While we can find substantial information about most of our competitors online, intelligence goes way beyond trawling the Internet.
The most valuable information is seldom – if ever – easily accessible via a public search engine or more sophisticated skills in mining the deep or hidden web.
The challenge remains turning that information into intelligence. We are living in an age burdened by an avalanche of data and information, so we need to focus on ‘sense-making’ through building our expert networks – internally and externally regardless of your business unit or role in your organization. By connecting with new colleagues we can open up growth opportunities, build stronger relationships inside our intelligence infrastructure and create a strategic insight network to support our organization’s business as a whole.
Survival of the fittest refers to a species’ ability to adapt to its external environment and change as the environment changes. Exactly the same principles apply in business. Businesses with effective processes for collecting intelligence on their external environment, integrating it with internal information, and then using both external and internal knowledge to take advantage of opportunities while guarding against threats will be those that survive in the long-term.
- Link intelligence to strategic objectives
- Make intelligence relevant
- Build the infrastructure that enables the creation of intelligence
Angelique Hedberg is Senior Corporate Strategy Analyst at RTI International, one of the world’s leading research institutes. Her primary responsibilities include environmental scanning and analyses of competitor performance to inform the growth, business development, and client relationship management strategies. She brings a unique perspective to intelligence and the dynamics of collaboration and knowledge sharing as a result of 10 years of experience across market intelligence, business development planning, sales and operations training, and pipeline management. Angel is a certified competitive intelligence professional with certificates from the Fuld-Gilad-Herring Academy of Competitive Intelligence and the Institute for Competitive Intelligence.