Over the years, Competitive Intelligence has evolved significantly, and we have witnessed several changes in how it is used to support organizations' strategic decision-making processes. In the past, Competitive Intelligence was primarily seen as a support function that provided insights and information to decision-makers on an as-needed basis. However, in recent times, there has been a shift towards decision-making intelligence, where the role of Competitive Intelligence is to support the organization's strategic goals and objectives.
In this article, we will discuss the key changes that have led to this shift in the role of Competitive Intelligence, and why companies must keep up with these changes and adapt their practices to encourage decision-making intelligence.
From "What do you want to know?", to "What do you want to achieve?"
In the past, CI researchers' task was primarily to identify and provide information based on requests from decision-makers, without really involving the CI in the early stages of the planning processes. However, with the shift towards decision-making intelligence, the focus has moved to understanding what the organization wants to achieve, and the role of CI is to provide insights that support those goals.
CI is no longer just about the past, it's about the future too.
Traditionally, CI has been focused on analyzing the past to gain insights into market trends, competitor behavior, and other relevant factors. However, decision-making intelligence requires looking beyond the past and into the future, aiming to simulate different actions in multiple scenarios.
The deliverable of CI has changed from answers to a discourse.
Previously, CI teams were expected to provide answers to specific questions, but with decision-making intelligence, the focus is more on delivering a dialogue that facilitates the decision-making process, with continuous involvement in the process. This leads to much more accurate actions.
Unique context is more critical than comparisons and analogies.
CI often relied too much on comparisons and analogies to understand and interpret information. However, decision-making intelligence requires more nuanced analysis that takes into account the unique context of the organization, its customers, and its market.
Context is everything in CI.
From reactive and responding to initiative and proactive.
In the past, CI was primarily reactive and focused on responding to requests for information. However, with decision-making intelligence, the focus is on being proactive and taking the initiative to identify emerging trends and opportunities. Competitive intelligence shifts from a reactive stance to a proactive one, identifying future risks and opportunities and staying ahead of the curve.
CI is no longer just about what went wrong; it's also about what succeeded.
Traditionally, CI focused on analyzing failures and identifying areas for improvement. However, decision-making intelligence requires looking at what succeeded to identify opportunities for growth and innovation. Now, CI must analyze successes as well as failures to identify best practices and opportunities for growth.
In conclusion, the role of Competitive Intelligence has undergone a significant transformation from supporting intelligence to decision-making intelligence. The six insights we have discussed show how CI has moved from a reactive, answer-driven approach to a proactive, dialogue-driven approach that focuses on the future and the unique context of the organization. As CI professionals, it is essential to keep up with these changes and adapt our practices to support decision-making intelligence.