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January 2020

boy in army hat and using binos boy binos viability on the battlefield - battlecard battle card by Octopus Intelligence client. We isolate your problems, reduce risk and uncertainty and deliver intelligence-led answers and innovative solutions. Dedicated to help you win.

Will you still be on the battlefield?

By | Intelligence planning

Do you have viability?

It is essential to understand what’s the long term viability of your industry is. It’s critical to look for the trends could change the rules of the game. Also, what would allow a competitor to change the rules of the game? Understand the reward (and cost) of being a winner/loser within your industry. And, also in five years, what will your industry winners look like.

These questions may help: 

  • Firstly, Who are the industry leaders?
  • Secondly, are they doing and why?
  • What are the critical success factors in your industry?
  • And what does your competitor do? – (Not as simple and straightforward question as it seems).
  • What are the key players saying?
  • What are they not saying?
  • Do their actions match their words?
  • Where do they compete, which customers and niches?
  • How are they going to fight in the future?
  • Are their strategic objectives achievable and will they clash with yours?
  • What options do we have to compete in this changing world?
  • How will you differentiate against them?
  • Can you isolate vulnerabilities to exploit?
  • If you had limitless resources, do you know which of your competitor’s people would make a significant difference to your organisation?

Answers to these questions could create a powerful list that would be to highlight your strengths and weaknesses and your future plans.

Stay ahead of the game

As you know, Competitive Intelligence helps you stay ahead of the game, but to remain on the battlefield the isolated competitive analysis, you must result in action.
Now, ask yourself, will you still be on the battlefield?

Intelligence is just knowing…

So, do you what more answers to the questions you need to ask? Get in touch here or follow us on Twitter

Boy with hands to ears and flying hat for an article by Octopus Intelligence client. We isolate your problems, reduce risk and uncertainty and deliver intelligence-led answers and innovative solutions. Dedicated to help you win.

What if you are wrong but right?

By | Intelligence Analysis

Sometimes highly intelligent people get stuck on a nail about a theory and will not budge even when everyone is telling them they are wrong.

Something they believe to be true because that’s always been the way or it was how it was taught at university.

Just look at the political situation in your country or Brexit. You will see perfectly intelligent people on both sides of an argument fighting and falling out for what they believe.

Some even argue their view even when they know, deep down, they are wrong themselves.

Point to the data

They point to the data and use it to argue their point. They ignore information which disagrees with them, distort the evidence.  And, they try and explain why they are right, and you are wrong. If they are the boss, then it is view easier to push their viewpoint wrong. Any alternative theory will not sway them.

There are also those who come up with great theories but reject immediately upon seeing the first piece of opposing information.

What if you have ingrained belief built on unstable foundations of weak data? You are not going to gain any intelligence; you are not going to answer the questions.

Amazingly, some people carry on with their plans as it saves face and the effort of having to build a new strategy.

A military example: Market Garden

An excellent example of this occurred in the Netherlands in 1944. On the 17th September, the Allies launched Operation Market Garden. And sent paratroopers to capture and hold bridges along a 64-mile section of the Rhine. Once the bridges were captured, an armoured spearhead was to smash into the industrial heartland of Germany.

It was Intelligence which told the decision-makers that there was a German Panza Division outside the town of Arnhem. And that they could come to the aide of the final bridge.

In the film depicting Market Garden, “A Bridge too Far“, the actor playing Brian Urquhart showed an overhead photograph of German tanks hidden under trees.

There may have been photographs, but it was Signals Intelligence from Bletchley Park who isolated the German forces.

Cancelling or changing the plan at such a late stage of the game was politically and practically very hard to do. Any delays or failures in the plan would see the whole operation fail. The generals were too eager and wanted to downplay bad news.

They also questioned the interpretation of Intelligence. After all, this SS Division had retreated battered and bruised from the fighting after D-Day. So it was assumed it must have been weak. Also, Intelligence only confirmed the location of German forces outside Arnhem.

The British could not use the Dutch the resistance to take a look to see how many tanks were there.  They had been compromised and not to be fully trusted.

Now there will be counter-arguments on why the generals were right not to use the Intelligence. It was a tough decision, and they did not have the benefit of hindsight.

Listing our inbuilt beliefs

Neither do we.  So listing our own inbuilt , theory, beliefs and biases is an excellent way of increasing the awareness. And reveal better insight.

That’s why Competitive Intelligence is best used independently to decision-makers. The truth may not always be popular, but it is still right, and I, for one, would rather make a decision knowing I have the best possible Intelligence to hand.

Intelligence is just knowing…

So, do you what more answers to the questions you need to ask? Get in touch here see our testimonials here or follow us on Twitter

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