This quote is from the old comic Pogo, in a strip first printed in 1970. It is a reflection on the then-state of the environmental movement. But it contains within it a wise message for competitive intelligence.
A new book, Your Strategy Needs a Strategy: How to choose and execute the right approach, also evokes this. There the authors suggest that some successful corporate strategy programs “deliberately manage which approach to strategy [of the 5 described by the authors] belongs in each subunit (be it a division, geography or function) and [then] run those approaches independently of one another.” Consider how these concepts might apply to the way you (or your team) conduct your own CI activities
The first requirement for being competitive is to know what others in your space are offering or plan to offer so you can judge the unique value proposition of your moves. The second requirement is to anticipate response to your competitive moves so that they are not derailed by unexpected reactions. The third requirement is to ask the question: Do we have common sense? In my work in competitive intelligence I have met many managers and executives who made major decisions involving billions of dollars of commitments with only scant attention to the likely reaction of competitors, the effect of potential disruptors, new approaches offered by startups and the impact of long-term industry trends. Ironically, they spent considerable time deliberating potential customers’ reactions, even as they ignored the effect of other players’ moves and countermoves on these same customers. That is, until a crisis forced them to wake up.
Here’s a law-of-physics rule: there is only, always, exactly 100% market share in any market. That’s why, despite the vigorous price-warring, tournament strategists gained little or no share. (No one gets ahead when everyone moves in the same direction.) What they got, 90% of the time, was mutually assured destruction. The only way to win a price war is to be the only one fighting, and that’s not much of a war. Here’s another rule: we must keep our strategy secret from competitors.
In today’s globalized business environment, firms are no longer developing innovations in a vacuum. Instead, companies often work with partners from all over the world to develop innovative strategies and products. While these networks can be promising in terms of innovation, they are also complex to manage due to the myriad cultural, legal, institutional and other differences that each firm brings to the table. In a new paper, “The Cross-National Configuration of Brokerage Triads: Effects on the Impact and Radicalness of Innovation,” Wharton management professor Exequiel Hernandez and Wharton doctoral student Sarath Balachandran examine what is the optimal mix of domestic and foreign partners in a particular network. What they found is that it depends on what type of innovative solution a firm or group of firms is trying to produce. The research is supported by Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management..
We expect these new technologies, and more that have not been identified, will enable the consumer goods industry to move toward digitalization and the world of digital business — the creation of new business designs from the blurring of the physical and digital worlds. This is beyond digitization, which is a mere mimicking of analog-based business models. For the consumer goods industry, we expect it will usher in a new era of growth from the convergence of people, businesses and intelligent things, creating new revenue opportunities and new opportunities to engage retail customers, consumers, and supply chain vendors.
But a proper assessment of Stewart’s legacy shouldn’t just focus on politics. It should also take into account the business of entertainment, and more specifically, talent generation. In this area, Stewart most certainly has been a force for good. I’ve spent the last ten years studying individuals who are unusually good at helping others build careers and make contributions to their fields. It all started when I discovered a striking pattern: If you take the top fifty most prominent or influential people in many industries, just one or a few top people mentored a disproportionate share of that talent. What was Stewart’s secret? Superbosses are exceptionally adept at developing talent because they share particular character traits and adopt a set of common practices that, taken together, are both rare and extraordinarily effective.
In the past decade, the world has changed in significant ways, with dramatic shifts in almost everything we do. These shifts have profound implications on the world of strategy. Whether organizations operate in the private sector, the public sector, or the non-profit sector and whether they are based in America, Europe, Asia or any place else on earth, there is a growing challenge to rethink the strategies driving our organizations. There is a rising need for organizations of every stripe to simultaneously pursue differentiation to stand out in the market and low cost in what they do. That’s what we call ‘value innovation,’the cornerstone of blue ocean strategy. Here are four trends that make creating blue oceans that much more relevant and important to you.
