Competitive Intelligence

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For those of you who were on the conference call yesterday, I would like to thank you and say how enjoyable it was to take a moment during the week to catch up with my intelligence colleagues from around the globe. Speaking on behalf of some of the instigators of the Intel Collab, we are very excited given recent developments.

First, there were some great presentations from my colleagues Messieurs Johnson and Jackson on the shape of professional organizations in the future. It really felt like our key messages for the Intel Collab are coming together and are being communicated. To recap, our fundamental tenets are:

1. No hierarchy
2. We're not handling money
3. If you want to make something happen, by all means, do it!
4. Global!
5. Work together, have fun, share, collaborate
6. Use the Internet a lot - it's cheap, if not free

On yesterday's call, we felt that really coalescing. Imagine how cool it was to see - spontaneously - Portuguese speaking colleagues connect in real time on Google Wave based on a common language and a shared passion for intelligence. And how about the revelation that there's a huge desire among young people to learn about what we do - and to see mentoring initiatives begin to form around it.

That's the spirit here, and it's great to see it come together. In the coming weeks and months, I'll bet you'll see even more conversations, initiatives, and events come together.

We hope that you'll take part, attend a conference call, start collaborating!

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Replies to This Discussion

Couldn't have put it any better myself - I really enjoyed both Eric's and August's presentations (and presenting my own, for that matter) as well as follow-on conversation and feel the structured agenda of presentations followed by discussion of each was super beneficial. The ideas really got going and yielded a bunch of little side-conversations on the Wave too.

However, we certainly needed more time to drill down on the issues raised by each, so if we can focus and decide on a single topic and presenter in the future each week I think we've got a real winning format on our hands. The Pecha Kucha method was electric in its brevity and urgency and kept the audience engaged much better than traditional long-form death-by-PowerPoint sessions, so I think that's a keeper too. If you turned away, you'd miss something and the conversation was very urgent as well - knowing we had limited time to pack it all in, it could be perceived as "rushed" or again "urgent" in terms of getting novel ideas on the table. We should start inviting presenters and topics for them to cover and getting a calendar in place. We can go to 1000 seats with the current infrastructure, so it's unlikely we'll need to ramp anything different anytime soon. And, we learned a few audio lessons too ;-)

Finally, in consideration of our friends around the world, we need to work on the time slot a bit for this to become a truly global movement. I wonder if we should experiment with a 9:00 AM Eastern next Friday - that'd be 6:00 AM on the west coast (but they're used to getting up early for easterners) and mid-to-late afternoon across Europe, although that's getting late at 10:00 PM in China and 1:00 AM in Sydney (I think), so pretty late for our friends down-under. We'd also talked about splitting these into two calls, but I hesitate to spread our audience too thin so early.

Any thoughts?

Happy weekend all and thanks for the great call,

- Arik
Thanks Eric and Arik....drat that there was not a convenient baby sitting duty to fulfil at home and therefore jump on this call. Appreciate it taking place at 4pm UK time, so 2 hours before US time if that makes sense for the folks on the other side of the pond.
Sorry to have missed the call. Sounds like it went extremely well. I'm enthusiastic about the way it's shaping up -- without too much shape to bog it down, that is. Looking forward to the next meeting, at whatever time you choose.
Thanks Michelle - you were missed - see you next time.

- A
I was sorry to miss the last conference call -- is it possible to get a copy of it? Although it's early in the west, 9 am eastern time on Friday is easier for me to make since it isn't during peak working/meeting times.

Since I missed the last call, I may be asking to retrace ground that was already covered -- but one of the things that I'd like to learn about the collaborative is how much the group wants to take on the bigger vision of "saving intelligence" vs. serving as a platform to develop cutting-edge intelligence.

