Competitive Intelligence

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Best companies to work for..... as CI / market / business analysts

Fortune came out with its "100 best companies to work for" rankings. So if we had to do a similiar ranking of the "best companies for an intelligence analyst" to work for, what would be the parameters that one would have to look for.

A couple of parameters I could think of were
 - presence of a specific department for CI within the company,
 - size of the department as a ratio of overall headcount (good indicator? Not too sure),
 - Reporting hierarchy (directly to top management or through Marketing / BD etc).

We are looking to come out with such a list of companies as part of a college project and would really appreciate any suggestions or inputs you might have. It would also be interesting to see if this list matches with Fortune's list.

Thanks so much

Nimalan Paul
Mercyhurst College,
Erie, PA

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Hi there,
There are a lot of academic articles and heaps of consultant reports on what works and what to avoid. Most go well beyond structure which are the measures you are proposing above but focus more on attitude and use of CI. A good place to start would be April, K. and Bessa, J. (2006), “A Critique of the Strategic Competitive Intelligence Process within a Global Energy Multinational”, Problems and Perspectives in Management, 4(2), 86-99. There are also a fair number of articles in the BoK which address the thorny issue of how to measure the effectiveness of CI which ought to be a related question. A firm may have all the structual stuff exactly right, but do they get anythign from it? If this is for a college project you will need to do a thorough literature search and you may be surprised at what you find. I think that this would provide a better foundation for your project and a template which can be justified. You can then measure a firm's capability against it but without being involved with the firm, or collecting data, other than structure, head count and reporting lines, you will find it difficult to ascribe measures to the soft issues such as attitude, use and commitment to CI.

Sounds like a neat topic to work on but bearing in mind the myriad of measures which Fortune (and any other list host FTSE 100 etc) use in order to come up with its star-studded list, it could be more complicated to devise and justify than it might appear.

I would think the CIA would be nice. You can buy information with suitcases of unmarked bills when you need it, or smack it out people if things get tight.

Beats making phone calls and sifting through reports!

Other than them, I hear Merck has a great program.

CIA Vision, Mission & Values


One Agency. One Community. An Agency unmatched in its core capabilities, functioning as one team, fully integrated into the Intelligence Community.


We are the nation’s first line of defense. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go. We carry out our mission by:

Collecting information that reveals the plans, intentions and capabilities of our adversaries and provides the basis for decision and action.

Producing timely analysis that provides insight, warning and opportunity to the President and decisionmakers charged with protecting and advancing America’s interests.

Conducting covert action at the direction of the President to preempt threats or achieve US policy objectives.

Core Values

Service. We put Country first and Agency before self. Quiet patriotism is our hallmark. We are dedicated to the mission, and we pride ourselves on our extraordinary responsiveness to the needs of our customers.

Integrity. We uphold the highest standards of conduct. We seek and speak the truth—to our colleagues and to our customers. We honor those Agency officers who have come before us and we honor the colleagues with whom we work today.

Excellence. We hold ourselves—and each other—to the highest standards. We embrace personal accountability. We reflect on our performance and learn from that reflection.


CIA / RAW / KGB / MI6 / BND, Mossad etc.,

I guess you have to belong by birth and citizenship to serve.

Source cultivation is another matter.

Cold War is over! Now it is Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism

HUMINT keeps Democracy alive.
Thanks so much Ms. Wright. I found the paper you mentioned quite helpful. Though not envisioned as a class thesis or a graded project it is expected to have atleast some level of rigour so your advice on the direction I need to take for the Litt review was quite helpful. What I have discovered so far:

- Creation of a separate team tasked with intelligence analysis
- Direct reporting to top management
- Physical proximity to top management (not too sure how this is different from the previously mentioned parameter)
- Technically enabled
- Access to resources (databases, tools and budget)
- Good traction with top management / decision makers (in terms of both setting specific requirements and feedback)

But am not sure if all this is possible to be measure from purely open sources / secondary research.

