The goals of this blog are:
1. A place to ask for advice on CI issues
2. Learn about CI trends, techniques, and events
3. Discuss CI topics
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Research the background and actions of new executives at prior positions to predict his or her likely actions in the new job. Plus examine the other candidates considered. For example external candidates suggest that the board believes the company is poorly managed and needs a shake-up while internal candidates indicate continuing the current strategy.
I was advised by an experienced consultant to find other consultants who were selling to the same customer that I was, but a different product or service. Cooperating would dramatically increase our marketing effort by touching different prospects and referring interested inquiries to each other. Can you do that with your business? Do not think of other business as competitors for share of wallet; both of your products or services could be acquired if the needs are there.
You should establish relationships with people who can provide you with information about competitors on a continuing basis. Be sure to hold up your part of the relationship by helping them with what they need. It could be information about their competitors, about their suppliers, or about developments in their target market. You must have some information that they could use, and you could release to them without hurting you.
OK, I got your attention, but the reality is that of the 145 claims, 17 were due to rouge employees (12%), and none of those were proven or revealed as orchestrated by competitors. The other claims were for lost or stolen laptops (20%), hackers (18%), and malware (10%), loss of paper records, denial of service, and miscellaneous. The attacks appeared to focused on obtaining financial or health records.
NetDiligence, a cyber-risk assessment services firm in Philadelphia, performed the study to illustrate the real costs from an insurers’ perspective. The payouts ranged from $2,560 to $11.5 million and reimbursed the clients for legal fees, legal settlements, fines, forensics, credit monitoring, and identity theft correction costs. The study was reported on www.cnn.com on Friday Jan 17, 2014.
So the bottom line is that no one knows if the any of the data breaches were driven by competitors, nor does anyone know if competitor incursions occurred and were undetected.
You probably have a firewall in place. You might want to update your security software to include data loss protection functionality which would catch rouge employees transmitting sensitive data outside the company.
Less than 0.01% of all devices in the world are currently connected to the Internet—imagine what life will be like when more are sending data to be analyzed and used. It could be as disruptive a technology as connecting people to the Internet.
This view of the future was discussed by a panel of experts at a Harvard Business School Association of Boston event Nov 5, 2013. Moderated by technology expert and venture capitalist Woody Benson, the panelists were John Williams, Director of MIT’s Geospatial Data Center, Mark Bonchek, Founder and Chief Catalyst, ORBIT, Christopher Rezendes, President, INEX Advisors, and father-to-be Ben Cooper, Co-Founder & CEO, Sensible Baby.
Devices are addressable; they have URLs. We are moving from a one-to-many to a many-to-many environment.
The issue is not new technology; it’s new business models based on using the technology with devices. Plus the social network of things: The ability to integrate the existing technology.
Ben Cooper’s firm, Sensible Baby has developed wearable technology for babies to monitor their sleeping position, ambient temperature, and breathing. Parents are alerted to any problems with messages on their smart phones. He believes that this will give parents peace of mind and he will find out in four months when his first child is born.
Benson observed that a leader’s vision creates a new reality. Bill Gates told his 15,000 employees at Microsoft that his vision was a computer on every desktop. Think what the company would have done if Gates had envisioned a computer in every hand instead.
Williams provided another example of a useful Internet of Things application. Monsanto tracks the seeds planted by farmers with GPS devices on tractors. The devices gather data on the depth of planting, the amount of rain, etc. Monsanto creates a script to tell the farmer how to increase yields by changing the planting parameters. Not only does it sell the script to the farmer, it aggregates the information and sells it to other organizations.
A new business model is the use of Task Rabbit or Mechanical Turk to create a virtual infrastructure at a fraction of the cost of establishing an organization.
Healthcare has a wealth of Internet of Things applications. For example, the best indicator of problems after surgery is fluid retention. So doctors send the patients home with instructions to weigh themselves every morning. The scale sends the data to the doctor who determines if the patient has gained five pounds overnight—and calls the patient to come in right away.
