What do you think of when you hear the word CHAMPION?
Most people picture an athlete or sports team victorious after a contest against an evenly-matched rival. Historically, however, Champions are people who make substitutional sacrifices that give their lives meaning beyond their own near-term self-interest. In other words, a true Champion is humble. The future of the strategic, market and competitive intelligence field requires humility.
Why is that? It’s been 10 years since the last recession. Many CI departments have grown bloated and complacent, content to produce the same reports defending existing businesses against known competitors. A focus on “technology” and “analysis” feeds that trend. Indeed, software is more sophisticated, and data is “bigger”, but that focus pushes CI further away from the outcomes the organization truly needs.
When we take the longer view, say 25 years, our field has weathered four recessions. Each time, CI departments and staff who have not directly contributed to the growth of their organizations have been classified as overhead. In each recession, overhead was eliminated with extreme prejudice. In 2019, at the end of the longest sustained expansion in global economic history, we are overdue for a reversion to the mean for economic growth – aka another recession. When that happens, CI programs that are not producing growth outcomes will find resources drying up and staff laid off.
Those wishing to survive will face a new sense of urgency in redefining their value proposition. Too often, “Competitive Intelligence” programs are abstract, intellectual entities without a clear path to organizational growth. By contrast, “Growth Champions” are navigators of uncertainty who help organizational leaders chart a path to the future. Accepting this change will require humility as well as courage.
Superiority Analysis Aligns Companies for Market Success
The convergence of technology around collection, storage and processing activities has transformed CI into a more analytical discipline than ever before. And, as industry evolution has entered the analytical canon we now know how to predict which growth strategies will succeed and how. Much like an API (application programming interface) allows different information systems to interoperate with data, Superiority Analysis has emerged to enable a company’s growth executives to program a growth strategy in a predictable way.
Where CI Fits
But CI is needed to balance the growth strategy being programmed between the Superiority Criteria (Satisfiers, Drivers and Disruptors) the market is defining for the winning offer and the Control Factors each provider will govern to match that criteria as it changes over time.
Day One: Understanding Your Angles of Attack™
The first day of the CI-200 workshop is devoted to choices. How do growth strategies really work? Which offers represent the best strategic growth opportunities for the company you serve and who else covets that growth? What is our superiority criteria: what will the market temporarily reward with share; what is currently being offered but will never be rewarded; and what will cause the market to question the relevance of the existing offers? What are this offer’s control factors: factors we control; factors nobody controls; and factors we can merely influence to a greater or lesser extent by others? By the end of Day One you will understand, not only, where to compete, but how to win in the markets your company might choose to grow from.
Day Two: Deploying the Operational Plan for Growth Intelligence
These insights about your growth strategy are meaningless if you cannot operationalize an intelligence plan to test and support that growth strategy with insights that influence the future of the business. Day Two will be all about the plan: timetable and implementation schedule; personnel roles; technology enablers; sources and methods; budget requirements and performance milestones; and much, much more…
What’s in it for you: No Excuses
At the end of these two days, you will have no excuses for your program’s failure to be an active partner in producing the growth your strategy, innovation and C-suite executives are responsible for. If you want a seat at this table, this is how you do it.