@ Eric Garland: Thanks for your heads up on Merck. Will check them out from an internship point of view as well :)

And I love your remark about the CIA :)

Thanks again,

Sorry Eric and Vivek. To my mind, references to CIA/RAW/KGB/MI6/BND or any other similar type of organisation is exactly the sort of thing we do not need when talking about CI in a commercial context. How is that going to make business leaders think that CI is a legitimate discipline and something they should embrace? What on earth relevance does a cut and paste from the CIA website on their Vision, Mission and Values have to do with the entirely curious, non-inflammatory question which Nimalan asked? I think somebody has lost the plot here or maybe it is just that the contributions on this site are moving far away from what I am comfortable to be associated with. I suppose anybody searching for such organisations and their acronyms will now find their way to our CI site. Oh dear.
Anyways Sheila,

I know Eric was fooling around.

See Competitive Intelligence in the Macro perspective.

But what is there to be ashamed about Mossad/CIA/RAW/KGB/MI6/BND etc.,

Sorry, I forgot DGSE.

In Competitive Intelligence, BND is legendary for its Project RAHAB..

PPP Model ie Private Public Partnership

BND's Project RAHAB is feared and revered. Its gives German Businesses, at a very Macro level, competitive advantage.

Denial / Glomer principle from BND on Project RAHAB does not mean that it does not exist.

Understand the players in the ocean of competitive intelligence.

CI is not SCIP

Vivek Raghuvanshi
Vivek, I think yoou have just reinforced the point I was making and have done it much better than I. If you think that Mossad/CIA/MI6/KGB etc has any legitimate connection with CI in the commercial context of doing day to day business then I really am in the wrong place. Take a look at the fine that BAE Systems has just been handed. That's where dirty dealing takes you. I don't want to be a part of that but if you want to swim with the sharks in the ocean of unethical competitive intelligence then go ahead but please don't assume that others will either applaud, or want to join you. Sheila
Hi Nimalan,

A number of years ago, a good 10 years or more, at SCIP we gave out an award for the best CI companies. It was run kind of like the Malcolm Baldridge award for CI. Would this be helpful to you? I am on the road most of the month, but I still have all the criteria we used to judge the best companies. Some good people at SCIP helped develop our criteria. This might help you with some structure for your project. I am happy to share with you when I get back to Colorado if you're interested!

All the best,

Thanks so much Ellen. That will be of great help.

I shall wait for you to get back to Colorado.

Thanks again and safe travels :)

There are some who can't detect my sarcasm over the Internet, which is fine. For the record, I'm not a fan of any "intelligence" programs that have a now documented, practically-official policy of war crimes. That's not intelligence. For a review of real intelligence, read my treatise launching the Intelligence Collaborative - I see the process of intelligence as a descendant of the Enlightenment. Torture is a descendant of the Inquisition, the darkness. The two couldn't have less in common, despite a shared but misappropriated descriptor. Perhaps some day we will finally separate the two with different terms.

In the meantime, back on WHERE IS A GOOD PLACE TO WORK?

I would say there are no good companies for intelligence, only good people who value intelligence. You can have a company with a multi-decade history of strategy, competitive intelligence, forecasting, and innovation, with well-staffed, well-funded departments in which you'll be locked in a room with 9MB/sec WiFi, Tuesdays off, comfy couches, organic iced tea in the fridge, unlimited travel budget, and an open mandate to LEARN ABOUT THE FUTURE OF OUR COMPETITION. That place could have the job you'd kill for, the award-winning, ROI-generating, TED conference-starring role of which analysts dream.

Then, stocks dive, the Board hires a former sales rep/motivational speaker with helmet hair and too much testosterone to TURN THE COMPANY AROUND. Within a day, the only metric in the company becomes revenue minus costs, measured once every twelve weeks.

Intel guys, unless you are making sales we haven't heard about, pack your bags.

In this world of mergers, acquisitions, bailouts, financial Armageddon, locusts, rivers of blood, and the iPad, you never know what corporate structure is right around the corner. If you want a good environment in which to collaborate on intelligence, find some people whom you find brilliant, insightful and innovative who happen to do intelligence for a living. Those people will make the experience - no matter what the name on the front of the office complex might be.

Incidentally, I think there are hundreds of such candidates here on the Ning site. Perhaps introduce yourself?

I never endorsed unethical practices.

I did NOT advocate unethical practices.

What I did was defend a Nation whose comitted people in an agency, post Sept 11, go out of their way to defend Democracy.

I did NOT advocate any clandestine operations.

We must see the goodness in others Shiela.

I was just stating facts.

Please understand it in context.

Vivek Raghuvanshi


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