There's been plenty of discussion on this forum about our current failings in CI...to list a few: an absence of strategic and productive communication with the outside world about what we do, not taught in business schools, not networked as richly as we could be with other related associations (SLA, MRIA, etc.), somewhat stagnated in terms of developing new techniques, perhaps not drawing enough on relevant new thinking in business strategy and leadership (design thinking for strategy, wicked problems, adaptive capacity/leadership, etc.), not capitalizing on the demand for/fulfilling the needs of more decentralized models of intelligence, not identifying and serving new CI customer groups (e.g. your thoughts Arik on serving the BoD)... (please feel free to fill in the gaps on anything I've missed)

If this is something that is of interest to the group, then perhaps some presentations could be put forth on the state of intelligence today, the trends for the future, and the world that the Intell Collab wants to create for CI.

If the vision for the intell collab is to serve primarily as a place for cutting-edge intelligence to develop then there is clearly a need for that. It would just be helpful to have a better sense of the goals and vision for the group.

In the teleconference last week someone brought up the point about how to effectively harness the wisdom of the crowd -- crowds are incredible for some things (such as polling) but very difficult to manage for other things. Perhaps that is an important consideration in terms of the expectations for how productive the group can be and how much output can be expected from the group.

I would be happy to contribute to the group in my areas of specialization: information visualization and using visual approaches to improve decision making and communication.

Thanks for starting this group Eric, Arik and August!
Great feedback Alli - thanks! For me it's definitely on the side of "serving as a platform to develop cutting-edge intelligence" rather than trying to "save" anything. I'm interested in seeing where the trends are taking us more broadly in decision-making generally and then trying to create novel methods to support that. Dogma is out the window as far as I'm concerned.

As they say in strategy, "you're perfectly aligned for the results you're getting" - whatever failings CI has suffered from, I'm not out to preserve the good but to create something new more resilient, valuable (valued) and productive than before.

I should have the A/V archive edited (there's some "daycare center" [term of art/vernacular for background noise that emerged last time] at the very beginning) and online for playback yet today - I'll post a link here.

- Arik
I would love to see a PK on each of the concepts that you've listed in this post, Alli. Are there any Intel Collaborators that feel they could deliver a 20 slide / approx. 6 minute summary of these concepts:

These are the concepts Alli mentions:
Design thinking for strategy
Wicked problems
Adaptive capacity/leadership

Other topics that might benefit from a similar treatment:
Lean / disruptive startup
Cloud computing
Semantic web

One thing to keep in mind about this concept is that it's not necessary to be an expert to present. You're not going to get into a great level of detail n a Pecha Kucha-- the key is to convey the most salient concepts clearly. The best way to learn if to teach, and it might be valuable to choose a topic about which you desperately want to learn more. I would be glad to take on at least one topic myself, and I do not consider myself an expert in any of these concepts.
Great point about not being an expert to present - indeed, the best presentations in my experience are the ones that left me with more questions to answer... but the RIGHT questions.
It is related to design thinking in strategy -- I can cover information design and how it relates to CI in a couple of weeks once I get through some deadlines. In the absence of someone else who has already studied this -- I could move on to design thinking in strategy after that. Interestingly enough, there is a Canadian fine arts/design school that is offering a masters in strategic foresight and innovation: http://www.ocad.ca/programs/graduate_studies/mdes_strategic_foresig....

I'm actually on my way to a course at the Banff Centre this week that is on leaders' conversations with the future and is using a variety of artistic exploration techniques extending the metaphor that 21st century leadership is more like art -- leaders are artists and their canvas is the future. So there may be some interesting takeaways from that. The facilitator for the class is an expert in using scenario techniques and systems mapping to address wicked problems so I'll see if I can learn more about his approaches.

Change management might be another good topic to include where there is a lot of business thinking activity and a clear tie to CI.
Love the line: "leaders are artists and their canvas is the future" - please invite your facilitator to the Collab to present sometime - sounds perfect.
Eric, I want to thank you as well as Arik and August for your initiative!

I have to say that I am truly excited with the Intel Collab initiative. The potential is huge and I am sure great things can happen only based on the drive and will of all those who want to participate and ‘make it happen”!

Thank you those who were present in the two conference calls. I have learned a lot and it was great to meet you virtually.

Immediate step – develop further initiatives, be it mentoring initiatives or any other.

Next steps – meet you all in person!
Thanks Miguel - looking forward to all your ideas and input!

- A

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