Improve Your CI Skill: Read Competitive Intelligence Rescue

Learn how to diagnose what needs to be fixed in your competitive intelligence program by reading Competitive Intelligence Rescue. Carolyn Vella and John McGonagle walk us through their experiences rescuing 7 companies in the case study format.

Case Studies Vary by Industry and Complexity

  • DIY (Do it yourself) competitive intelligence
  • Adding primary research capabilities
  • Defending against your competitors’ intelligence activities
  • Creating and staffing a new CI team

The case studies include conversations with the various stakeholders with Carolyn and John, as they go through the CI rescue process. As a reader, you can crawl into this process.

Competitive Intelligence Rescue: Diagnostic Quiz

Carolyn and John have developed some first and second level diagnostic questions aka “diagnostic quiz” to pinpoint the issues that need to be fixed. They are so methodical from their many years as CI professionals. If you follow this diagnostic quiz process, you won’t miss issues, such as CI training and ethics/legal that are often blind spots in CI program development and assessment. They also account for a company’s culture and politics in the diagnostic quiz through the process of addressing the issues. They check back with each client a year or so later to measure progress and analyze results.

Competitive Intelligence Rescue: My Favorite Diagnostic Quiz Questions

  • Do you really know the CI issues…or just assuming them…relying on past, old data, not on current data?
  • What were the real problems? Why are they different from what the company said they were?
  • Is senior management willing to hear things that they might not want to hear from the CI team or individual?
  • Are your competitors doing CI? How effectively?

Competitive Intelligence Rescue: Definitions, Processes and Tips Lists

Not only do you get some behind the scenes intelligence, you also get precious processes and tip lists that any CI professional would value.

  • Key competitive intelligence definitions, especially how it’s not market research
  • Creating an early warning system
  • Creating a mission statement for the CI group
  • Strategic intelligence team skillsets
  • Tips for DIYers (p. 71)
  • Defining and protecting your Competitive Sensitive Data
  • Working a trade show or conference
  • Screening/checklist for non-US CI providers
  • 20 rules doing CI research off the Internet (includes social media)
  • Elicitation definition and techniques to improve primary collection skill

The authors also provide a link to their suggested list of competitive intelligence books.

Competitive Intelligence Rescue: My Favorite Closing Remark

“Never assume what you are told or what you want to believe, is correct…people do not fully understand their own problems…even that they have problems. Dig deeper: look, do not just listen—verify.”

A must read for any CI professional or manager who wants to learn a process to improve some aspect of their competitive intelligence program.


Learn more about competitive intelligence

Win/Loss Analysis book; Amazon link to Win/Loss Analysis book

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