Competitive Intelligence

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SCIP Board of Directors Election - Which Issues are Most Critical for CI's and SCIP's Future?

Today SCIP opened voting for its 2009 Board of Directors Election; the polls will close on Friday 14 November. In chatting with a few other SCIP members privately, it was suggested that, we might want to discuss some of the issues SCIP specifically and the CI field in general are facing going forward and most importantly how to handle them, at a time when CI is both experiencing rapid internationalization, as well as, facing an uphill battle in 2009's rather less rosy global economy.

With any luck, this might help SCIP's membership make the most informed decisions possible in selecting their representatives to the board. At worst, it will furnish some recommendations to the new (and current) board members on what they might consider doing next. Perhaps, it might even help generate better turnout and maybe even grow SCIP's membership base in the process by building awareness. As you may know, an alarmingly small number of votes (often a single vote!) separate those selected from those who are not and, as turnout has always been surprisingly low, hopefully this will generate the kind of considered and engaged attention the SCIP election deserves.

Therefore, with indulgence of Dr. Martha Matteo, chair of the nominating committee (on which I also served) I give you the full text excerpt announcing opening of the polls today.

SCIP 2009 Board of Directors Election – Voting Ballot Opens October 28!
October 28 marks the beginning of the election for the 2009 SCIP Board of Directors. On behalf of the Nominating Committee consisting of Babette Bensoussan, Craig Fleisher, Jody Holtzman, Arik Johnson, Mark Little, Rainer Michaeli, and Roberta Piccoli, I am asking for a few minutes of your time to vote for the new class of directors who will begin a three-year term beginning January 1, 2009.

All SCIP regular, group, and life members in good standing have the privilege, and I would also add responsibility, of voting in this important election. The convenient, secure, web-based voting process will only take a couple of minutes at most. Results of the election will be announced within two weeks following the closing date of the election.

Voting is quick, easy and completely private. To access the ballot and information about the candidates, visit this link to vote:

• Enter your Email Address
• Enter the password for this election: SCIPBOD08
• Click the Login button to access the Ballot
• View the candidates information
• Vote for up to three (3) candidates
• Click the Vote button to submit and confirm your selections
• If you choose, you may print a copy of your voting confirmation

(Note: only one (1) vote per eligible member, you will have a chance to review your choices before submitting your Vote. You cannot change or log back into the ballot once you have submitted your Vote)

Congratulations and best wishes to the 2008 slate of candidates:

 Adrian Alvarez – Midas Consulting – Buenos Aires, Argentina
 Claudia Clayton – ViewPoint – Richmond, Virginia, USA
 Erik Glitman – Fletcher/CSI – Williston, Vermont, USA
 Donna Hawryliw – Erie Insurance Group – Erie, Pennsylvania, USA
 Yoshio Sugasawa – Nihon University – Tokyo, Japan
 Jens Thieme – Ciba Inc. – Basel, Switzerland
 Todd Welda – Whirlpool Corporation – St. Joseph, Michigan, USA

The voting ballot will be available October 28 beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET and will conclude Friday, November 14 at 11:59 p.m. ET. If you require assistance with your login, please contact Marty Zurcher at +1.703.739.0696, extension 109, or by email

Please don’t forget to vote!


Martha Matteo, Ph.D.
2008 Nominating Committee Chair

As for topics, I don't believe anything is necessarily out of line or improper. I'll suggest the 'Golden Rule' applies in matters of decorum (do unto others as you would have them do unto you), try not to get political and keep it clean, but otherwise, let's have at the issues and see what we can come up with for ideas going forward.

Best wishes to all the candidates,

- Arik

p.s. I've already voted and I'm not telling for whom I voted. ;-) But I can say, once I was finished reviewing all of the candidates answers, I was done with the actual ballot casting in about three minutes flat. Good luck!

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Lots of good comments and ideas. It would be great to use this NING site to generate ideas for the organization on an ongoing basis. Melanie has a point though. Between no reserves, the shortfall from the conference and the economy, it will be a tough year for spending money. But lots of things don't require money if we gain the support of the membership, and there are ways to build membership that are relatively cost free. Part of the shortfall in 08 is being met by the webinars, a relatively new and low risk concept, along with great support by the members to deliver these for SCIP. And we had a fantastic turnout at the European Summit, largely due to a core and very dedicated group of volunteers. We need to keep making sure these volunteers feel recognized and rewarded. Ken does bring good fiscal management to the organization and it's something we need.
These are very helpful ideas Claudia and I thank you for offering them. Can I suggest another? It is during these "difficult" times that those of us who can make the investment in the future need to step up and personally demonstrate through our actions about what we believe to be important. I, for one, have committed to making a financial donation to our very own Competitive Intelligence Foundation (CIF). As many of you are aware, the CIF has the critical task of helping professionalize our field, and to promote research and exploration that should benefit all of us over time. Investments in the CIF today will pay dividends to all of us down the road. Please let me encourage those of us who can contribute to step forward with a tangible display of leadership in CI by offering a donation to the Foundation before the end of the year. Again, I will be donating, as will several others who are regulars on this site (e.g., Arik Johnson, Dr. Martha Matteo, amongst others), and hope others will join us in this demonstration of our confidence in the future of our field. You can facilitate this directly by going to:

On behalf of everyone who cares about this field as deeply as I (and many others participating n this site) do, thanks to all of you willing to step forward!!
Speaking as the chair of the Foundation development committee, thank you Craig for your gift, Martha for yours and everyone who has given to the CIF to support the ongoing efforts to professionalize the field. Nothing is more important; and we are in the process of developing some very innovating programming to facilitate this.

I flew to Rome primarily to announce the Scorecard program CIF is offering to corporate members who wish to benchmark their CI operations in exchange for a gift to CIF. We are finalizing these details now but it will be a powerful way for corporate practitioners to realize a value for their organizations, volunteer experts to spread their expertise and the CIF to reap the rewards of those new relationships to fund the important research mission that CIF is chartered to pursue.

More soonest - meanwhile, please consider a tax-deductible year-end gift to CIF - see more information at the link Craig included above.

- Arik
Interesting - I had not heard of the Scorecard. Has it been publicized and I missed it?
It's brand new - Ken Garrison and I put it together over the past couple of months and the CIF Board of Trustees voted approval in late September. It was officially announced in Rome at the SCIP Euro Summit and, because some critical details are still pending, more broadly in the next few weeks.

Can we count on you to volunteer, Claudia?
The most important issue facing the organization is visibility. Over the last twenty years, I have met many seasoned business executives, from a wide and diverse set of industries and geographies, and very very few have ever heard of competitive intelligence.

Today's economy provides one of the best opportunities for promoting our profession and assisting companies. Without demand for CI, our profession will not grow or develop. SCIP needs an aggressive and active promotional arm - to educate and inform the business community. The focus should be on the benefit to the client / company, rather than the features (which is the current dominant topic at conferences, in CI magazine, webinars….)

There is too much focus on data and information, rather than intelligence, and too much focus on competitors and software. Users of CI primarily care about making better decisions and this is what should be emphasized. How we get there is of little or no interest to most customers.

Also very high on the list of issues – finances – as Melanie stated. If we embrace the value proposition that customers want and support, the finances will follow (increased membership, greater participation in webinars, advertising / sponsorship, etc.)
Very well put Seena! I couldn't add a thing ...


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