I have worked on a few cases like this one. It was for a US based Fortune 500 company in the telecommunications sector. They had some disparate, partial roles dedicated to keeping eyes on the competition, but nothing really formal or centralized. They needed first to understand the business case for investing in formal intelligence management, then they needed to understand Intelligence Best Practices. I worked with them on education, a roadmap for implementing their ideal intelligence function, and then stuck with them while they executed all the suggestions in that roadmap.
The client knew they needed support in developing an intelligence program. They were impressed with a Market Intelligence Framework, including six key success factors: Intelligence Scope, Process, Deliverables, Tools, Organization, and Culture. They could see using the framework as part of an internal business case for investment in people, processes and tools; by showing where the company was currently with each of the KSFs, and how far they could get with each one in a year. They also used the framework to look at how their peer companies of similar size, industry and location were doing on average with each KSF.
I began with an assessment of their existing efforts, understanding who was doing what, who the key stakeholders were and what they really needed, and what the strategy of the company, and various departments and functions were. Then I began to design the intelligence function. I worked with the MI and strategy team at the company, to educate them in mini-workshops on the various KSFs, the best practices, the business case for investment, and even the basic industry jargon (like the difference between MI, CI and BI). We built the roadmap together, and presented it to the senior leadership team, making it clear what the investment of resources that was being requested, the strategic outcomes expected from the investment, and the benefits that they would be able to see in 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months. We shared some benchmark information about the peer companies, and we shared some case studies where we had accomplished something similar in the past with other companies.
Some of the milestone recommendations in the roadmap included competitive landscape projects, competitor profiles, and an intelligence management software platform, as well as efforts to market and sell the CI function internally and to impact the culture with a focus on sharing and using information. The client proceeded to invest in each of the projects and the platform, and made its own internal efforts to impact the culture – all to great success. This particular case was from five years ago, and their CI function is still going strong today, with 100s of team members finding, sharing and using key intelligence, and making it everyone’s business to enable the company to compete and grow.
I was very proud to partner with that particular company, to build the roadmap together with them, and to see it put into practice. And I’d like to do it again with others. If this is of interest to you, please get in touch with Flux Advisory.
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