Company Policies on Collecting Competitive Intelligence (part 1)Posted: January 19, 2016
January 19, 2016
Does your firm have a written policy that applies to competitive intelligence? Good. Read it. Follow it. But that is not all there is to dealing with a written policy.
Good written policies are just that, written policies. To protect your firm, it must have compliance. What does that include?
- First, compliance requires knowledge. That, in turn, means you and any other DIYers should be trained on appropriate legal and ethical issues, and that training should be renewed on a regular basis.
- Second, you should discuss specific ethical concerns with a supervisor. DIYers should be allowed, or even encouraged, to contact a designated, trained, and educated member of the legal team with any concerns they may have.
- Third, you should make sure that contractors, consultants, and other third parties whose services you use have a formal policy dealing with the collection of CI data. That policy should be reviewed before any contract is signed or work begun. Then, the contractor should be made aware of your company’s policies, and agree, in writing, to be bound by them. If your company’s policies and contractor’s policies are in conflict, then the best solution is to have the contractor bound by the stricter of the two policies.
- Fourth, every contractor should also agree that any work it subcontracts will be subject to the same standards. Requiring that you (or someone from legal) review any such subcontracts is a good way to protect your firm. I will cover more on that in a later blog on this.
- Fifth, if necessary, contractors should be encouraged, or even required, to participate in company-approved training on legal and ethical CI issues.