Found in the Translation
CI, the most important translations that occur are "company
cultural." That is, what is it about another company that directs it
activities, influences its decision making and ultimately affects how it
competes? What is about their cultural DNA that leads toward one thing and away
from another, that governs the level of risk that they can tolerate, the
determines the goals that they aspire to and empowers them to accomplish what
is important to them? Knowing these answers gives an outsider (i.e., a competitive
intelligence professional) great insight into what might be coming next for the
company. The translation occurs when you take those cultural signals and make
them relevant to your competitive actions.
CI: Telling Hard Truths
Competitive intelligence roles will require courage from you for five
Check Your Sparkplugs
You will possess insights that may challenge the positions of important people in your company.
- Your recommendations and
observations may suggest or imply the need for changes in the current
Your interpretations may inspire
intense debates from strong willed people.
Sometimes you may be wrong and
others may use the memory of your mistakes against you.
You may see some things sooner and
clearer than those that have responsibility for the associated strategy.
Suppose we forget to check on what the competition is doing or we poorly
understand the overall competitive environment. When this happens, the
organization begins to misfire. There are 10 signs to look for that indicates
Questions, Changes and Answers
What can you learn about a business by their competitive intelligence
questions? Here are some ideas.
The Excellent Case for "Maybe"
- If they have no questions, something is frightfully
wrong about the business.
- If they have good questions that regularly aren't
answered, perhaps they are missing something.
- If they have the good questions and their answers, it
may be that the awareness of the answers is poor.
- If they have the answers and share them, the final
hurdle is sometimes lack of action.
- If a business actually acts it may not make the link
between the original question and the impetus to move.
Here are five ways to recognize that the common answers are stale in your
- Everyone knows the same answer.
- Few can recall the original question.
- The answers bear little relationship to what is
- No one can answer the "it depends on what"
- The common answers motivate no useful actions.
makes it possible to have discussions again to challenge what we know and think
about the competitive environment. "Maybe" keeps up humble about
complexity and open to learning important new things.