Guests Blog: Changes in CI

March 14, 2016

Recently, I wrote an article with Michael Misner-Elias titled “The Changing Landscape of Competitive Intelligence.” In that article, Michael and I discussed two items:

  • the CI cycle, in particular problems with it and the need for a new tool we called the Critical Intelligence Requirement, and
  • the rise of the DIYers in competitive intelligence.

I circulated this article to a number of CI professionals, and one, Bob Franc, replied with some thoughtful, interesting comments about both subjects. With his permission, I am including some of these as a guest blog.

———–

The CI Cycle:

I don’t think the CI cycle is necessarily outdated, but I do believe that many CI practitioners misinterpret what it means.  That, or their background has them interpret it in a project management way and they firmly stick to…one question, one project, one answer and done, move on to the next project!  I believe that has been one consistent [failure?] of CI over the years.   Few CI practitioners that I have ever interacted with could even understand the idea that CI should treat key company needs more as Continuing Intelligence Requirements.  If they were not asked to do something, they wouldn’t do it – perhaps another failure of CI?

DIYers:

I actually love DIYers as it makes my job as a Director, Competitive Intelligence, somewhat easier because they have taken that first step towards identifying their environment and trying to understand who is doing what.  That makes my position easy as I can plug the knowledge gaps because while they may or may not really understand what is going on, they still are in a reactive stance.

On the other hand, they have no idea what is coming with respect to the competition and what changes will be made in the near-term.  They also do not understand what other types of players are making inroads into their markets because the DIYers always (in my experience) demonstrate a narrow view of their universe.  But, sometimes the DIYers are more pliable towards new CI.

———-

About Bob Franc: Bob Franc has over 30 years of experience leveraging industry, market and competitive intelligence insights & findings into executable strategies for pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, health information technology, healthcare services and health insurance companies.  His experience crosses research, commercial, marketing and business.

Bob’s specific area of expertise is intelligence; however, he brings a strategic planner’s perspective to all business functions and companies, developing plans and strategies for every department, from discovery through commercial, including executive-level and company-wide initiatives.

He has started five competitive intelligence functions and expanded the roles of three others; each time improving the performance, capabilities and coverage by teams.  He has consistently integrated CI into company’s processes, ensuring the team focused on key areas necessary for short-term success and longer-term competitiveness.

Bob can be contacted at francrgf@gmail.com.


2 Comments on “Guests Blog: Changes in CI”

  1. […] I don’t think the CI cycle is necessarily outdated, but I do believe that many CI practitioners misinterpret what it means. That, or their background has them interpret it in a project management way and they firmly stick to…one question, one project, one answer and done, move on to the next project! I believe that has been one consistent [failure?] of CI over the years. Few CI practitioners that I have ever interacted with could even understand the idea that CI should treat key company needs more as Continuing Intelligence Requirements. If they were not asked to do something, they wouldn’t do it – perhaps another failure of CI?.  […]

  2. Avner Barnea says:

    I disagree with you as to the intelligence cycle. However, agree with you as to the DIYers. There is a need to make them more professionals on CI, so they can help better themselves and their close circle and by that create a division between them and the real CI professionals who has to concentrate on strategic issues. One of the main problems of DIYers is the lack of automatic collection tools, which will also support them with simple analysis of information.


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