Regulatory Intelligence (Part 1)

January 17, 2014

 An interesting week, in that this topic came up twice – once in my review of the proceedings of a major competitive intelligence conference held last fall, and once in discussions with a client.

What do I mean by regulatory intelligence? Taking first things first, by regulation, I mean not just rules adopted by what are known as regulatory agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, but the entire body of law that supports the issuance and the enforcement of regulations, at the federal state and local levels.

To put it in context I should disclose the fact that, before I became involved with competitive intelligence, I was an attorney and, for part of that career, I was a specialist in the federal regulation of insurance. So I’m not surprised to see people wondering if there should be some connection between parts of the business, or outside counsel, tracking present and future regulations, and those doing competitive intelligence. There should – no must – be.

Back to the question. Regulatory intelligence means using the process of analyzing and tracking current proposed and potential regulations to assist in developing competitive scenarios and profiles on current and future potential competitors.

Really this breaks down into several parts.

  • The first is analyzing regulations, particularly newly proposed or enacted regulations, for their impact on your firm and its ability to compete.
  • The second is analyzing that same body of regulations for its immediate and near-term impacts on your competitors. That is, which of them will be adversely impacted by what is being proposed and if so how? Will others benefit, and what does that mean to you?
  • Third is analyzing the same body of regulations, particularly proposed, but not enacted regulations, to determine what impact it will have on the competitive environment, particularly in the sense of encouraging or even assisting new entrants or, conversely, making future entry into your market space more difficult.
  • Fourth is analyzing the regulatory trends, that is the past, present, and future flow regulation to determine what may happen over a period of years. Here, you are looking to provide input to strategic planning and into supporting an early warning system.

In the next several blogs, I will discuss each one of these parts.

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