My new year’s resolution 2024: Read more good books.
In this case: Re-visit a good book again.
“Gardens of Intelligence” by Jesper & Gabriel.

There’s a handful of books on intelligence considered “must-reads”. Just like in a town where some gardens or parks are known to be “must-visits” for how they’ve been taken care of over the years, and what they offer to the visitor. Typically, each garden will stick out with a certain feature: one may be home to numerous fruit trees, whilst another may focus on displaying a plethora of roses. Some gardens may even host many types of greens. Yet only rarely, all those seeds, sprouts, half-growns—not to mention all the tools—will be shown to the visitor, to not only enjoy and being impressed, but to actually learn all about gardening.

“Gardens of Intelligence” is not a book like a walk in a park where the park owner intends to impress the visitor. It’s a practical guide, taking us step-by-step through the process of setting up or improving intelligence functions in our organizations. An example is that the three aspects of an intelligence function—information, technology and people—are important at all maturity stages, that they interplay, however that the weight of each aspect will differ at particular stages.

Few would challenge that Gabriel and Jesper have mastered intelligence gardening, and they’ve for sure done all therein, from shoveling dirty soil to pruning hedges to setting a birdhouse in the apple tree. Gabriel and Jesper are intelligence ambassadors—they just love our profession. Hence, this book. Guiding us to master gardening: to be proficient about the process, to enjoy the sustainable intelligence results. To date, “Gardens of Intelligence” is the best workbook for building and running an intelligence function in any organization.

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Matthias Ullrich

Head of Business Intelligence @ Borealis Polyolefins | Chemistry PhD | Passionate about Intelligence, Science, Arts & Culture, Sustainable Economics, Psychology & Mankind, and Nature

“Gardens of Intelligence is a welcome and timely addition to the MCI [virtual] bookshelf. As we might expect from pioneers of dedicated and collaborative MCI platforms, Gabriel Anderbjörk and Jesper Martell have produced a comprehensive and practical manual for establishing an effective MCI discipline that embraces the technology needed to organise the volumes of data, that would otherwise swamp any team, however brilliant. The gardening image works as a metaphor for the cultivation of the successful MCI team, even to those of us without green fingers! It takes the team from the careful planting and nurturing of seeds to the full blooming of the organisation.

The authors are right to dedicate a substantial part of the book to the importance of taxonomy and to the “harvesting” of resources from across the company into an effective MCI collaborative effort. They also offer welcome insight into resolving two of the most difficult issues faced by the head of the MCI team “the lead gardener” – gaining the commitment of company wide resources and proving the ROI of the MCI effort.

I recommend “Gardens of Intelligence” to both those looking to enhance their MCI capabilities, especially by confronting the data challenge, and to those more mature organisations wanting to show their holistic gold medal intelligence credentials!”

Nigel Aston

Former Global Head of CI, Amadeus IT Group SA

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“I’m not much of a gardener myself but having spent more than 20 years helping and advising multinational clients to support their decision-making with information and deploying tools fitting the purpose, I instantly grew to appreciate the concept presented in the book. After all, CMI is all about the business landscape and how to nurture your organization to flourish. It’s a systematic process, much like gardening, to do the right things and do things right, whatever that may mean for your organization at a specific point of time.

Case presentations add to the equation and bring the topic even closer to actual challenges faced by real organizations. You don’t need to operate in the same industry in order to learn from the cases and apply lessons learned in your own “garden”.

I believe the book is a good read for any newcomers and aspiring intelligence professionals, as well as for someone taking care of a more established and perhaps savvy operation. Whatever the case, it truly makes sense to try and identify where you currently stand in terms of the explained maturity levels. That allows you to understand what may be the best possible ways to grow your garden and utilize the correct components of information, technology and people in a harmonized manner – and be better prepared for the future.”

Petteri Verronen

Intelligence Advisor, Entrepreneur

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“Il ne s’agit ni de la traduction anglaise du prix de l’Académie française 1913 (1) ni d’un nouveau traité d’eugénisme mais d’un livre écrit par deux professionnels du « Market Intelligence ».

Sans doute l’un des plus marquants lus récemment car il se détache considérablement des habituels ouvrages français sur « L’intelligence économique » mâtinés de nostalgies des grandeurs passées.

Jesper Martell et Gabriel Anderbjörk ont acquis plus de vingt d’expériences à construire et développer des projets de Market Intelligence au profit d’entreprises et d’organisations. Pragmatiques, opérationnels, la définition qu’ils donnent à cette pratique est proche de la nôtre « Méthodes et outils pour comprendre un marché et en anticiper ses évolutions ». Avec la promesse pour les cadres dirigeants de ne plus subir et découvrir après coup !

Le livre est passionnant car précisément, il explique les méthodes et les outils pour atteindre cet objectif. En le lisant, vous saurez à la fois « pourquoi le faire » et « comment le faire ».

De nombreux exemples illustrent leur propos rédigés dans un anglais facile à lire pour les non-anglophones. Un livre qui a été écrit pour être consulté et conservé comme un manuel.
Si j’avais une critique, elle serait sans doute sur les opérations de sourcing qui bien qu’expliquées mériteraient une analyse plus profonde.

Depuis plus de dix ans, le changement de paradigme est gigantesque. Le Web dont la taille est devenue difficile à évaluer (env. 10 puissance 21, le nombre de gouttes d’eau dans tous les océans) est une tel gisement de données, où les « fake » côtoient les « pépites » qu’une méthodologie particulière et des outils nouveaux sont devenus incontournables.

Beau sujet pour la suite de « Gardens of Intelligence ». En tout cas, bravo !”

Alain Beauvieux

Founder and Senior Advisor, PremieresVentes

“Gardens of Intelligence is an OUTSTANDING new book, providing a roadmap for using Competitive Intelligence technology to help companies make smarter decisions & grow.”

SCIP official LinkedIn channel

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“I recommend this book to my customers, so they make an impact on the bottom line; to my students so that they can have an impact on the professional world; and just about anyone interested in actually making an impact. This is the power of Garden of Intelligence!”

Luis Madureira

Managing Partner @ UBERBRANDS, CIP-II, CI Fellow

“Regardless of whether you are starting out or a seasoned market and competitive insight professional you have to read this. Not only does it provide a perspective from two gentlemen who have been at the coal face of practicing market and competitive intelligence at Ericsson at its height but have used and understood those well-trodden frameworks and approaches and digitized them.

The book does a fantastic job to provide a balanced view around the when and how to bring in technology to go beyond the collection phase of creating the knowledge and the foreknowledge of the market around you as a prelude to decision making and action. This is complemented by case studies of businesses Jesper and Gabriel have worked with to advance their businesses’ insight capabilities as competitive advantages. A great title to address the velocity of change powered by the Internet to reduce time to insight.”

Andrew Beurschgens

Head, Market and Competitive Intelligence, BT

“I have known the authors since they were changing Ericsson CI from within, pioneering the global intelligence network and using it to affect innumerous decisions throughout the company. Their practical perspective is unparalleled in the field on how CI affects the bottom line. Together they have more experience with platforms in more companies than all of us combined and the beauty of their approach is that they chart a path to getting many different people at the organization to look at a stream of info and say, hold on. Have you thought of…? So, what are the six steps to their “Garden of Intelligence“? Oh, for God sakes I am not going to describe it. Just read it!”

Benjamin Gilad,

Co-founder of the Academy of Competitive Intelligence

Growing a Garden of intelligence is a work of management art.

In your Garden of Intelligence, you can experience the future – before it knocks on your door.

A blooming Garden of Intelligence enables your company to be ahead of the curve, enjoying the market nectar before competition does.

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