Competitive Intelligence

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10 Random Things I'm Looking Forward to at SCIP09

Now more than ever, we need the profession's leadership to step forward and guide our colleagues forward in an increasingly uncertain future that is sure to test the value proposition of CI personnel and departments everywhere. So in support of this goal myself, I've put together a short list inspired by Facebook's "25 Random Things About Me" and "tagged" to my friends on the Ning CI community.

I call it "10 Random Things I'm Looking Forward to at SCIP09" and the idea is, if you're planning to attend SCIP09, please take some time and scan the program online.

Then, think over what it is you're most excited to participate in and share that list on the Ning site in this discussion about it. In fact, even as I dug into the conference program, I found a LOT more than 10 I'm looking forward to... but I had to stop somewhere and I wanted to make it a do-able challenge for all of you to join me in making your own list. Here's mine:

10.) Because they don't let me in on the really important stuff until it's available on the open market, I'm looking forward to seeing my own company's - Aurora WDC's - exhibit this year since it's dedicated exclusively to our global primary research services. During this period of great economic uncertainty we've heard from our clients that we need to help them most by bringing new ideas in creating research value for their decision makers. So we're helping clients new and old optimize their intelligence portfolio and invest only in those intelligence products that will create asymmetric advantage for their organization in the market and have immediate, positive cash flow impact on their bottom line. This year, CI needs to get fit, trim down and focus on delivering immediate value to survive the days ahead; and Aurora's role is to help our clients get the job done.

9.) Richard Horowitz will host a session asking if we in CI aren't a little TOO obsessed with the ethics - and he should know - he's one of the leading attorneys on the subject of legal and ethical standards in the field. Particularly with the new film "Duplicity" opening this weekend starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen as ex government spooks trying to give some less-than-ethical client a leg up on the competition, we need to decide what this field is about: dirty tricks and underhandedness or supporting the innovation and value creation of businesses for their customers.

8.) I'm looking forward to my good friend Rainer Michaeli's talk about Bayesian reasoning as it relates to managing early warning indicators.

7.) Suzy Badaracco will address trends forecasting before they hit, while there's still time to do something about it.

6.) My good friend Jody Holtzman will speak on how to reach key decision makers with the CI they need to ensure confidence in their actions.

5.) Aurora will be hosting a special invitation-only "Intelligence 2.0" Clinic with some of our software partners where we'll all have the chance to compare and contrast the applications themselves while demonstrating the relative strengths of each platform for various tasking, sensing and interpretation needs. If you're interested in receiving an invitation, please email me about it.

4.) Tim Walker will be speaking on competitive intelligence in a Web 2.0 world - a topic very much on everybody's minds as social networking takes over the Internet's identity and perhaps the enterprise with it.

3.) My good friend Craig Fleisher and I are facilitating an active dialog called "CI2020" where we'll be discussing together what CI might look like in the decade ahead. We've both often found it ironic that we, who are supposed to concentrate on the future of our industries and markets, so often neglect to do so ourselves. Join us and help us decide what the CI apparatus of the future will look like.

2.) Michael Treacy will be the opening general session keynote on the first day of the meeting and will address how CI can help organizations achieve their growth objectives even during such challenging times as we're living in lately. Treacy is a truly groundbreaking thinker about topics impacting the growth opportunities and a decade ago helped define growth strategy with his seminal work, "The Discipline of Market Leaders"; join us in Chicago to learn what he has in store next.

1.) Finally, no matter how impressive a program SCIP might put together every year, the real reason I'm so compelled to make the annual trip is the people. The once-a-year opportunity to hang out with the brightest minds in the profession and see old friends, meet new ones and learn from their stunning insights, has kept me coming back for more than a decade now. I wouldn't miss it and you shouldn't either. Hope to see you there.

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Her's my list..
1. Meeting Arik Johnson because I've learned and gained so much because of this Ning
2. through 9. Meeting people on this Ning
10. Finding one or two potential business partners (for who can leverage our global information on the top 10,000 industries, which includes competitor information by line of business.

Anyone interested in discussing before SCIP09, I'm at
OK, here's my list. I'm looking forward to seeing all of you in Chicago!

1. It's Chicago! Granted, being that I'm from the area I might be a little biased here, but I can tell you without hyperbole that it's the greatest city on the planet. In all seriousness, it's a great town. Springtime in Chicago can be very, very pleasant, so I'm looking forward to getting out in the city as well as the conference itself.

2. Each time I attend the SCIP conference the sessions and the exchange of ideas on the exhibit floor and in the hallways always propels my own knowledge and understanding forward. I absorb the equivalent of months of learning in two days.

3. Our profession along with all of business is in at the beginning of a major restructuring. We're entering a new phase of our profession, and the practice "Competitive Intelligence" that comes out the other side of this restructuring is going to be different than we know the practice today. Craig Fleisher and Aric Johnson's CI 2020 is going to challenge us all to consider the shape of things to come.

4. Is CI obsessed with the question of ethics? Richard Horowitz is going to deliver a session to explore this topic and THEN he and Bonnie Hohhof are going to engage us in an Active Dialog on that very topic. These are some discussions that are over-due, because there are a lot of ideas about ethics and "the law." I know Richard Horowitz is going to bring his legal expertise to the question and give me something intelligent to say to corporate counsel.

