A symbiosis of Strategy and Intelligence

Strategy is your business's roadmap of how to achieve and maintain competitive advantage. Attempting to gain competitive advantage without intelligence (actionable information) is at best luck - at worst, a one-way ticket to failure and disaster… 

Five propositions:

1.   The focus of many of today’s companies remains fixed on improving operational effectiveness. This is necessary but not enough!

2.   "Competition is no longer between products or services, it’s between competing business concepts” - Prof Gary Hamel

3.   Executives in most organisations function in an intelligence vacuum, where:

  • strategy is based on gut feel, or instinct, underpinned by industry experience and a dangerous array of unchallenged assumption.
  • few mechanisms exists to consistently deliver accurate, relevant and timely intelligence to meet their explicit needs

4.   A company’s intelligence function is in the business of industry risk management not information services!

5.   The activity, knowledge and organisation of competitive business intelligence derive from the traditions and practices of the national security and military intelligence environments – not from market research or knowledge management.

The current Business Challenge:

  • On today’s business battlefield the last thing leaders need is more information
  • What they need is clear, concise, actionable intelligence that is targeted specifically at their decision-making needs.

In short, we aim to:

  1. Minimise uncertainty. Despite the information and analysis readily available to most strategic-decision makers, they usually face substantive degrees of residual uncertainty.
  2. Reveal and shed light on business blind spots by continuously questioning and testing the fundamental assumptions that underpin managers’ understanding of key factors of their external environment.
  3. Avoid strategic surprise - that is, the sudden realisation that one has been operating on the basis of an erroneous threat perception.
  4. Help management think the unthinkable.