Wednesday, September 30, 2009

CI -Economic gardening: a role for government agencies in competitive intelligence

Please see great post and insight at the following:

It is very clear to me from involvement in local SW Ohio business development efforts, both in bringing new companies to the area and also in growing firms organically, that much more needs to be done.

Friday, September 25, 2009

CI - be a Tiger

I liked the AP story posted this a.m. about Tiger Woods helping fellow golfer Sean O'Hair with his putting. For CI'rs it's always about finding info that is hard to find and helping others make better decisions. Within your company/organization, it's important to be always teaching and showing the how-to's. Need as many DIY's as you can muster. Same true across the marketplace to a large extend. All boats rise when the tide does.,0,6356776.story

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CI - do parents inspire it

My dad passed away Monday September 14 - my 55th b-day. He was 87 and a half and lived an amazing life. His obituary is attached below if of interest. In reflecting on his life and impact on me, there are quite a number of things he taught me directly and indirectly which have made me reasonably successful at my CI craft. I am grateful and want to recognize him for teaching me and modeling for me:

1) Persistence, commitment, steadfastness, discipline, focus, choicefulness
2) Finding deeper meanings and connections
3) Ethical behavior, love for people
4) A sense of adventure and pioneering
5) Taking a stand on important issues
6) A more global worldview
7) Keeping it simple

Probably missing many attributes I will think of later, but this covers much of it.

Godspeed Ernest.

Ernest Dyck Obituary

On September 14, Rev. Ernest Henry (Peter) Dyck, passed away at Heritage Place in Virgil, Ontario and went to be with his Lord. Born April 5, 1922 in Hierschau (Ukraine) to Katarina and Peter Dyck, he came to Canada in 1926 days after his father was murdered as they prepared for departure. The family homesteaded briefly in Saskatchewan before moving to Pincher Creek, AB and later to the Fraser Valley in BC in the mid 30’s. He left school at 14 to support his mom and two older sisters near Clearbrook, BC.

At 18 he was called by God to be a missionary to Africa. For the next 11 years he finished high school and college (Winnipeg’s MB Bible College, Tabor College, KS) and prepared to go to the Belgian Congo. In 1951 he married Lydia (Lil) Elizabeth Krahn at S. Abbotsford Church in BC and left immediately to study French in preparation for work in Congo. They arrived there in 1953 via a year in Belgium where Norman was born in 1952. 1952. Son Stan arrived in 1954. In 1957, while on furlough, he completed a Masters Degree at University of Washington in Seattle returning to Congo the following year. A year later daughter Ruth arrived and shortly after in mid 1960 the whole family was forced to leave because of political and military turmoil which accompanied independence.

Returning to Canada, Ernest taught HS for a year in Coaldale, AB before agreeing to start new churches in Quebec. For 31 years he did so with great passion and was used by God to establish a half dozen congregations, a Christian camp and a Bible School. Despite a lifelong desire to return to people he loved in Congo, this was never possible other than a short visit in 1989. In 1992 he “retired” to St. Catharines, Ont. and served in various capacities at Grantham MB Church. In 2004 he and Lydia moved to Virgil.

Ernest is predeceased by his mother and 9 siblings. He leaves countless nieces and nephews mostly in Western Canada. He leaves Lydia, his wife of almost 58 years, his sons Norm and wife Trudy Schroeder, their children Nina and Katrina), Stan and wife JoAnne and their children Jeffrey, Jakob and Stephanie and daughter Ruth and her husband Jean Cusson…and many spiritual children and disciples.

Friday, September 11, 2009

CI - Ethics and Legal Practice

A senior exec, and West Point grad, once asked me if the rules of business competition had much in common with military combat. With the benefit of more hindsight I'd now say:

"Probably so if we keep the Geneva Convention in focus, but less so when we don't".

The legacy described in the following is probably not one that the CI profession really wants.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

CI - What it takes to be successful

Educator John Taylor Gatto (below) profoundly reveals and reminds many truths about education. I am grateful that he says this so well. I think the attributes below are as good as any in defining success in CI.

I am grateful to my first exec boss in the CI space, Douglas Grindstaff, President of P&G Canada in the later 80's, who didn't fit the mold too well at P&G, whose marching orders were outstanding, permissive, creative: "Go and help your brands (businesses) and if you aren't do something else". That was/is the real definition of CI.


By John Taylor Gatto

New York City Teacher of the Year, 1991

A few years back one of the schools at Harvard, perhaps the School of Government, issued some advice to its students on planning a career in the new international economy it believed was arriving. It warned sharply that academic classes and professional credentials would count for less and less when measured against real world training.

Ten qualities were offered as essential to successfully adapting to the rapidly changing world of work. See how many of those you think are regularly taught in the schools of your city or state:

1) The ability to define problems without a guide.
2) The ability to ask hard questions which challenge prevailing assumptions.
3) The ability to work in teams without guidance.
4) The ability to work absolutely alone.
5) The ability to persuade others that your course is the right one.
6) The ability to discuss issues and techniques in public with an eye to reaching
decisions about policy.
7) The ability to conceptualize and reorganize information into new patterns.
8) The ability to pull what you need quickly from masses of irrelevant data.
9) The ability to think inductively, deductively, and dialectically.
10) The ability to attack problems heuristically (common sense based on experience)"

CI - Misrepresentation and SM

ISET: Intentional schizophrenia enabling technology. SM is a goldmine for potential misrepresentation. I wonder how many false profiles are on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Just like: How many posts on Edmunds are from employees of car companies, how many posts on Cafe Pharma are from non pharmaceutical sales reps, etc. How many times have you filled out an application for a real estate search web site in another town you were interested in and used false information so that you aren't contactable. Who will your network become today?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

CI - "Duplicity"

Watched video by this name the other night (Julia Roberts, Clive Owen). It's about industrial espionage (not CI!) involving two packaged goods companies - my old stomping ground. While I have heard a lot of exotic tales, some true and some not over the years, this movie just doesn't make a lot of sense. Yes, I realize I should have left LEFT BRAIN at the door.

1) CI can never afford this degree of investment by either company. Nor is it required.
2) CEO's are not that delusional, but certainly well-advised as per the movie to keep the secret amongst the fewest number of people. (e.g. the Coke formula)
3) Lack of due diligence on the stolen "baldness cure" IP doesn't do justice to CI professionals.
4) There are generally much simpler, cheaper ways to get the information. Misrepresentation not required.

All that said, I can completely vouch first hand for the complete transparency similar companies are at risk of in terms of what competition knows about them. How's your information security environment?

I once challenged a well-qualified 3rd party, one readily available to any and all of us, to penetrate my organization without getting apprehended. They did, they got absolutely everything - fast.