Tactic #5: Remain ethical and avoid deception as you collect competitive information. As a consultant I am sensitive to the topic of ethics since there is such a variance among my clients. Some clients have the attitude of “Just get the information for us, I don’t care how!” Others go as far as to have me sign on to their company ethical standards. I find that having an honest discussion around ethics at the proposal stage is helpful so I can decide if my ethics and the company’s are similar. Ultimately it’s your conscience that will guide your behavior and ethics is part of that.
SCIP just announced that its formal merger was consummated with Frost & Sullivan’s Institute. This merger is a sign of the times: it’s hard for associations to survive in this tough economic climate. But I think it’s more than that: the association model is changing not just due to competition from other associations, but for people’s time and easy access to connections formerly made through associations via social media.
Last weekend, we were at an outdoor art show in a prosperous Chicago suburb. Rodgers’ painting “Urban Sunset” an original oil painting of a Chicago city scene was stolen (24” by 30” + frame). We would love to recover this painting, but it’s probably not that likely, so I thought I would share this story with you to remind you to be careful, and to share some sources to recover stolen art.
Read excerpts from Chris Kenneally’s interview with AIIP leaders Marcy Phelps and Linda Rink and find out about this great organization of 600 information professionals in over 20 countries who run their own businesses and support businesses which range from start-ups to Fortune 1000 companies. AIIPers do a lot more than simply find information: many members provide analysis to help clients make sense of the information, and provide ongoing updates.
Competitive intelligence is not recognized enough to keep SCIP afloat on its own. Many companies include competitive intelligence as part of other business functions which are well defined: product planning, strategic planning, marketing, PR, sales, R&D, but CI really isn’t perceived as a discipline in many companies. SCIP also faces competition in CI from other associations and social networks. I hope SCIP turns on its marketing machine with urgency and reaches out to companies and individuals and educate them on the compelling value of conducting systematic CI. I hope that SCIP’s leadership is reading the CI Ning. There are so many good ideas posted, so SCIP has a great opportunity to listen and query these individuals more closely and engage them to be part of the solution.
This continues my report from talks I attended at SCIP’s annual conference in Chicago last week. Roger Phelps and Suki Fuller facilitated this open dialog on using social networks in competitive intelligence. There is a large variety in how people use social networks in CI, but almost everyone is on Linked In.
Teach Sales elicitation skills: they don’t get it anywhere else and it will help them close more deals and collect information to help your company develop better products. Some of the best elicitors are more introverted since they are likely to be more thorough in their preparation for elicitation interviews. Introverted people are often better listeners than extroverts, so are often more skilled at getting the other guy to talk!
AIIP (Association of Independent Information Professionals) is holding its 23rd Annual Conference at the Albuquerque Marriott from March 25 – 29. More details http://aiip.org/ConferenceSchedule. SCIP and SLA members receive the AIIP discounted price. Feb. 20 is the last day for early bird registration http://aiip.org/ConferenceRegistration.