Competitive Intelligence

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So, what do we think about this? I've got no dog at all in this race, just sincerely curious about what others think.

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I also voted no. I was contacted several times by Indian Frost & Sullivan Analysts doing primary research for competitors of ours...

Attempts by some to sweep issues under the carpet have characterized SCIP's behaviour for quite some years.

For me, the last straw was the sudden and very-badly-communicated cessation of the JCIM: what you describe with the CIR happened again in slightly different form exactly a year ago with the curious announcement of 4-month cessation of the JCIM and the summary dismissal of its editors - while a committee allegedly deliberated what to do with it. Not surprisingly, those 4 months have now turned into 'for ever'. It's not even that I can't understand the difficulties that were faced with financing. What annoyed me was the lack of communication, the unclarity and half-statements, and hints of a decision-making process that, as you indicate, seems more reminiscent of certain regimes.

Given that CI is about supposedly about awareness and 'intelligence', it is hard to see in SCIP's behaviour, an intelligently-run organization at work. And that was for me sufficient reason to cease my membership.

As to F&S, if the F&S Institute is one and the same as F&S, the company, then there are certainly some serious questions that need to be raised. But if, as it appears, this so-called Institute is a separate entity that few have heard of and even fewer understand (though with the same directors as F&S), then what exactly is it that SCIP members are being asked to approve - a merger with a non-entity that purports to deal with world health? (to quote their very sparse website).

Hopefully SCIP members will ask these and other questions - I used to ask, and the type of answers I got were a significant factor in my deciding to cease my membership. Now it is the turn of those who are (still) members.
Michael, et al

As a number of contributors to this discussion have indicated, the "choice" SCIP members have been given is 'vote "yes", or SCIP disappears.' Is it any wonder that, despite their reservations, so many SCIP members are voting "yes"? When one is drowning, one isn't too particular about who is offering their hand in rescue...

Intelligence, as we well know, has been a feature of warfare for thousands of years. And for a hundred years or so, modern intelligence agencies have played an indispensable role, at least in theory, in the formulation of national security policy in countries everywhere. While it is sometimes a 'hard sell' in the corporate arena, research (including SCIP-sponsored research) has proven time-and-time again the unique benefits and value competitive intelligence delivers to firms which take the discipline seriously (in principle and in practice).

Why, then, has SCIP failed in its mission to serve as the standard bearer of CI? How about this as a working, albeit uncomfortable, hypothesis? Collective incompetence on the part of successive boards and office management over the past 9-10 years?? Nothing personal; after all, the economic landscape today is littered with companies (Chrysler, GM, most big banks, etc) run by bright, highly educated, and no doubt well-meaning executives who got it VERY wrong, at very great cost).

But the more urgent question, of course, is "what next"? A merger" with (i.e. takeover by) F&S?? If one considers what the aims of a society for competitive intelligence professionals should be, I, for one, find it hard to imagine how they might better be accomplished with the same management team, and a bit more money under the banner of F&S. People die, organisations of all types collapse into bankruptcy; it's all part of life. I sugggest we start with a clean slate. We should be debating questions such as: What do we need? What do we wish to accomplish, as individuals and as a professional body, within the context of CI? What independent organisational form would most likely serve us best? In short, let's take a leaf out of our own book, and analyse the problem by posing and investigating a number of competing hypotheses; then act. Being asked to 'vote "yes", or the game is over' more reflects the way things are done in Taliban-held regions of Afghanistan, in North Korea, and in Zimbabwe than it does an environment where not only are people able to make choices, but are able to decide what those choices should be in the first place. I believe we should be thinking more about what we actually want and need as CI professionals, rather than on how best to re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Best wishes
I held my nose and voted yes. Perhaps the most worrisome sentence in the email we got was this from David Frigstad:

"Let me assure you that the direction of SCIP, its role and relationship to practitioners, vendors, and educators will not be altered. "

It seems to me that quite a few things should change to make SCIP regain viability and grow. And by the way, what is in this for Frost and Sullivan? How long are they going to underwrite a losing operation? No clue about that in the communications thus far. Why do we have to guess? Would someone please tell us. thanks, Tom
Perhaps someone should invite a representative from F&S to visit the forum here and perhaps address some of these concerns? At this point we have only speculation; maybe hearing from them will help?
I realize that one gets benefit from something relative to what one invests... howver, I've been getting little value from SCIP lately. It seems that SCIP exists to serve its consultant members moreso than us practioners. Frankly, in the short amount of time I've been a member here, I've gotten much more value out of it than at SCIP.
Mostly I was going to shut up and just let the chips fall where they may. However, it occurred to me that there is one question about the vote I didn't see addressed by anyone.

When is the vote final? I didn't see a date on the original email, nor a provision for declaring the vote decisive.

Most proxy statements have a deadline on them.

Anyone have an idea about this one?
The vote is final on Friday at 12:00 noon. The vote is running 90+ percent in favor and less than 10 percent not in favor.
To add to this: more people have voted so far than in any board election. An absolute majority, which is 2/3 have to vote YES, and 5% of the membership must vote for this to be valid.
Is it appropriate to be releasing the interim results of the vote?
This was mentioned by SCIP officers in a non-confidential briefing of the Fellows.
Yes, I agree with John - the facts are a matter of record and no confidentiality was suggested in terms of the conveyance of the discussion. If they wanted that secret, I suppose they shouldn't have mentioned the current tally... but everyone seems to be pretty open on how they're voting anyhow, so maybe it doesn't matter.

I am not swayed by the voting behavior of my colleagues - in fact, I haven't voted yet because I felt I couldn't make an informed decision until I understood the facts that were still in question.


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