Intelligence is a comprehensive approach to analyzing and understanding the external business environment

Posted: March 31, 2014 in Readiness & Strategy
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Business intelligence as it’s currently conceived is focused primarily on analysis of internal data and information. In reality, though, intelligence should be focused on understanding the EXTERNAL environment in depth and in scope. The idea is to observe what is happening outside the organization in order to draw inferences so you can exploit change, identify opportunities, and prepare for risks and threats.

Here are the principles of intelligence for business:

  1. Understand the difference between a risk and a threat.
  2. Look outside the “visual” spectrum and use all your “senses.
  3. Take time and distance into consideration.
  4. Uncertainty increases the further out your look and the less knowledge you have.
  5. Expect surprises.
  6. Expect to be fooled.
  7. Seek comprehensive understanding of the environment.
  8. Look up and down, not just left and right.
  9. Don’t assume competition is only commercial in nature: it can be political, social, cultural, etc.
  10. Don’t assume everyone uses honest means to gather intelligence.
  11. Data and information must be interpreted before being considered intelligence.
  12. Intelligence is everyone’s business.

Richard Martin is a consultant, speaker, and executive coach. He brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to exploit change, maximize opportunity, and minimize risk.

© 2014 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.

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