5. SCIP09 Twitter Team! At last year's conference it was probably only Suki Fuller and me using Twitter. This year the micro-blogging platform has taken off. One major frustration of all SCIP conferences is that there are too many great things going on-- too many programs, more vendors to talk to than there really is time to engage. This year there will be a collective sharing their experience in near real-time on-line and capturing the value for perpetuity. You can follow along yourself here:

6. CI can provide great value by identifying new business opportunities. Our keynote speaker Michael Treacy has a track record for identifying high-growth market opportunities, a compelling writer and an energetic, engaging speaker. The program includes sessions on finding "Blue Ocean" strategies and "Keeping Positive." Hell, yeah! Remember that the Chinese use the same word for crisis and opportunity (that word is not "crisitunity" as Homer Simpson says) and that our companies (and our profession!) can come out ahead from economic restructuring.

7. I like to look smart. Rainer Michaeli really is smart, and I'm looking forward to learning more about how I might be able to use Bayesian methods in my analysis. If I can find a way to quantify and measure uncertain and complex scenarios I really will be smart, too! I might finally have some quantitative mojo to take on the Finance organization.

8. I always enjoy seeing what the latest technology is from our CI vendor community. This year I'm all over semantic analysis.

9. An investment in myself is the only safe investment these days. A grown man shouldn't cry when he looks at his 401(K) balance, but I really haven't been able to help that in recent months. My company doesn't pay for me to go to the SCIP conference... no travel, no nothing. I'm not unique in that sense in this climate when budgets are very, very tight and all discretionary spending is questioned. I pay for my own travel to the SCIP conference because it's an investment in my own knowledge and career. I've paid for myself to go to the SCIP conferences since I moved back to the practitioner side of the fence because the ROI is clear.

10. The people! The SCIP bunch is always a lot of fun, and there's always someone with whom to catch up and new people to meet. These are business connections and friendships that last, and I've always been grateful for the plentiful mentors I've met at SCIP conferences.
I cannot name my list as I will be unable to participate. I have a good reason for it - I'm preoccupied with my teaching on CI in the MBA programme in the academia in Israel. I'm pushing hard for CI to become a recognizable discipline and there is no better way to become part of the MBA curriculum. If you look at my recent article in the March April issue of CIM you will see the direction I'm pursuing. There will be no association of CI to content in movies like "Duplicity" if we will understand what CI is really about. Why such associations are not related to markeing? It is essential to keep our athics in place as in every business discipline - not more and not less.
I hope to participate in the European summit in Amsterdam (November) expecting to have a half day seminar on business strategy and CI and also a presentation on one of my resect research results.
Avner Barnea
My ten cents contribution.

I am going to go from #1 to #10 to mix things up.

#1 - Reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones.
#2 - Introducing my team to the joys of a SCIP conference
#3 - Re-energizing my brain thinking about new methodologies and ideas
#4 - Getting information on potential software solutions for 2010..or maybe 2011 depending on when people start buying appliances again.
#5 - No airplane travel required
#6 - Chicago -- food, music
#7 - The WLC reception (Wednesday night, following the opening reception) and all the fantastic women in the WLC
#8 - Having someone explain to me why Twitter is so great and why I should use it
#9 - Looking at CI through a global lens
#10 - Having a good time!!!! I always do!
My Answer isn't random, but here goes:

1st I look forward to meeting my SCIP friends and making friends with new people, including some of you on this Ning who I only have met electronically

2. I look forward to Robert Bugai's talk on "Meet the Press" since the journalistic perspective of probing and interviewing has always interested me. (11:35 p.m. Thursday)

3. I look forward to Bill Fiora's active dialog on "Are we in a rut?" (5 p.m. Thursday) This would be a great CI Magazine article.

4. I looking forward to Roger Phelps' and Suki Fuller's active dialog session on "Social Networking & Its Role in CI." (11 a.m. Friday) That will make a great CI Magazine article, don't you think?

5. Due to my interest in sales intelligence, I look forward to hearing Lisa Hicks talk about "Sharpen Your Sales Results with Win/Loss Analysis Best Practices." (Noon Friday)

6. I think Eric Garland's talk on "Keeping Positive: Using CI to Find New Business Opportunities, " will be a refreshing slant on using CI not just for threats. (2:45 p.m. Thursday)

7. I'm looking forward to spending some time on the Exhibit Floor, and my focus this year is CI software providers like Strategy Software, Comintell, Digimind, Cipher, QL2 and Traction. Yes, Arik, I'm interested in your Intelligence 2.0 clinic if you have extra space.

8. I'm looking forward to our WLC (Women's Leadership Council) cocktail party which follows the opening reception from 7 - 8 p.m. on Wednesday. I think it will be in the exhibit hall also.

9. I don't have a booth this year, too much else that I have to do at SCIP09 which would take me away from my exhibit. So, if you want to plan a meeting, here's how to do it:

Attend one of my talks:

Build a Sustainable Early Warning Process Through Cooperative Intelligence (1:40 p.m. Thursday) or
Capture CI from Sales & Customers to Drive Lucrative Product Development (9:40 p.m. Friday).
I'll be in the exhibit hall from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, and some time after my talk around 3 p.m. or so.

Otherwise you can reach me at renaylor@wispertel or 720-480-9499

Or you can Tweet me at as I'll be part of August Jackson and Suki Fuller's Twitter team following SCIP 09.

10. I will attend social events where we can meet up as well:

Opening Reception: 5:30 - 7 p.m. Wed
Reception: 6 - 6:30 p.m. Thur
Awards Breakfast: 8 - 9:30 Fri

There is a newcoming's orientation just before the opening reception, which I usually attend, but I don't see it on this year's schedule.

I look forward to seeing you at SCIP09 in the "Windy City"!


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