Competitive Intelligence

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As outlined in Valerie Shuman's vision a few weeks ago, the Intelligence Collaborative will really revolve around initiatives that come under the "umbrella" of the group. Instead of being "in charge" of such initiatives, or providing capital for such activities, the Collaborative becomes a place where you can register your intentions with your fellow colleagues, gain momentum, support, advice, and volunteers, and move forward into the future.

Based on our conversations last Friday, it seems that already two initiatives are forming up.

1. Intelligence Mentoring

Discussions with Martha Matteo led to us define the need for mentoring for students and young professionals looking to continue cultivate a lifelong career in intelligence. This initiative could unite younger professionals with highly experienced thoughtleaders for mentoring and coaching opportunities, as well as bringing educators together with potential speakers for their programs.

2. Portuguese language intelligence community

As suggested by Lisbon-based professor and strategy consultant Miguel Duarte Ferreira, the Intelligence Collaborative can be a place where intelligence professionals who speak Portuguese can come together to share articles, opportunities for online training, and potential speakers.

To me, both of these sound VERY cool, and I look forward to participating in both of these initiatives. The question is, what platform might we use to coordinate these activities? This Ning site? Google Wave? Other?

Also - what other initiatives are you interested in proposing? Our Friday morning conference calls might be good place to get discussions going.

That's all for now. Exciting stuff!

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Replies to This Discussion

The mentoring proposal is outstanding, and a perfect point for collaborative approaches, I would think.

I recently stumbled on a JAN/FEB 2008 article (Raban, CI Magazine) about the development of a public domain CI textbook developed in a Wiki. They did it at Haifa University ( and as of Jan2008 they had 94 separate chapters/sections with thousands of individual edits. Unfortunately, it's in Hebrew. If you're using Google Toolbar (Firefox), it will do a fair job of translating pages for you.

I've launched a WIKI for a similar objective as the Haifa Wiki...just to publish a knowledge base available for all. (

So we can supplement the mentoring initiative with a public domain knowledge base, if folks are willing to contribute.
You might wish to connect with Dr. Raban here Mark to share some ideas too:

- Arik
Both initiatives can be linked, meaning, a mentoring initiative can be expanded/extended to other regions/geographies aside from the ‘English speaking ring’ of countries.

The same way other experts from other geographies can develop mentoring/coaching initiatives targeting other regions, be it Portugal or US. I perceive a great benefit of a Polish expert helping a Brazilian student and/or Intelligence professional on the Polish/Eastern Europe reality.

Concerning the second initiative we can consider an even broader approach – Iberian and Latin American countries with two common languages (Portuguese and Spanish). Other language vs geographies realities can be considered, like French speaking countries.

On another level, I argue if we should start to consider how much language is a bridge to the Intell Collab initiative or it can be an obstacle and once again limit the initiative to ‘English speaking countries’.

In many geographies ‘English’ can be viewed/perceived as an obstacle to reach wider audiences who are either not familiar or at ease with it. Also, we should consider that initiatives only based on ‘English’ may not be welcomed and develop potential cultural/social barriers.
Couldn't agree more on the language issue - I struggled enough trying to convey ambiguous concepts when I do training in China that I eventually had a tutorial made for me so I could learn (and review) enough Mandarin to get the ideas across.

Another point is that methods differ widely around the world - one of China's chief intelligence problems is reliability of secondary source data, such as financials, which can't be taken for granted with a government actively suppressing insight from its own population - and that creates uniquely Chinese issues in intelligence processing which you won't likely see anywhere else.

I have always felt that SCIP left a wide gap in terms of providing opportunities for independent consultants in this industry to communicate and collaborate. And today there seem to be even fewer ways that we can get to know one another around the SCIP conference or volunteer activities.

If anyone has ideas of how that could come about more effectively, I'd like to see some discussion around that. I now work with 4 other "partners" in a virtual sense in this industry for my consulting business but it took years to generate that kind of collaboration due to lack of any conduit to each others' capabilities.

We do compete in some ways, but in others we have certain specialties. So a sub collaborative for independent consultants in this industry might be something good. I haven't been able to participate in the last few discussions but will be on the call from this point forward.

As for the technology platform, I am not the best person to ask! NING is a good platform though, but I bow to the technologists and social media experts among us.

Claudia Clayton
I like that idea a lot!
I also like the mentoring concept, so would like to hear more ideas about how this would work. SLA started a program and many signed up to be mentored, but few signed up to be mentors as I understand it.

Great idea Mark and I will check out the site.

I have one more idea which I'll bring up on the call. Let's take a page from Linkedin and provide this community with a way of providing references to the virtual members.

Since it's sometimes hard to trumpet what we do or to talk about our clients or references publicly due to what we do, here's a suggestion I'll make. The example is for the purpose of illustration, we can change the details of course based on everyone's input.

Let's say we have a 10 star system. Job hunters, consultants, vendors, everyone, can request a reference from other virtual members. The reference can be anonymous or public in terms of attribution, but the content of the reference is available on the person's profile. Does Wave have a profile? If not it could be sent to the NING profile.

You can ask up to 10 people to reference you. The reference can be in a category, e.g. did business with, worked with, etc. Not sure this is feasible given the constraints of the programs we plan to use.

If someone can share what is expected of a mentor, that would be great, then I might be in a position to be a mentor. Thanks


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