I read two great blogs in the last couple of weeks: David Harkelroad’s which asserted that the biggest problem in strategy is mindset; and an HBR blog on “What Gets in the Way of Listening?” I think they are related since if you truly listen, you are open to having your mind changed. I am curious as to how others deal with their leadership’s lack of listening ears? I know as a telephone interviewer that there are not enough listening ears and that job disengagement in the US is around 70%, so if they answer their phone, they are likely to be informative.
While competitive intelligence is not a kind business function, it is a necessary one, and we can be kind people when we bring cooperative intelligence practices into our work. Cooperative intelligence is kindness: you give without an expectation of something in return. People realize that you genuinely want to help them in their work. After all, competitive intelligence is a support function. You need to keep giving, and eventually those in your network of contacts will support you by sharing great tidbits on the competitive environment since your giving is infectious, and they just can’t help themselves. People are attracted to you by your good example of producing the goods they need and your giving attitude.
Thanksgiving is a time for sharing, caring and expressing gratitude. In the spirit of cooperative intelligence and sharing, I recently was a panelist in an SLA Competitive Intelligence division (CID) webinar on “Integrating Marketing and Sales to Capture & Deliver Intelligence.” While this is an SLA CID member benefit, all four of us panelists posted our slides on Slideshare, which follow. Likewise we just concluded a series of Colorado Future Ready blogs on SLA’s FR365 site which features a blog a day. This blog contains the list of authors and links to each blog. Don’t forget to read the Thanksgiving poem, “Thanksgiving….More Than a Day by Karl Fuchs.
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!
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!
If you want to stay in business for the long haul, you need to be observant about your marketplace, question your assumptions, and be willing to make changes! Dr. Redelmeier, a physician researcher says, “Do not get trapped into prior thoughts. It’s perfectly OK to change your mind as you learn more.” While his world of research evolves around behavior, his practice of questioning and researching around your assumptions, and his willingness to change based on learning, will benefit researchers of all types and including those running a competitive intelligence operation.
Jan Herring, competitive intelligence guru shares tips for information pros that competitive intelligence professionals can also benefit from. The final 3 tippers are: improve your company’s financial based competitor comparisons; build innovative early warning alert systems; and develop CI software systems to improve your effectiveness through the right use of technology.
In the spirit of cooperative intelligence I want to share the news about our SCIP Denver Rocky Mountain Meeting for Feb 19 2010 at the Qwest Bldg, 1801 California St, Conf Rm 3, 13th Fl, Denver CO 80202. Lynnette Woolery, our long-time chapter leader will hand the reins over to Richard Caldwell and Tom Seward.
In competitive intelligence and research, many of us don’t have any reporting people and report into another functional area of the company. Thus cooperative and purposeful leadership skills are all the more crucial when you rely on other people to give you great information or intelligence who don’t report to you, and your boss perhaps views you as an outlier since competitive intelligence doesn’t quite fit into anyone’s area. My most purposeful leadership was with Sales while I was at Verizon. I knew I needed to be cooperative in order to gain sales intelligence and customer’s input to be successful in competitive intelligence.
I have noticed that cooperative leadership emanates from people who are comfortable with themselves and who don’t have those psychological issues of trying to be “one-up” on others. They are deeply rooted with “take me as I am.” People feel comfortable with this type of person: all personality types.