Water is important, right? The US has 12 million private wells. A contactless water quantity measurer could indicate that an owner needs to dial down water usage to avoid a shortage. Plus, low water concentrates contaminants which could damage pipes, washing machines, etc., an expensive outage.
Organizations are thinking many more ways to use the Internet of Things technology to be more competitive—what is your organization doing in this space?
Are you using Big Data to gain a competitive edge? If you are in the B2C space, you probably are. Big Data analytics can collect and analyze millions pieces of pricing data every day. You can adjust your pricing to maximize revenue knowing what the market place is doing. Plus you can detect fraud more easily and eliminate those losses.
OK, I've been really busy, but I'm determined to catch up, starting with September.
How are you protecting your information from your competitors? You should assume that they are trying to obtain information about you. You should a corporate data policy so information can be categorized as to sensitivity and marked accordingly. Employees should be trained on the policies so they will adhere to them when speaking with non-employees or receiving a phone call from someone like me!
What are some leading-edge tools & techniques for CI practices?
How do you improve your CI practice?
Do you have ideas of your own to share?
(But don’t want the fuss of a formal presentation.)
Join CI thought leaders and your fellow practitioners for our second annual CIdeas Fest! Come learn about leading tools and approaches. Hear actionable ideas from leading practitioners and colleagues on how they have faced CI challenges, learned what works and what doesn’t, implemented novel approaches and solutions, foster creativity,…and more. Come discuss your perspectives, questions, and share your own CIdeas. This is your chance to tap the experience and perspectives of your chapter colleagues, practitioners, as well as share your own (of course, listeners are welcome)!
Our featured discussion leaders and topics include:
Dr. Leonardo Bonanni, Founder & CEO, Sourcemap
CIdea: Visualization and Crowdsourcing for Supply Chains
Jennifer Swanson, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory; SCIP Fellow
CIdea: CI skill sets or profession…and what does it mean to you?
Action Project, Hult’s Master of International Business (MIB) program
CIdea: CI case & practice discussion with Sam Gopal, Director of Product Management at Iron Mountain
Activity: Your CInpirations?
Open Mike Session & Discussion
Listen, discuss, network, and gain CInsights and CInspiration to CInnovate in your CI practice!
If you have a question, an idea, or a topic/issue you’d like included at the CIdeas Fest, please contact Cynthia Cheng Correia at email@example.com.
Thursday Sept 19
Hult International Business School
1 Education Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
4:30PM – 5:30PM Registration, Light Dinner, and Networking
5:30PM – 8:30PM CIdeas exchange: presentations, discussions, and Q&As
Be sure to register early to guarantee your spot at www.scip.org
• SCIP/SLA Members: $20.00
• Students: $15.00
• Non-Members: $30.00
SLA Members/Students please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration includes a light meal and beverages.
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Parmelee Eastman/SCIP MA Co-Chairfirstname.lastname@example.org
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The Jelly Belly factory tour at its facility in Fairfield, CA, although photography was prohibited, would provide nuggets of useful information to anyone seeking information on the company's manufacturing process or capacity. As we visited on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, production was shut down although during the week, the factory runs 24 hours a day and visitors watch the action from overhead walkways. The tour guide revealed a few other tidbits: the plants uses 5 one-ton bags of corn starch, and 6,000 pounds of sugar each day to make 20 million Jelly Bellies. I am not researching any food companies, so this tour was a fun family outing. My kids went through the sample bar at least six times and the enjoyed the free samples handled out during the tour.
Many companies have removed the factory from their “factory tours” due to competitive concerns. Their tours show a subset or recreated factory operation. These still might be worthwhile to visit, especially if you could ask your tour guide a few good questions. A CI researcher could easily be lost in the crowds at factory tour based on the crowds at Jelly Belly and take the tour more than once. You could potentially see the manufacturer and model number of the equipment used. You could count the number of times per minute that the finishing tank revolved or an arm moved. You could count the number of packing machines in the packing area.
