Ellie close colorI started life in a fascinating international community in Yokohama, Japan.  I have been a networker since the age of 4 and am in touch with many friends from my formative years at St. Maur International School. I thought my life was like anyone else’s until I moved to the US when I was 15. I was in University of Notre Dames second graduating class of women.

I started my work life in retail managing a jewelry department which taught me how to deal with people, and how quickly people come to snap decisions in life.  Too bad I didn’t think about writing a book like Blink at that time!

I studied for my MBA at the Darden Graduate School of Business in Charlottesville, VA, what a beautiful place!  Darden’s program was very rigorous.  Fortunately I didn’t know this until after I enrolled else I would never have met Rodgers, my husband of 30+ years, who is a fine oil painter.

After MBA school, I took a job in sales just before the initial break-up of AT&T with what is now Verizon.  In the good ‘ole days, we got extensive sales and product training, which has stood me well for working in technology.

After a few years of selling, I asked my boss if I could start competitive intelligence at Bell Atlantic, now part of Verizon.  Two weeks later I had the job.  For the uninitiated, competitive intelligence takes into account all the factors that impact a company’s ability to compete: suppliers, customers, distributors, competitors, and potential competitors.  Macro factors that influence the competitive environment include economic, socio-cultural, political, legal and technological issues.  Competitive intelligence focuses on turning this external information into the intelligence required for strategic and tactical decision-making.

I love connecting with people. I formed The Business Intelligence Source in 1993. My research has consistently helped companies beat the competition and make smarter strategic decisions. I also give workshops to help clients help themselves.

I have worked in competitive intelligence for over 30 years.  In 2016, my book, Win Loss Analysis: How to Capture & Keep the Business You Want, was published. Receive our 6-page Win/Loss Cheat Sheets when you sign up for our mailing list. I have been well received as a speaker for over 20 years.

I developed a unique approach called cooperative intelligence, which integrates generous leadership, connection and communication, and helps managers to “Listen and Be Heard.” Many competitive intelligence managers very bright, but are challenged to get management to act on their findings, ergo cooperative intelligence plays a major role in positioning and gaining respect.  I find this is true in every profession.

Let’s connect on LinkedIn and Twitter. I do answer phone calls and emails: 720-480-9499 and email ellen at ellennaylor.com.

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4 thoughts on “About”

  1. LOL – I was in the first pre-med class that had women ( 5 out of 125) at St. Peter’s College, Jersey City NJ, in 1968. I think ony one or two of us actually became a physician. I really like your profile – just long enough and yes, I enjoy reading your thoughts too. Very nice education lineage Ellen and I always admire your spunk.

    Food for thought – at TalentNet LIVE! Jim Schnyder, a Talent Manager at Frito Lay, gave a presentation on sourcing candidates. This was very different from what I thought it was going to be because he told us how he leverages new hires especially for name generation and referrals. I told him later that I thought Frito Lay was unusual in that respect because in my experience Recruiting was not allowed to mine the guys on the block and doingnoutreach to more tenured employees was at your own risk. In your dealings with other companies, is Jim’s experience more normal than I think?

  2. Any good CI team likes to know about new hires as they’re hired. One is to debrief if they came from a competitors or had valuable experience for product development, for example. It can be touchy since you don’t want to overstep ethical boundaries, since they might have signed an NDA as they left their company. There can also be a certain amount of discomfort talking about prior employers if they got laid off or just don’t want to share everything. I start such a debrief that way: “I don’t want you to share anything with me that you’re uncomfortable with or that you feel is ethically compromising.” We also like to make new hires aware that we do CI, what that means and engage them to participate, & that we suspect others are doing CI on us. Ideally this should be part of new employee training, but isn’t at most companies. Maybe that’s a new biz for us! Cheers! Ellen

  3. Dear Ellen,
    This is such a useful blog! The concept of co-operative intelligence is something I’m aware of having used from time to time in enquiry work I don’t think I’d have been at all succesful otherwise!), but the way that you explain and expand upon it will help anyone who wants to, to implement this idea much more effectively, so that it can be an “every time” way to work with people.
    I’ve probably most often used co-operative intelligence in negotiating situations with suppliers. It can really help me find out the more hidden facts about rival products and also get a good deal when budgets are tight, but in such a way that the supplier wants to help as much as possible. Teh sharing aspect is important, eg. giving well-considered and valuable feedback after a free trial, or feeding them a bit of carefully chosen competitor intelligence comes in handy eg. “my current supplier offers this service, I would be very interested in your product if your company introduced something similar”.
    Please may I add your blog to my blogroll?

    Kind regards,

  4. Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for your kind words. I imagine many people use the principles of cooperative intelligence in their lives, but haven’t called it that. This reminds me of when I learned about elicitation back in the 1990s and realized I had been doing that all along too, but didn’t know if was a practice in the “intelligence” field. If you would like to talk more about cooperative intelligence feel free to be in touch at renaylor at wispertel.net. And I would be honored to be added to your blogroll.


    Ellen Naylor

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