Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries

Extremely gratifying to see interest in collaboration on our favorite topic. Many people have been writing me personally and asking What next? What can we do?

Before we kick off organization and dates and times and the like, I have an even bigger question:

What do you want to talk about?

You see, the one problem I've noted with many professional organizations is that nominally they exist to get members talking to each other, though eventually 90% of the energy is spent getting donuts for the board meetings that are meeting to discuss meetings. But then, naturally, there needs to be policies set about donuts acquisition. And then the donut budget meetings, you can't miss those. And then we forget what the first meeting is about.

That is, of course, kinda dumb.

Before we go anywhere near that: what do you want to talk about? What kind of webinars do you want? What does your company need? What are you interested in on behalf of your clients?

I'll go first. I want to talk about social media and intelligence. We really need to examine how to do intelligence in a world that moves at breakneck pace. If anybody has best practices for dealing with people who are EXTRAORDINARILY SHORT TERM FOCUSED that would be very cool.

Extra points: I want to know about the state of the art in intelligence in places where they speak Spanish, French, and Chinese.

What about you?

Views: 38

Replies to This Discussion

Topic: Intelligence methodologies for use by sales organizations; including training, tools, templates, etc.
I think the notion of forwarding to outcome value and letting the process shortcut itself or relevel to only those steps necessary could be considered an official "Guiding Principle". Maybe that'll be my first contribution - noodling on guiding principles... more in a bit.
I do want to see a dialog about how the consumers of what we today call intelligence receive value from those deliverables:
How do they use it do to do their jobs?
What would they like to see that they don't receive currently?

I'm also interested in hearing from professionals who have successfully implemented a systematic mechanism for establishing a broad understanding of the capabilities of intelligence and the value it can deliver to a broad community of customers and stakeholders, such as say the entire marketing organization or executive level of a large company. How does one create a program of improving the information literacy of the executives one supports? And then after this literacy is in place, has there been a marked improvement in the kind of project or insight requests the intelligence professional receives and clearer and more realistic expectations for those projects?
August...I imagine you are more apt to hear about this in a less public forum. I think we had this discussion earlier in CI Ning that people in companies are reluctant to share how they have implemented a meaningful CI operation, unless a certain amount of time has passed. I hope I am wrong and that people will share their corporate experiences, but it has not been my experience, and certainly not from consultants who have helped since they sign non-disclosure agreements, and some go for 5 years!
That's an important observation Ellen - however, I'm hoping maybe, by removing the constant "competitive" reminder from the context of our dialog, we can start to think a little less paranoicly about the ideas we have? Likewise, as a consultant myself like you, though we're forbidden from sharing specific details about any particular client or engagement, that does not extend to the general best practices we're seeing. In fact, I'd suggest there's a specific obligation by us to help transfer knowledge in an anonymous way.
I'd like to follow that up. The purpose of this is not, in my mind, to re-invent CI or an association that covers it. Rather, we need to include ALL of intelligence, which in incorporates many people who you have never met or heard of. They are a much larger group - perhaps 50x larger - than CI by itself.

So while competitive intelligence may have brought some of us to this dance, it's now time to both rumba and merengue, dig?
Right on - I wish I'd said that ;-) amen brother.
Perhaps building on August's post a bit, if we are indeed going to start thinking and talking jointly about multi-disciplinary and holistic *strategic intelligence* rather than the more traditional and more narrowly-focused category-specific disciplines (e.g., Competitive Intelligence, Market Intelligence, Business Intelligence, etc...), then I think we need to do some very fundamental revisiting about whom the users and clients of such "strategic intelligence" are and could be and the various knowledge and wisdom wants and needs of those users and clients.

What are the various segments of users/clients? What are the specific actionable knowledge and wisdom-level wants and needs of each of those segments in about their strategic environment in regards to value-added information to improve their decision-making and action-taking? I believe that if we are *truly* talking about becoming a set of suppliers who are actually focused on meeting the needs of our customers, then we absolutely *must* start from a comprehensive examination of meeting their explicit (stated) and implicit (unstated) knowledge requirements for understanding their strategic environment, examining their options, and wisely making decisions and taking actions. I believe that only once we have worked from our goals (namely the needs of our users/clients) backwards can we honestly and effectively discuss and determine what types of analyses and syntheses of data, information, and knowledge (and the corresponding data sources, analytic methodologies, and collection and dissemination tools and techniques) are most appropriate for meeting those needs.

Thus, I might suggest that rather than starting to talk about various methodologies, frameworks, software tools, social networking capabilities or benefits, data sources, or similar such "solutions", we might rather want to start-off talking about vertical and horizontal user/client segmentations and their specific knowledge demands and questions they may want and need answered. Once we know the various sets of possible goals, I think we can better begin discussing how each might best be answered by the various disciplinary approaches, analytic methods, tools, data sources, etc...

Look forward to thoughts and comments.

If this group wants to focus on segmentation .... I'd be happy to discuss how this group could leverage the work we've done at eCompetitors in providing on demand industry information on the top 10,000 global industries.

This leads to an idea: What if "collaboration" means more than talking and sharing ideas? What if "collaboration" also means finding a way to share information products, software, etc?

Maybe we can come up with a revenue model that would make it so a new collaboration organization will not be so dependent on member dues and on (physical) conferences. What if companies add pieces of the holistic on demand solution (whatever it will be) and we have revenue sharing?


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