shaping Things to Come’, ‘The Knowledge Entrepreneur’ and ‘Winning Companies; Winning People‘. Colin has reviewed the processes and practices for winning business of over 100 companies, helped over 100 boards and management teams to improve corporate performance, and has delivered over 300 presentations to national, international and corporate events in over 40 countries. His course is based upon a healthy mixture of in-depth research and extensive practical experience as an entrepreneur, director, ‘change agent and transformation leader’ award winner, and champion of practical and affordable approaches.