Let me say a few words about the problem of misdirection in competitive intelligence research (CI). By misdirection, I mean that you end up looking somewhere that seems to be interesting or important or even attractive, and by doing so, you may miss what is really important. The title, “Some Pig” is taken fromCharlotte’s Weband refers to the scene where the spider draws attention to the pig by doing something spectacular. In all fairness, the attention should have been on “some spider”, but the misdirection served a good purpose. In CI, what happens is when we research things, we often have to look over a broad area, and, at first, determine what is likely to be important and what unimportant. This is where, initially, misdirection can set in. Now here, I’m not dealing with misdirection that is purposeful by the targets, although that can happen as well. What I’m dealing with is misdirection because of your focus.
Managers today similarly crave facts. The potential positives of working from objective facts are enticing. It’s expected that improved performance follows from basing decisions on facts, whether in traditionally heuristics-based industries such as healthcare or in causally imprecise contexts such as business strategy. But our world is awash in data, and data is not the same thing as facts. Facts are much harder to come by than data. While data seems to promise objectivity, instead it requires analysis — which is replete with subjective interpretation. Assuredly, having data is a necessary step toward making objective decisions. Yet the objectivity of data is a myth. Modern analytical methods afford creative and flexible uses of data that can support multiple perspectives and competing analyses about the same data sets.
Where do you start when you want something new? Whether the aim is just an improvement, a small incremental change or something more unique, disruptive and breakthrough, the start will probably determine where you end up. One key learning is that jumping with both feet into ideas without first exploring fresh angles into your innovation topic is like cooking a curry without fresh peppers. The ideas will be bland. Too often they will not constitute a breakthrough. True innovation leadership means approaching the topic from a new perspective. Creative leaders take a few steps back and do a rigorous exploration of the problem, as if they are an explorer and set foot on new land for the first time. We call this activity Sensing and it aims to identify fresh and spicy insights that can spark breakthrough ideas later on. However, this Sensing phase is anything but easy.
Going beyond the data: turning data from insights into value delves into the challenges and opportunities today’s organizations face as they strive to create value through D&A. In this summary report, we explore the topline results of KPMG International’s recent survey of more than 800 senior executives to identify key themes influencing D&A’s value proposition around the world. With contributions from some of the world’s leading D&A analysts, insights from data-driven companies and practical advice from KPMG International’s network of D&A professional
As the craft brewing industry continues to grow, it continues to get weirder—in the best way possible. Beer is better than it’s ever been, thanks to experimental hops, funky yeast strains, and a spirit of hackerlike ingenuity. It’s not just craft, it’s science.
What does this mean for the future of media monitoring and where is everything going? This is where the notion of brand intelligence comes in, where monitoring companies like Ornico have their sights focused. Media monitoring is no longer about press clippings or even top-level analytics, it's about extracting the right intelligence from all the media sources to provide critical insights into brand sentiment, advocacy, share of voice and the long-term trends in this regard. Going a step further, the real value will be in predictive analytics of brand intelligence. Predicting how a brand will be perceived in the media in the future will become a crucial insight for many business executives to tailor their strategies to the market...
You are ultimately responsible for your travel security, be it physical or technical. But this is a tall order. You are most vulnerable when you move and travel because you operate outside of your daily pattern of life, including connecting to the Internet via a third-party service provider with which you may not be familiar. There is no shortage of unscrupulous competitors or straight-up criminals who have decided you have information that they desire, and they could have you in their cross hairs. You don’t get to choose whether you are targeted, but you do get to control if you are a soft or hard target. Is Your Hotel Room Secure? Probably Not, Is the Wi-Fi Secure? Almost Never.
We live in an age of change and uncertainty. For businesses, this means that only the most versatile survive —innovate or die. Simply adapting to the digital age is not enough: company survival requires explorative business strategies, to find new opportunities to improve and renew products and services. To attain explorative success you need a combination of both deliberate thinking and intuitive thinking. This article explores how you can balance the two.
Several coincident, significant transformations are causing a revolution in the way electricity — the vital fuel of global commerce and human comfort — is produced, distributed, stored, and marketed. A top-down, centralized system is devolving into one that is much more distributed and interactive. The mix of generation is shifting from high carbon to lower carbon, and, often, to no carbon. In many regions, the electricity business is transforming from a monopoly to a highly competitive arena.
The digital economy is changing the game for supply chain customers. Value chains are shifting rapidly, while technology advancements are disrupting old-style operations. Additionally, traditional value chains are also on the move. Hardware Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are moving to capitalize on software and services models. Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) are moving into the OEM space. And there is considerable pressure on manufacturing services companies to deliver much greater value and full-service manufacturing solutions than ever before.
