March 28, 2010
Following the latest post, “Intelligence department? The rest of the people are dumb?” this one will clarify the meaning and the concept (competitive) intelligence. Usually, CI is defined as a set of process and methodologies to gather and analyze information, providing information and strategies to better respond and dominate the competitive forces.
Many of the management aspects are better understand when viewed as process. The following graph is intended to represent the process and task necessary in the CI activities:
Planning CI is not only necessary, but essential, at least to determinate what are the Key Intelligence Questions and Topics. Still, no Intelligence is complete without counter intelligence. Also essential, is develop sources to provide information. After the development, with is a continuous process, the data and information must be gathered and stored. Then, data and information must be analyzed to finally generate CI products that should be disseminate to the right persons and then evaluated and further development.
March 13, 2010
JBS Controller, Joesley Batista, said: “Some companies create intelligence department. Wow, that’s nice. There is few genius there and a bunch of idiots in the rest of the company ?” http://bit.ly/dhT5yI
That is a symptom of the wrong conception of the competitive intelligence in many companies. JBS has an aggressive acquisition strategy, but appears that they don´t research the company before buying it. At least nothing but their financial conditions and their market share, so they don´t know what the future of the company will be like.
What is the point of owning (or outsourcing) an intelligence department? The information you need to take your next decision (i.e.: between acquiring company acme or xyz) may be lost in thousand of publications, online information or in consumer and suppliers surveys. Zipcast online (http://zipcastonline.com/) states that:
“With unstructed web content doubling every 3 months, it’s not just about finding stuff. Okay, full stop: it was never just about finding stuff. It’s always been about using brains and context to crystallize massive amounts of info into small gems of intelligence” .
The objective of the competitive intelligence is to know earlier what will happen (and make the best decision) http://www.knowtec.com/. AuroraWDC (http://www.aurorawdc.com/whatisci.htm) states that competitive intelligence is the core of competitive strategy. Isaac Asimovi said that the most exciting about science is not “Eureka”, but “That is strange”, because is something that is out of the patterns, out of the plan. And so, it´s for competitive intelligence.
If you are planning (and competing), it´s important to know what will happen, when it will happen and how it will affect you strategy (so you can answer it before you need it). Plans are based on information and trends that has less probability to change. If this trends change, you can have a great strategic issue and your business may be completely useless.
March 11, 2010
Planning is as important as understand competition. And planning needs focus or, at least, focusing on the business objectives. That is why Michael Porter was so important to General Eletric. When Porter said to Jack Welsh, former GE´s leader, that GE should keep only the business where the enterprise is the first or second on its niche.
In fact, if you (business or individual either you are competing) are not second or first on your niche, than you should change your strategy and your focus. By niche I mean your job, your place, your market.
Focus is the first thing to understand the competition. Who are the competitors, what you are competing for is determined by the focus of your business. Or by the absence of it, as many of business lacks it and use the non-sense strategy.
Competitive intelligence is based on business focus. Or else you never could analyze all the information gathered. Even if it could be done, the information would not be enough to analyze all the market and strategies.
Porter is quite specific with the industry analysis and the importance of the focus, for both business and CI practices. Everyone interested in CI, planning or strategy must read the Append of the Competitive Advantage publication. Global Intelligence Alliance also has a important white paper you should read.
March 8, 2010
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*The program can be changed without warning. New, not planned post may appear.
Being competitive is to be alive. You are always competing. Either to someone, to yourself, to yesterday or just to be alive.
So, in the end, all that matter is why you are doing that?
This blog is an attemp to keep an update set of the newest and innovative competitive strategy. And my opinion as well.