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Re-Thinking the CI Process and Practice in the Networked Business Environment

This is the slide-deck from a presentation I gave in Fall 2012 for SCIP Boston's CIdea Fest. My actual presentation was fail, as I stuttered and stumbled my way through it, projecting a nervous energy that I imagine was uncomfortable to watch. Nevertheless, it was ideas that were supposed to matter – I think some people got it, but it was lost on many.

My aim was to introduce and adapt the paradigm of network-competition to competitive intelligence. I have since continued to refine and expand my thoughts on this matter.

Re-Thinking the CI Process and Practice in the Networked Business Environment
Trip Krant
SCIP Massachusetts: The CIdea Fest
September 19, 2012


Supportive Reading

Cares, Jeff.  “Battle of the Networks”. Harvard Business Review, Feb. 2006.
Clark, Robert M.   “Intelligence Analysis: A Target-Centric Approach” 4th ed;  CQ Press, 2013.
Gossain, Sanjiv., and Gajen Kandiah.   “Reinventing Value: The New Business Ecosystems”; Strategy & Leadership, Nov/Dec 1998.
Hearn, Greg., and Cassandra Pace.  “Value-Creating Ecologies: Understanding Next Generation Business Systems”; Foresight: The Journal of Futures Studies, Strategic Thinking and Policy, vol 8 no 1 2006.
Iansiti, Marco., and Roy Levien.   “Strategy as Ecology”; Harvard Business Review, March 2004.
McChrystal, Stanley A.  "It Takes a Network"; Foreign Policy, March/April 2011.
Moore, James F.  “Predators and Prey: A New Ecology of Competition”; Harvard Business Review, May/June 1993.

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Comment by Trip Krant on June 11, 2013 at 7:39pm

How Partners Shape Strategy, by Henrich R. Greve, Timothy J. Rowley, and Andrew V. Shipilov.  HBR, June 2013.

Is your company the hub of a network of partners that don’t interact with one another? If so, you may be well positioned to produce radical innovations, but you could be on your own if trouble strikes. Or are you part of a web of interconnected allies? Then you may be limited to incremental innovations—but you’ll probably be much less isolated during a crisis.

In 12 years of research we’ve learned which kinds of alliance networks are best for which types of firms and how you can tailor your network to suit your strategy, position, and business environment.

Interesting.  The authors suggest -we'll have to wait for the book - that Samsung (hub and spoke network) has out-innovated Sony (integrated network) in recent years due to its alliance network structure.

Comment by Trip Krant on May 28, 2013 at 12:52pm

Thanks, Jason. Yes, you were one of the ones who got it. Good point about collaborators.

Comment by Jason J. Tong on May 27, 2013 at 9:07pm

Hi Trip,

I was at this talk, and I like to think I was one of the ones who "got it".  I'm glad you are expanding your thesis, and am looking forward to hearing more.  A related theme is the idea of "Collaborators" as a sixth "Porter" force.  The "network" can be thought of as a collection of collaborators.

Comment by Trip Krant on May 27, 2013 at 10:25am

When It Takes a Network: Creating Strategy and Agility Through Wargaming, by Arnoud Franken and Harry Thomsett.  California Management Review; Spring2013, Vol. 55 Issue 3, p107-133, 27p.


Rational, analytical, directed approaches for strategy creation and execution may work for creating value by conventional, hierarchically structured organizations operating in stable environments. However, when the basis of competition shifts from product features to an experience delivered by a network of independently acting participants in a complex and fast-evolving market environment, approaches based on command and control do not work. For order to emerge from such chaos and to gain more control over success, strategy based on reason alone is not enough to inspire action in others. To understand what it takes to effectively make strategy under such circumstances, this article shows how the UK's Royal Marines, in collaboration with more than a dozen different stakeholder groups, developed a novel adaptation of war gaming to affect strategic change in Afghanistan. It also demonstrates the broad applicability of this strategic approach.

Haven't even read the article yet - but can already tell it is win.

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