How many companies say “Our Employees are Our Most Important Asset,” but their actions don’t match these hollow words? This is not the case at Southwest Airlines, where employees are valued in all phases of their relationship with the company’s management, and provide the company its competitive advantage!
How often do we get stuck in patterns and either make mistakes or don’t see events coming? In competitive intelligence, we look for what isn’t or what looks odd or out of place since oddity often is a precursor to change. There is always surprise in life and business. How we prepare ourselves for it is what separates the excellent from the average. I find I react better to surprises if I get out of my comfort zone more often.
Read about 10 top tips recommended by Arthur Weiss of Aware shared in a recent AIIP webinar. These will help you no matter what type of research you do. Aside from sharing some great websites, browsers, social networks and Internet people sites, I like Arthur’s framing of research. Learn exactly what you are looking for and put yourself in the target company’s place as plan for and conduct the research. Also think laterally. Look for oddities and things that don’t look, feel or sound right.
How do you assess the reliability of your human sources? I consider their motivation to know what you’re trying to learn as a primary yardstick towards reliability, although people don’t always tell the truth or in the spirit of trying to be helpful when they don’t know…they unintentionally misinform. What’s been your experience?
The simple idea behind design thinking is that leaders need two key traits: the exploratory innovative to produce great ideas, and the analytical that exploits the business, improves the offering, and develops the right processes to gain market share. he ideas behind design thinking are well expressed in Roger Martin’s The Design of Business. Think of both the learning and the discovery process as moving through a knowledge funnel. People need to apply analysis and creative thinking at different points within that funnel. Morton suggests that to develop your design mind, broaden your “personal knowledge system.” Design thinking and operating can give your company and you a competitive advantage since they provide a good balance between innovation and operational excellence and often uncover business and individual blind spots. What a competitive advantage!
Jenny Shank and I will speak at a publishing venue sponsored by the Denver Notre Dame women on November 5 at Good Shepherd Catholic School Cafeteria at 620 Elizabeth St Denver 80206 starting at 6 p.m. Jenny will read from her book, The Ringer and I will talk about my journey in publishing in my field, competitive intelligence.
Recently, I wrote about the Extreme Presentation format for presenting material to smaller audiences. At the conclusion of that post, I gave an example of how Extreme Presentation looks. This post describes and illustrates an example of Extreme Presentation by defining what and how to use cooperative intelligence in competitive intelligence or research.
In competitive intelligence we have more issues than most when building and maintaining trust with our customers. Many think our work is only COMPETITOR intelligence which doesn’t help the cause. The other more obvious issue is many consulting firms are experts in a certain industry. What are your best practices and ethics around a company asking you to research their competitor, who might be your customer?
Dr. Andrew Abela recently wrote a second book on Extreme Presentation. The first book detailed how to create an Extreme Presentation while this book provides a simple case study which illustrates clearly how Extreme Presentation can be created at companies, particularly for smaller audiences. It’s powerful as most of us present to small audiences, and usually want to persuade them to take a certain course of action. This is the objective of Extreme Presentation.
Mary Ellen Bates delivered an excellent AIIP webinar on how to market your business more effectively using her tested and tried best practices using the telephone, snail mail and social networks. You will want to buy her book, Building and Running a Successful Research Business” for even more than the 23 tippers she shared. Free webinars are a great AIIP benefit and all webinars are taped for later listening for the membership.