Zachary Shore

Reading others requires going deeper than their intentions and capabilities […] We need to get down to the level of drivers and constraints.Intentions are manifestations of a person’s underlying drivers. When you understand why people have certain intentions—what’s driving them—you can better anticipate what their future intentions will be. The same is true of capabilities. We often ask what a leader is able to do. … [ Read more ]

7 Steps to Better Benchmarking

To get the best results from this powerful performance improvement tool, you need a clear understanding of what it can do for you and a well-structured process for your initiatives.

Colin Powell

The challenge for me was to have informal contacts and to get information from outside the organization that had been set up to provide me information. I did that beginning at 6:30 every morning, when I’d hit my office having read all the newspapers. I would get the CIA to come in for 20 minutes with no other staff members present and tell me what … [ Read more ]

How ‘Social Intelligence’ Can Guide Decisions

By offering decision makers rich real-time data, social media is giving some companies fresh strategic insight.

Confessions of a Corporate Spy

What do you think it means to be an expert in “hard-to-get elicitation”? It means people tell you things. A competitive intelligence consultant discusses things that can help a business–at the expense of another.

‘Kill the Company’: Identify Your Weaknesses Before Your Competitors Do

For many, implementing an innovation strategy, which requires changes within an organization, means adding layers of new processes. Lisa Bodell, author of Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution, argues that there are straightforward ways to make change without bogging down the organization. Bodell insists that whether an organization is doing exceptionally well or struggling, now is the time to address … [ Read more ]

In War and Business, It’s the Terrain that Matters

Add the dictum, “Know the terrain” to “Know your customer” and you’ve got the two most important principles that a manager needs to follow to compete successfully. At first, and perhaps even later on, the playing field may not be level, but managers who consider the observations of this Ivey Business Journal regular contributor will surely be able to compete with any player, under any … [ Read more ]

14 Tools to Legally Spy On Your Competition

Have you ever wished you were Bond? James Bond? Here are 007+007 = fourteen ways to spy on your competitors’ web sites, without breaking any FISA laws.

TheOfficialBoard

Corporate data about people’s roles and functions within different organizations is becoming increasingly public. All you need to do is search on LinkedIn to get a person’s entire work history or Jigsaw to find their direct contact information. Now you can add TheOfficialBoard, a contact database which goes one step further. It shows the organization charts for 20,000 of the largest companies, so you can … [ Read more ]

Esther Dyson

The most fascinating thing in the world is a mirror.

SpyFU

If you handle pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, this is your ultimate reconnaissance tool. Use it to find out how much is being spent on PPC advertising by category or industry… or you may prefer to drill down and discover how much a competitor is spending per day on PPC, plus the number of clicks their site is receiving per day, the average position of their ad … [ Read more ]

Robert Kugel

Most organizations are good at collecting internally focused data, but few systematically provide insight about a company’s external environment. For example, only 21 percent regularly track how their competitors are performing. Business is not an us-vs.-us exercise, yet management reports rarely touch on the world outside.

Webmaster Intel Basics: 25 Tools to Compile an In-Depth Dossier on a Competitors’ Site

Your rankings don’t just depend on how good your site is. They depend on the quality of your competitors’ sites as well. As a result, keeping an eye on your competition should be a regular part of every webmaster’s tactical plan. Use these 25 tools to get the lowdown on their sites.

netFactor VisitorTrack

Assuming we understand correctly what’s going on here, this company has a tool that looks at the IP address of each visitor to your site. It then researches the IP address to come up with the corporate domain name associated with that IP address. It then cross-references the corporate domain name with a business record database to fill in the blanks in terms of company … [ Read more ]

Peek Inside Your Competitor’s Business

What are your rivals’ future plans? Will they launch new products? How profitable are they? Find out – the legal way – with BNET’s step-by-step guide to competitive research techniques.

James Bond Comes to the Boardroom

Remember the days of Cold War espionage and intrigue, popularized in Bond films and John Le Carré novels? Well, times have changed geopolitically, but businesses have come to embrace the merits of “tradecraft”: They want to gain market advantage through a better understanding of the competition. In the corporate world, tradecraft is called “competitive intelligence.” A former CIA agent-turned-management expert tells how to make it … [ Read more ]

Understanding Financial Statements

The fields of finance and accounting are well established, with numerous well-written articles and books available on how to understand financial statements (FS). However, the availability of information is not the real problem: there is too much information for people to absorb. Not only do you need to understand how financial statements are created, but what critical and essential information you can glean from the … [ Read more ]

Learn to Conduct Competitive Analysis

This PowerPoint training tool shows you how to analyze your company’s competitive advantages and disadvantages. This tool explains the strategic group map technique of competitive analysis and includes a case study that illustrates how one company used this technique to plan an expansion of its facilities and services. This tool can help you improve your own understanding of competitive analysis or you can share it … [ Read more ]

Competitive Information and Sales Guides: What Sales Forces Need to Win

Sales guides often paint a too-rosy view of the company’s competitive position, or contain insufficient and/or outdated competitive information. Find out how such competitive information sets up a sales force to lose, what sales people need to win, and how to package information in ways that one’s sales force finds useful.

Eliyon

Eliyon is a search engine that indexes the profiles of business professionals and companies. As of late 2004, the Eliyon database included more than 22 million profiles of executives in the US, and more are added every day. To find new data, Eliyon crawls the Web and automatically extracts executive names and details from press releases, news articles, company websites and SEC filings. Originally intended … [ Read more ]