The GIA Handbook of Market Intelligence is an authoritative and comprehensive text built around the Global Intelligence Alliance’s Key Success Factors World Class Market Intelligence Framework, ‘From Firefighters to Futurists’ [How to Develop a World Class Market Intelligence Programme]. However, rather than just rely on theory, Hedin, Hirvensalo and Vaarnas bring the key success factors’ context to life through their engagements with a host of high profile organisations with their insights into the application of each of the key success factors. Not content at the application of theory at a 30,000 foot view, the GIA authors apply the value of competitive/market intelligence to specific parts of the business, namely strategic planning, sales and marketing, innovation and product lifecycle management and supply chain management. Despite it being positioned at organisations with structured management schemes, there is learning to be applied for any practitioner wanting to do less fire fighting and more futuristic, what’s next.
This unique and authorative text from the Microsoft Executive Leadership Series focuses on gaining actionable competitive insights through the scalable process of quickly and effectively capturing win and loss information from those directly on the front lines who have the clearest view of the action – the sales force. To that end Win/Loss Reviews - A New Knowledge Model for Competitive Intelligence turns a classic competitive intelligence approach on its head on so many levels for many a practitioner or sales professional to implement for the first time or fine tune. Firstly it has been written by a practitioner that has been there and done that for his employer, Microsoft. Secondly, Rick Marcet’s background is sales and the approach in the book is to build the process around the seller for the primary benefit of the seller, understanding the psyche of sales and leveraging the phenomenon of crowd wisdom, where everyone in sales can benefit from peer insights. Thirdly the text provides an adaptable blueprint for B2B businesses to implement a programme for themselves as an adjunct to best in class sales or as a rasion d’etre for CI programmes. Rick manages to integrate sales and CI practitioner perspectives in such a complimentary, win-win manner that this easy to follow text expertly combines theory and practical execution for a step change in both sales and competitive performance.
Sean and Scott’s title is a very hands-on, jargon free, to dip in and out, actionable guide to getting beyond Google. Unlike other Internet focused books, Go Beyond Google – Gathering Internet Intelligence provides tips and tricks for the reader to obtain immediate value from their Internet-based activities whether as a means to an end or as an end in itself in providing external context to an internal business issue. It provides approaches for both the experienced and less experienced practitioner to obtain a deeper insight quickly around groups of sources that focus on organisations and people, web site analysis, industry, topic and company tracking, maps ands people searching to name but a few. It also provides a guide to getting extra value from Google given the powerful tools it has. A title that makes the practitioner re-evaluate the power of the constantly changing Internet, web 1.0 and 2.0.
The discipline’s renowned Seena Sharp provides one of those rare titles from the perspective of both management as well as the practitioner in one title. It makes the case for ‘why’ competitive intelligence well supported by case examples from the industry and Seena’s very own experience. The ‘why’ is put across from a very ‘relevant’ position, not from the normal ‘how to’ prose typical of some titles. It argues the case from a very recognisable position in business reflecting her many walks in companies’ corridors. For the practitioner it provides ‘how to’ chapters that allows him or her, irrespective of experience, to review whether they are performing at their peak, by laying out what best in class looks like, leveraging her experience in the discipline. If in the right frame of mind, the reader can completely re-evaluate their position in the company, either by demanding the benefits of such a programme that Seena Sharp’s argues or delivering it. You can even download the chapter entitled ‘What You Don’t Know, Will Hurt You’ free of charge from http://competitiveintelligenceadvantage.com
Future Inc is a title that takes the reader on a step by step guide through scenario analysis. Written in an easy to understand style, Eric handsomely supports the title’s end game, to be read and actioned, rather than based on too much theory that makes it hard to relate to the reader’s specific business environment. It offers anyone a blueprint to successful scenarios and more importantly, what’s next. It is peppered with examples that bring the theory to life increasing the reader’s understanding. There is a twist through the book as well, as Eric relates the book’s focus to beer’s future and the factors that could impact and influence different end states of it’s consumption.
Competitive Intelligence and Senior Management from Netherlands-based Joseph Rodenberg covers all the bases about the value of competitive intelligence and 'how to'. However its unique position is its focus on the perspective from the other side of the desk, from the perspective of the users of competitive intelligence, that management with mandates to make decisions based on outward insight. It is well backed up with industry examples of events and the evolving 'what happened next' from the author's long track record consulting and advising in this space.
Business War Games from the unique Ben Gilad breaks down the myth that business war games are for the domain of the large corporate. He breaks the highly interactive tool and process into bit size chunks to allow business leaders and full time practitioners to deliver the value from business war games. Gilad makes the case for business war games being the tool for new management to understand the status of what he/she has inherited the strength of its strategy as well as a sense of how well it is being executed. This is juxtaposition to what traditionally goes on. A blueprint for a successful set of actions to capitalise on the future rather than react to someone else's script.
Business and Competitive Analysis: Effective Application of New and Classic Methods from Fleisher and Bensoussan is 'the definitive must have' for anyone undertaking competitive analysis irrespective of experience, practitioner or 3rd party vendor.This practical and actionable set of techniques grows and develops the agenda of the first edition by extending the range of techniques, focusing on their actionability rather than a statement of their intent and allows the practitioner to hit the nail on the head with at times complex problems and their recommendations.
Through the consistent approach adopted with the techniques it provides the guide to what can be achieved and how and helps structure the problem from the very outset. The FAROUT methodology again helps the practitioner work out which ones to apply first given their own unique position and provides a development framework to seek out opportunities to apply the rest. Like the first edition, it becomes the most sought after next instalment in defining competitive analysis' role in business for practitioner and user alike.
Strategic and Competitive Analysis Methods and Techniques for Analysing Business Competition was the first title of its time that addressed the chasm in competitive intelligence and analysis literature. It was 'the' first in laying out for all to see the relative merits and short comings of a battery of traditional MBA and more traditional business tools as well as 'how to' steps.The tools were also combined with Fleisher and Bensoussan's unique appraisal through the FAROUT Rating System, leveraging a scale of 1-5 where 5 is high and 1 low, around the following levers, future-oriented, accurate, resource efficient, objective, useful and timely. Not intended to be read cover to cover, but dipped into when required. Every practitioner should have it, every business leader should be asking why they don't.