Competitive Intelligence

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"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, 'Press on,' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race" --Calvin Coolidge.  This is a quote that perfectly sums up how I have driven my CI consultancy over the years.  What has been your driver in your CI endeavours?

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Hi Babette,

Great topic and discussion.

I have nothing to add except to fully agree with you. Yours are mine, meaning 'Persistence' and 'Determination'.

Particularly given my lack of talent and genius. :-)



Hi Babette,


I agree, great topic.


I would say in my case:

- curiosity (putting the pieces in the puzzle together, understanding the "big picture") and

- a true passion for making others grow through dialogue and education (opening the clients' eyes to change, enabling a better way of dealing with change).

Not so much persistence and determination - those helped me throughout my education, but once I entered the CI field it has mainly been curiosity and passion :-)




Thank you both for your comments. Based on what we have so far:


Determination - 2

Persistence - 2

Curiousity - 1

Passion - 1


Will be interesting to see other responses and what ends up as the top 5 Drivers.




Thanks Babette, I agree with both Miguel and Henrik.....passion, taking the complex to simple through analytical frameworks increasingly through story telling now (not always the case), continual learning and creating order out of the chaos, chaos brought on by constant change.  On a second note, we just hosted our 25th networking event in the UK in the name of the UK Competitive Intelligence Forum, the international affilifate of SCIP, the focus was on what CI could like in 2020 through the lens of 4 discreet audiences.  We intend to write it up and share with all through Ning for it practices a technique as well as brings it to life through the steps that the audience was engaged to deliver over a 3 hour period.

Babette, as I hail from the next town over from Calvin Coolidge's home of Plymouth, Vermont, USA - thank you for quoting one of our maple syrup-soaked national heroes!

Vermonters tend to see hard work and persistence as the only option. After all, winter is very cold, starts two months before you are ready and lasts about two months longer than you would like it to. The soil where we come from is rocky and hard to till. We are poor in the easy comforts than make most modern life possible, but rich in things like rocks, trees, mountains and frost heaves. Historically, we have been too dumb and stubborn to move anywhere nicer with better farming conditions, like California or Virginia. It's good that we're into hard work, since we would be dead otherwise.

So yes, hard work and persistence above all other things.

Hi Babette


I'm with you and Eric, absolutely. Hard work, persistence, focused determination, passion....

Based on responses so far, we have

Determination - 3

Persistence - 4

Curiousity - 2

Passion - 3

Hard work - 2

I have separated persistence from hard work as they may not necessarily be the same thing! It does depend on how you define both.


Interesting results so far.  Hope we get more responses.


Wonder how this list matches so far to standard CI job roles???



For me, it brings me back to my youth, looking under rocks for my next pet salamander!

That and the one to be first saying "look Mommy, look what I found!."

Well maybe TMI.....




I would add critical thinking as a key driver for CI. You can work hard, be persistent, be curious, etc, but you need to have that ability to stand back and assess the bigger picture "what does this mean?" "why is this important?" "what behavioral change we take?' those sort of actionable questions, which should be the result of research, hard work and analysis as the case might be. I like all 5 traits you have on the list.

I find that it's persistence in my practice that wins at the end of the day. So often I have trouble finding what I need, figuring out the right tools for analysis that tell the story persuasively and clearly expressing it in a way that clients understand my conclusions and recommendations. CI is a full time "stretch" opportunity which is why I have been doing it since 1985 and don't get bored.

G'day Babette: So I guess luck, serendipity, good fortune, silver spoons, being born in the right Zodiac sign or year, winning the lottery, uncontrolled variance, wearing the right colours, good fortune, good karma, waxing lyrically, being fortunate, located in the right place at the right time, over-sized craniums, left-brain dominance, unadulterated genius, having been abducted by ("way smarter than us") aliens, and related items won't be ranking high on these lists?


OK then -- put me down for one round of robust reasoning, a second dash of incessant curiosity, and another pound of persistence, all focused forward. Mix these with fire over the proper energy source, go get your driving license, and voila, you have a recipe for successful CI driving. Tongue firmly in cheek ;)

Nice response Craig !
I feel if my mental processing ability is superior to artificial intelligence then it is competitive Intelligence.

For me it is Insight.


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