On December 23rd, Arun
Jethmalani, Founder & Managing Director at ValueNotes Database Pvt. Ltd. in India, published an article to LinkedIn
Debates about Competitive Intelligence that will never be resolved. The article essentially lays out five of the
canonical questions that are a constant dialogue in the CI community. I won’t
share his insights, you’ll have to read the article for that, but the five
questions he puts forward are:
Should CI be strategic or tactical?
Where should CI reside?
Insight versus information?
How to calculate RoI on competitive intelligence?
What exactly is competitive intelligence?
I would add two questions, that may be a bit more controversial:
Is CI a profession or a set of competencies?
And does it even matter?
There are several comments on the article, including one from
me where I suggest that the answers to all the questions are blowing in the corporate
culture. For law firms especially, I
think the existential question of what CI is or should be – a library function,
a marketing role, a KM/BD hybrid is fun to think about in your spare time, but
analysis paralysis (hat tip to Fleisher
and Bensoussan) gets you nowhere. As
we usher in 2015, I think the article and its underlying questions is a great reminder
to know your clients, know your audience and anticipate their needs – be they
intel – or otherwise. The ability to
deliver answers, insights, and whatever else is needed on time, just in time,
and in advance, is the ultimate factor for CI success and happiness. However you define it.