In a recent post, written while we attended the Business Agility Conference in New York City, we gave you a brief overview of the Agile Manifesto and its history. We mentioned that we were developing an Agile approach to competitive intelligence and that were really excited about it – but we didnt tell you why.
Many of you who read it likely said to yourselves: Agiles hardly new, and Agile trainers are readily available for any company looking to hire them. You slapped Agile on competitive intelligence? So what? Whats that going to do for my company? Whats that going to do for me?
Well, let me ask you a few questions.
How often have you found yourself playing catchup in the marketplace, struggling to perfect a competitors product – only to reach that goal and find your competitors another ten steps ahead? How often have you found yourself presenting a sales pitch you were convinced the buyer loved – only to see that sale slip through your fingers? How often have you fielded complaints about problems you never even knew existed, and would never have thought to look for? How often do you find that the assumptions you make about your competitors or your market leave your company in the lurch? How often have you been able to confidently (or comfortably) say thats our companys biggest blindspot?
These are all warning signs. Failing to get to know a buyer is a missed opportunity; making it a habit is a worrisome trend. In the same vein, while you cant always know what your competitors are doing, if you seem to never know, thats a dangerous sign. If youre paralyzed when faced with feedback, then potentially fatal problems are not getting solved. Know your buyers, know your competitor, know yourself: if youre not living by these maxims then youre not thriving as a company. In fact, youre likely barely treading water. If you see yourself reflected in these scenarios – or even if just the thought of them is making you break out in a cold sweat – then its safe to say that your competitive intelligence efforts are coming up short.
Thats why weve paired competitive intelligence with Agility – because we know that the old CI paradigms are not enough. An Agile Competitive Intelligence Program is more versatile than traditional competitor-only models. With Agile, we bring a flexibility that similar models lack. An Agile CI Program makes buyer insights its core tenant. Our model delivers continuous insights, and encourages open and collaborative teams to help strategically prioritize their most pressing CI concerns. An Agile Approach to CI creates a culture of learning, a cycle of feedback to give you the insights you need to make you confident in your market positioning and your prospects for future success.
Why did we create Agile CI? Because you needed it.