Let's assume for a second that SCIP did not exist and we were trying to create a professional organization for Competitive Intelligence professionals from the ground-up. What would you as a charter member of this organization want to see and how would you recommend going about that with a complete clean slate?
I'll go first...
* Define a broad, multi-disciplinary scope of interest to incorporate competitive analysis, market intelligence, general intelligence practices and management/strategic consulting. Make it broad but try to keep it sufficiently defined to avoid becoming everything but the kitchen sink.
* Leverage existing informal networks for a broad interactive network of activity.
* Incorporate a high degree of digital interaction to support global participation. Physical meetings would be the supplements to Internet-based interaction.
* Foster a community of interaction among vendors and practitioners and the collaborative definition of a shared knowledge base. Te organization would eschew the division of the community into groups of "experts" and "the unwashed masses." Everybody would be learning from everyone else constantly, and that interaction itself will be the main value that all members will get from participation. The more members, the higher the value of participating for everyone involved.
* Create tiers of content: freely available (for brand-building, promotion and education of Competitive Intelligence customers), members-only content (paying members must log-in or register for on-line content and receive subscriptions to physical publications) and premium content.
* Broaden the scope of the information-sharing to include professional development relevant to practitioners, vendors and aspiring practitioners.
* Actively reach out to the academic community and establish a curriculum to business schools to promote Competitive Intelligence as a necessary element of any comprehensive business degree program.
* Encourage members to write articles on Competitive Intelligence for publication in general business publications including Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Fortune, Forbes, BusinessWeek and the Wall Street Journal among many others (note: I confess that this list is US-centric-- I look to our international participants to recommend the appropriate publications for their market).
* Track coverage of the Competitive Intelligence practice in the mainstream media and actively encourage members to respond with letters to the editor to congratulate good coverage and educate poor coverage.
* Serve as a source for journalists attempting to understand the Competitive Intelligence practice. Have standard press kits available that will address the most common questions, including a freely-available Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the organization's web site.
* Plug in to new social networks as they are created. Promiscuously promote the practice in other on-line communities, including re-purposing the freely-available content as needed and as necessary.
* Establish a code of ethical practice of competitive intelligence that reflect the various cultural global concerns. Establish a clear distinction between certain practices that will not be sanctioned and universally regarded as unethical (random examples: dumpster-diving, theft, illicit recordings).
* Educate and promote the application of new technologies into intelligence practices.
* Establish analysis and reporting as the critical value add of quality competitive intelligence. To that end align the practice more closely with practices and frameworks that are commonly applied in management consulting practices.
Those are just some thoughts off the top of my head. What would you recommend? What would your revenue model be? How would you recruit members? What would the meetings and events look like? Let's give it a go...