In the spirit of cooperative intelligence, I will illustrate how to be cooperative by sharing examples of bad Twitter communication practices. Remember it takes time to build a successful social networking presence just like it does the old fashioned way through meetings and phone calls. Relationships take time to develop, and the best way to nourish them is through continual, consistent communication, asking questions and listening.
Enjoy three 2015 competitive intelligence books: Business and Competitive Analysis: Effective Applications of New and Classic Methods, 2nd Edition by Craig Fleisher and Babette Bensoussan; The Guide to Online Due Diligence Investigations: The Professional Approach on How to Use Traditional and Social Media Resources by Cynthia Hetherington; and Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Market the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.
When you rely solely on the Internet and social media as sources of intelligence, you just have your interpretation of what you think is going on. You perpetuate your blind spots, which we all have. That’s why I like to engage in conversation with others when I seek information for important things in my life. It’s a relief to me that leadership in America is stressing the importance of conversation. Perhaps there is some correction from the imbalance and overreliance of digital connections to provide us with the answers we seek in our personal and business lives.
I realize how much choice I have for just about everything I do in life, especially how I spend my time. The same thing is true when I conduct an interview to gather information to help clients make important strategic or tactical decisions or conduct a coaching session. How do I realize choice when interviewing?
Follow these 7 steps and you will be prepared for a choice conversation, that is you will have the choice to direct the conversation flow, since unlike the person you’re interviewing, you will be in the zone to maximize your collection during this conversation.
Many are too focused on what they can find from “big data,” the Internet and social media–which anyone can have access to who has time and money. If you want to learn what’s really happening, you need to talk to human beings on a regular basis, not just for competitive intelligence, but for anything in life that you care about.
Short, shallow, frequent bursts of communication via Twitter, Facebook or texting do not develop deep and emotional relationships, whether among friends, parent to child or between business colleagues. I fear that people are losing their ability to hold a conversation in our infected society of social networks, which favors many forms of digital connection with numerous people who are practically strangers, rather than really getting to know fewer people a whole lot better.
A recent HBR blog post, “Just Call Someone Already,” focused on when to use the phone versus email, often used instead of the phone. I resonated with the author, Dan Pallota in his comment, “Much worse than the inefficiency of using email to set up phone calls are the missed opportunities and unnecessary misunderstandings that come when we use email instead of phone calls.” A best cooperative intelligence practice is to think about how the individual you want to reach likes to be communicated with, even if it’s not your preference. Another cooperative best practice is only send communication to those who will value it.
This is the first in a series about how I evolved in my career in competitive intelligence, and what I have learned over time. Overall I am glad I had a start back in 1985 for the critical thinking and deeper relationships I developed. I am glad to still be in this field today where I can reach out to sources quickly that I would never have dreamed even existed in 1985, thanks to social networking.
How many times have you heard people say, “I am too busy. I am soooo busy.” Are most of us really busier than we used to be? Or are we imposing busyness by all the distractions of everyday 21st century life? Do people really need to know what you’re doing all the time and where you ate and what airline you’re flying? Knowing when to connect on social media is a competitive advantage for individuals and for companies. Knowing when not to connect gives you more independence.