Change means opportunities! Change can also mean threats but for those with open minds and prone to early market signals, change means openings to do things in new ways, even disruptive changes such as a pandemic. Market and Competitive Intelligence (MCI) is perceived as the key capability of companies to enable such open minds and institutionalized market screening and insights management, but what about the changes in how MCI itself is deployed in an organization?
Over recent years there have been a range of changes that have had a deep impact on how MCI ought to be implemented and managed in different organizations. Six of the most important are:
- The traditional intelligence cycle is obsolete due to decentralized decision-making
and non-linear information flows.
- The competitive landscape is changing due to digitalization.
- The workforce is changing due to digitalization.
- MCI professional roles are changing due to digitalization.
- All employees are becoming both consumers and producers of intelligence.
- MCI Technology is changing due to AI and Machine Learning
All in all, the approach to implement MCI capabilities need to take this entire range into account. Still, to do this, and thereby to change MCI operations from within, is clearly a non-trivial task.
In our Garden of Intelligence approach our key change for the modus operandi is to finally make do with the ever so outdated intelligence cycle and replace it by a new model we label the intelligence web. The key to realize is that intelligence operations is no longer sequential, it is a fully transparent, cross-interactive operation with one single common driver at the core, namely the organization’s vision and strategy.
By accepting the Intelligence Web as the operation model of choice, many of the other “change challenges” above becomes more approachable. The web model caters much more fore the digitized workforce that is certainly no longer going to accept a sequential and hierarchical “flow of intelligence”. Today, all want to be on top of what they are supposed to be best at. This also feeds directly into the fact that we no longer have a dedicated teams of producers of intelligence for a given set of intelligence consumers. All will be both! Granted, there will always be teams of dedicated intelligence professionals with a particular focus on the analytics and insights creation but still, intelligence is becoming the responsibility of everyone in an organization. Another change listed above is that MCI professional roles are changing due to digitalization which ties perfectly into the previous statement. If all are becoming both consumers and producers of intelligence, some need to continuously develop and manage both the modus operandi and the associated working tools (MCI platforms) which brings us to the changing MCI technology which in many organizations today are in desperate need to be thoroughly upgraded. The only remaining change, of the six above, is now the change in the competitive landscape due to digitalization and it inherently follows from managing the other five change factors that he understanding of, and speed in responsiveness to, the new digitized landscape will increase tremendously.
As with all change management approaches, no chain is stronger than its weakest link so all need to be addressed and that means it need to be done thoroughly, with a long term plan and with grit to make sure nothing is missed.