There are many SME’s who slip under the domain that is Big Data users. It is however possible to segment this landscape into a number of sections defined by the amounts of data they consume and how central it is to their core activities. Over a number of years we keep finding a single problem that business comes up against. This problem, and others that run off it, are all the result of a common cause. Every company we have looked at, over the years, has had information available to them within their systems, but they could not easily distribute it to their decision makers, they could not bring information together in a timely manner and it was difficult to present and share information in easy to understand formats.
“Getting to no” is a classic management issue because the vast majority of us tend to accept requests and assignments without first filtering them by what’s possible, what’s urgent, and what’s less of a priority. In an age when we are encouraged to be “team players” and responsive to colleagues, it may seem counter-intuitive or even selfish to encourage managers to say no more often, but that is exactly what many need to do. While saying yes to every assignment may initially please senior execs, it usually leaves people over-stressed and inundated with work — a lot of which ends up half-finished or forgotten. In the long run, no one is happy.
The great unveil—particularly when unaccompanied by careful pre-discussions with the members of the client team—would also lead us to make interpersonal and organizational mistakes. When we created a perfect solution in isolation and made it “ours” to present, we ignored the fact that each individual needed to arrive at the conclusions independently to really understand it, to believe in it, and to be willing to work hard to execute it. And frankly, relying entirely on the presentation made for boring meetings. No one wants to sit and listen to another person present for hours on end. People want to ask questions and to provide their own insights. They want to problem-solve and debate. We’re all familiar with these issues, and yet the tendency toward “the great unveil” presentation style persists. If we want to foster conversations rather than presentations, what are some effective ways to do so?
Magic Quadrants offer visual snapshots, in-depth analyses and actionable advice that provide insight into a market's direction, maturity and participants. Understanding our methodology will help you when evaluating a market, choosing a technology or service provider or managing vendor relationships.
Andy Frawley, CEO of Epsilon Andy Frawley is the newly minted CEO of the self-described “global marketing company” Epsilon. The company he leads has a unique mission. In his words, Epsilon’s goal is to “fuse data, analytics, creativity and content together to connect brands with people.” In an era of rapidly changing technologies, that can be a significant challenge. The sheer volume of data, the ever-expanding multiplicity of platforms and the perennial problem of finding data scientists are but a few. But in many cases, the challenges are perpetual, as industries and companies struggle to adapt to a rapidly changing data universe.
Andy shared his perspective on these challenges — and where his industry may be headed — in a conversation with MIT Sloan Management Review’s guest editor Sam Ransbotham.
Growth. Volatility. Disruption. Uncertainty. When it comes to doing business, CEOs globally are being challenged to navigate the path to success within an environment of constant change. But what are CEOs doing to ensure there are no limits to their future growth? With a focus on companies over US$500m in revenue, our Global CEO Outlook involves global businesses discussing complex issues: strategy, growth, market disruption, innovation, cybersecurity, talent and transformation. The results are eye-opening. While many CEOs are confident in the global economy and the 3 year growth outlook of their companies, many recognize they need to transform their businesses if they are to survive and prosper. In order to do so, however, big businesses need to be willing to take bigger risks
Earlier Generation BI Needs A Tune Up. Business intelligence has gone through multiple iterations in the past few decades. While BI's evolution has addressed some of the technology and process shortcomings of the earlier management information systems, BI teams still face challenges. Enterprises are transforming only 40% of their structured data and 31% of their unstructured data into information and insights. In addition, 63% of organizations still use spreadsheet-based applications for more than half of their decisions. Forrester introduced the concept of systems of insight: The business discipline and technology to harness insights and consistently turn data into action.
Here's a trick you can try at the next party you attend: Come up with a completely bogus money term and then ask your financial expert friend to explain it to you. Chances are he'll make a fool of himself when he assumes it's a real concept and claims to know all about it. That's according to new research, which suggests that self-proclaimed experts are more susceptible to the "illusion of knowledge." In other words, people who believe they know a lot about a particular topic are more likely to claim they know about fake concepts related to that topic.
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