The Manager's Guide to Competitive Intelligence

The Manager's Guide to Competitive Intelligence

The Manager's Guide to Competitive Intelligence

The Manager's Guide to Competitive Intelligence


There is very little material available that provides practical, hands-on assistance for the CI professional who is providing CI to one client--his or her employer--and who constitutes the largest single group of CI practitioners in existence. This book meets that need by serving as a desk reference for CI managers to help them understand their own circumstances and determine what works best for them.



The first, and most important, step in managing any CI unit is to establish who are the “clients” for the CI and, as a part of that first step, what they would or should use the CI for. This is because experience shows that there is no point in spending CI resources to collect “complete” information on every target for everyone. When a firm does that, it is really running a newsletter, not a CI function.

It does not really matter whether the CI unit has been told who its clients are. That is because, to truly be effective, the CI unit must establish and maintain regular relationships with its end users. There is an important reason we have used the term end user: that is because, regardless of corporate organization or statements of mission, to be effective, every CI unit must be focused on the needs of its end users.

What a new or established CI unit does not want or need is to receive a mission or even an assignment, that says, in essence, “We want to know everything about this Target (or Targets).” Frankly, given the easy availability of raw data (sometimes in vast quantities), your end users do not really want this. That is because they would then spend the vast bulk of their time digesting all the data the CI unit could accumulate, without ever having the time to find, much less act on, that small portion of it that is potentially actionable. All this means that, as a part of this effort, one must get to the real decision-makers at a firm, the ones we call the end users.

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