Larry King was interviewed on CNN this morning promoting his new book, The Remarkable Journey. He said that he always wanted to be a radio announcer because he liked asking questions. He recounted that when he and other boys went to see a baseball game, the other kids wanted autographs. He wanted to ask questions about how the players got into playing baseball, how they developed their skills, etc. Asking questions was almost inborn for him as it is for many journalists.
This instinct for asking questions and a real desire to know the answers is also extremely useful in competitive intelligence and is why some journalists move into CI.
Another background for CI professionals is growing up with college professors in the family. I am one of them; my father and one grandfather were college professors. Professors enjoy analysis and value information for its own sake. I always feel personal satisfaction when I can put the pieces of the puzzle together to provide insight for a client. Actually I enjoy it in general, but CI allows me to get paid for doing it—not as much as Larry King earns, but enough.
So if you are wondering if CI is the right profession for you, or you are hiring an analyst or a contractor, think about these behaviors. Many people can learn to ask questions or analyze data to create information, but those individuals who have these characteristics will be better at CI and enjoy the job more.