March 14, 2014
Recent news coverage has focused on disasters or potential disasters, including the loss of a Malaysia Airlines plane and a major building explosion in New York City. What the media reports surrounding these have illustrated is not only that stories develop over time, but increasingly that the first information that is developed is often wrong or wildly wrong.
The same is true in the competitive intelligence research you do. You have to start somewhere. So you start. The first data that you collect is not only often given unnecessarily heavy weight, it often has an additional impact on your later research and analysis. If the first sets of data you collect begin to outline what appears to be a plausible situation, scenario ,or strategy, you then instinctively tend to look for and assimilate more quickly the data that supports that (only preliminary) synthesis.
In other words, you can be trapped by what you hear or read first. When doing your own competitive intelligence research, be very wary of this. At some point during your research step back and, in a way, restart. Look for something different, explore the meaning of an odd fact that seems to stand out just a little, or reinvestigate what appeared to be a dead end earlier. What you’re trying to do to take off those blinders that you put on in the very process of trying to understand something not previously understood.