Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries

1. Is a corrupt environment good or bad for CI business? (i.e. do you see more opportunities for CI work/more need of CI in countries with higher levels of corruption compared to cleaner ones?)

2. How does operating in a more corrupt environment impact the practice of CI? Are there any differences? Should there be a different approach to CI under such circumstances?

3. Just out of curiosity: can anyone reference any CI business models out there? We've got plenty of CI theoretical models, and CI practice models - but it seems CI's not doing that great on the business model side. (Obviously, this is not about CI freelancers or corporate in-house CI units, but private CI firms/agencies)


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1) Maybe I'm a bit naive but I fail to see why a corrupt or non-corrupt environment is good or bad for CI business. ALL companies need to understand their competitive environment and make decisions on strategy. That's what CI is all about so the level of corruption (or otherwise) shouldn't impact the need to do CI. Even an environment that was 100% honest and non-corrupt would still require CI. If business decisions are needed, the level / type of corruption may influence the assumptions and analysis but they won't (or shouldn't) influence the need for CI

2) Operating in a corrupt environment will have an impact on the practice of CI. For a start there would need to be a greater expenditure and effort in counter-intelligence in a corrupt environment (depending on what sort of corruption is in place). There may also be more requirements for analysis and double-checking data in an environment where information is likely to be mis-information or dis-information and where espionage is rife. So the practice may differ between environments. However there are also other factors other than corruption that lead to differences - for example the availability or not of online data. 

3) What do you mean by CI business models if you are excluding theoretical models (I assume you mean things like Porter Analysis) and CI practice models (which I'd view as things like the CI Cycle model). There are loads of models used for CI analysis and explaining CI. So what do you mean by a business model if these aren't relevant to you? (As I'd say that there aren't any marketing or financial models either if you exclude stuff like you want to do). 

What Arthur said...

Also - our business model obtains human-to-human intelligence that is strategic, unbiased, actionable, measurable, and repeatable...  In order to make those decisions - the sample data must come from a representative samples of lost prospects and existing customers...


My responses to your inquiries below:

GE Q1) Is a corrupt environment good or bad for a CI biz?

MN Response:

A corrupt environment will inevitably foster further corruption left unchecked. This is precisely what you see happening in the US and across EUR at present. Therefore, naturally the well connected Intel firms who walk lockstep with these corrupt regimes and their questionable/illegal practices  will fair very well and those that play the old fashioned way (real honest to goodness analysis) instead of paid sources, psych ops, insider information to the highest bidder, will be marginalized if not rendered entirely archaic.

GE Q2) How does operating in a more corrupt environment impact the practice of CI?

Monica: Well try this on for size, a quote from an internal Stratfors e-mail, Stratfors of course being one of the biggest private CI firms in the US which was recently hacked by Anonymous. It's a message from one of the top dogs to a lower level analyst on how to handle a source: "-[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control..."

Ok, there you have it, that should clear things up about how corruption impacts the practice of CI....oh and it gets better- you know what the internal code word for Stratfor's group of Confederated Media contacts was? The "Cornfed Fuckhouse." Conrnfed of course being a euphemism for "not to bright" stateside...

Enough said. Corrupt to the core.....


That's an interesting quotation from Stratfor. I still wonder to what extent they are a 'shadow CIA' as the press calls them, or just a normal analyst firm.

I would add that to make use of a corrupt environment, you'd (obviously) need a lot of money, so whether such an environment favours you depends on how much you are willing to spend. And even companies who would be comfortable with some of the grey areas of competitive intelligence, would definitely steer clear of corruption. And you're talking intelligence, not securing a contract (where the appeal to a client would be greater). Overall, I think the chances of there being a favourable corrupt environment, you knowing how to use that and having the money, all coinciding, are pretty small.


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