Competitive Intelligence: How To Acquire & Use Strategic by Dale Neef

By Dale Neef

What do you actually learn about your opponents, and capability rivals? What are the true threats your corporation faces within the subsequent years? What do your rivals learn about you, how did they learn about it and the way are you able to cease them checking out extra? in lots of methods the demanding situations and hazards confronted through sleek managers are usually not that various from these which governments care for. yet, while political decision-makers have lengthy relied upon their intelligence businesses to steer, or a minimum of make clear, their considering with proof and research, such a lot executives have very little event with the method or items of intelligence.

Managers for the main half function in an intelligence vacuum, depending upon their own networks of data resources and, extra dangerously, a big selection of unchallenged assumptions approximately their businesses, their industries, and their markets. infrequently do you meet a supervisor capable of resolution the questions: What are your opponents attempting to notice approximately you? and the way are they doing it?

This file will equip managers with the required frameworks to: o increase a transparent figuring out of the position and cost of intelligence in all components of the tactic strategy of their businesses o begin the production or upgrading of in-house intelligence and counterintelligence programmes o establish key intelligence subject matters o Use intelligence 'products' to reduce probability and accomplish aggressive virtue o Distinguish among tactical and strategic intelligence, and in flip higher relish the serious transformations among operational effectiveness and strategic positioning

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Surprise acts as an important force multiplier in warfare, and, similarly, represents one of the key elements for success on the battlefields of today’s marketplaces. While throwing up one’s hands in bewilderment when a competitor makes an unexpected move may represent a natural human reaction, it certainly contributes little to shoring up the firm’s strategic deficiencies or intelligence gaps. No major initiative takes place without some indication that ‘something is cooking’. The trick, of course, is in identifying the indicators early enough to determine what they mean and what needs to be done to pre-empt or respond to the impending event.

And this means feedback: intelligence cannot add, or continuously upgrade, its ‘value added’ to organizational decision-making if it does not know how its product is used and perceived by managers. Although well established CI departments do, over time, develop a competence in anticipating intelligence requirements, their focus can very soon become ‘academic’ if not subject to the rigour that stems from ‘being close to the customer’. As Herring (1999) puts it: For management, their stated needs for intelligence – by whatever process – provides them with actionable access to CI resources throughout the company.

I will use all the latest intelligence to make informed decisions about how best to keep the world at peace … … America needs to know, I’ll be making up my mind based upon the latest intelligence … how best to protect our own country plus our friends and allies. President George Bush, August 2002 INTRODUCTION A ‘strategic early warning system’ (SEWS) lies at the very heart of a firm’s competitive intelligence programme. It involves ‘the earliest possible identification of dynamic or idiosyncratic features of a situation which may affect company interests’ (Sawka and Fiora, 1997).

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