Combine the factory tour with a visit to the town or county’s real estate department to review any building permits and a drive around the facility to see if you can identify the third party shipper if the target company uses an outside shipping company. You can contain them later to ask about capacity if you have not obtained that from the plant.
Of course, if you are doing a manufacturing study, your client should have provided you with a tour of its facility so you would understand basic issues before examining the rival’s facility.
Jelly Belly’s website said about the factory tour, “Learn the secrets to how we create the legendary Jelly Belly jelly bean, and discover why it takes more than a week to make a single bean.” Jelly Belly needs training on CI, not how to do CI, but how to avoid giving valuable data to competitors.
These are just ideas, but if you do research jelly beans, my kids reported that the Dirt, Rotten Egg, Baby Wipes, and Boggers flavors are terrible. Don’t bother with them. These are not part of the official 50 flavors. Most of this category of Jelly Bellies were developed for the Harry Potter line.
Dr. Craig Fleisher, Chief Learning Officer/Aurora WDC will discuss “Turbo-Charging Your KITS: Matching Analytical Methods to Your Company's Intelligence and Performance Needs” in SCIP’s e-learning format at Cambridge Healthtech Institute in Needham, MA.
Intelligence practitioners have long recognized the importance of proper tasking in taking on important projects for their clients. What has often been overlooked, however, is the need to match up their KITs with analytical methods that can best support their client’s needs. In a number of key respects, pairing up analysis models and client’s needs is akin to on-line dating. Each analysis method has unique characteristics that make it better or worse meeting for the needs expressed by our clients. Practitioners need to take this relationship into account in order to optimize the other parts of their project cycles and to enhance the likelihood of delivering desired results. In this session, we’ll identify several demonstrated concepts that “turbo-charge” the matching process, identify methods that match up particularly well with KIT/KIQ types, and share some new methods that you are probably not using presently that can be useful to you and your company’s ongoing intelligence efforts.
Dr. Craig S. Fleisher is the Chief Learning Officer (CLO) at Aurora WDC, which since 1995 has established itself as one of the globe's leading professional service firms specializing in the area of competitive, business and market intelligence. He is focused on how to enhance and lead intelligence-related activities in business; developing the culture, capabilities and processes that result in superior analysis, actionable decisions and market success. For more than 25 years, his expertise has been heavily cited in leading international publications and shared globally with many associations, public bodies, think tanks, as well as top companies including, among others, 3M, Bell, BHP, CIBC, EDS, Esso, GE, GM, IBM, J&J, Labatt, Levi Strauss, Merck, P&G and TSX.
Craig is a former President and board member of the international association of Strategic and Competitive Intelligence (CI) Professionals (SCIP), inaugural chair and board member of the CI Foundation (Washington, DC), President of a Canadian public affairs association, Editor of the Journal of CI & Management, and is a SCIP Meritorious Award winner and Fellow. A former MBA director, business school dean, and endowed university research chair holder, he is or was a member of university faculties in eight countries. He has facilitated successful workshops or keynoted meetings in over forty countries, supervised dozens of graduate theses, and has received numerous executive and graduate teaching awards and recognitions.
A leading scholar and prolific author, Fleisher has written or edited a dozen books and published scores of refereed papers in the fields of business analysis, intelligence, as well as corporate public affairs. His books are written in English and published in more than a dozen other languages by leading international companies such as Pearson, Prentice Hall, Financial Times/FT Press, Praeger and SAGE, among others.
Cambridge Healthtech Institute, 250 First Avenue, Suite 300, Needham, MA
5:45PM - 7:00PM Registration and Networking (with light dinner)
7:00PM - 8:00PM Live Presentation
8:00PM - 8:30PM Q&A and Networking
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Please call 617.689.8877 if arriving later.
An Onsite eSeries Chapter Live Webinar
(Must Attend In Person to Enjoy Networking and Live Program)
SCIP/SLA Member: $10.00
Professor/Student/Govt: $ 5.00
(SLA, Professors and Students please contact firstname.lastname@example.org