August 28, 2017
Earlier this year, I wrote a blog dealing with the “circular economy”. Since then, I have done some digging into this topic and conclude that (a) the circular economy is, not might be, coming, and (b) competitive intelligence as we know for firms that are a part of this will have to undergo major changes as a result.
One consequence is that I have written a longer piece on the subject, which you might enjoy reading. A brief extract may interest you:
“The rise of the CE [Circular Economy] will necessarily have major impacts on competitive and strategic intelligence. They appear to fall into 4 broad categories:
- A change in the stature of CI.
- A reduction in [CI] employment opportunities with firms in the CE, while increasing it in firms outside of the CE.
- Greater opportunities for those trained in defensive intelligence.
- A need for new skills and education for intelligence personnel working in the CE.”
The full paper is “Ten years gone, holdin’ on, ten years gone ”: The Circular Economy and the Evolutionary Trajectory of the Competitive Intelligence Profession.
August 18, 2017
Our new book, Competitive Intelligence Rescue – Getting It Right, is a powerful “how-to-do-it-better” book, the first guidebook on competitive intelligence that uses case studies to provide behind-the-scenes insights into how professionals can improve competitive intelligence processes. This unique approach uses real-world case studies (carefully masked) to expose common CI challenges and presents a simple methodology for spotting problems, understanding how to rectify each problem, educating others to bring about improvements in a process, and testing and validating that the changes are working.
Several cases there show the problems and issues in creating a new competitive intelligence unit. In our experiences, and by our, I mean Carolyn M. Vella, The Helicon Group’s Founding Partner and my significantly better half, there are typically 7 major elements involved in that process: financial and personnel, guidelines, training, internal marketing, networking, customers and their needs, and products and feedback. For those who would like to transition from DIY to full-time status, or for those who are already there, it is important to see the big picture so I will deal quickly with each over the next weeks.
The first element I will comment on is key financial/personnel issues.
From the financial end, a CI unit, even if it is made up of only one person, requires a commitment to proper funding for the unit, including for training, internal marketing, and networking. Ideally, the CI unit should have its own stable funding. That allows management to compare costs with results and for the unit to plan further ahead than one quarter.
From the personnel end, some one must be in charge, even if that is only one of his/her duties. Team responsibility means no accountability. And, the individual in charge must have direct, personal access to all internal customers, particularly the most senior or important. Filtering their needs often means failure to deliver. Also, once this is a full-time position, the individual there must be able to see a career path after CI. No clear path up means looking for a way out.
This is not the first time I have commented on these issues. Check out these past blogs for more on this: