SCHAUMBURG, Ill., April 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — , April 25, 2022 — Competitive Intelligence (CI) is an exciting discipline in every industry and involves piecing together and analyzing various fragments of knowledge to help companies strategically prepare for their future. Building a CI-friendly culture can be a huge asset for a company to gain and maintain a competitive advantage.
That is one of the main messages of a new business novella on a company’s ability to gather, analyze and use information collected on competitors, suppliers, customers and external conditions in an industry to help avoid surprises, seize opportunities and blunt threats.
“We have always preferred books that were told as a tale, fable or a story, whether fiction or non-fiction,” says Gary Maag, coauthor along with David Kalinowski of The CI-Driven CEO: A Little Leadership Story About A Powerful Competitive Intelligence Idea (2022, Indie Books International). “When reading books from authors such as Ken Blanchard, Matthew Kelly, and Patrick Lencioni, who get their messages across in a more interesting way, it hit us that we should take that approach for a book in our industry of competitive intelligence.”
Maag and Kalinowski are the leaders of Proactive Worldwide, a 27-year-old firm with clients on five continents. Over 85% of the firm’s clients are in the Fortune 500.
According to the book, there are six best practices when it comes to building a CI culture:
- Have at least one C-suite champion
- Educate people regularly on what CI is and isn’t
- Brand and internally market the CI unit
- Know and profile key internal stakeholders
- Encourage and recognize staff contributions
- Regularly share successes/impact
This book debunks many myths. There are some common misconceptions about what CI is and how it can benefit businesses. The CI-Driven CEO illustrates how CI is an essential function, not an overhead expense, that helps identify opportunities and reduce risk by uncovering critical insights senior executives can use to improve strategic decision making.
In the book’s story, Jack, the imperfect chief competitive officer of Hewitt Games, faces a huge challenge when an unexpected competitor enters the scene and threatens the lifeblood of his company. When he is appointed the interim CEO, he must find a way to create a truly embedded, CI-friendly culture, and develop a strategy to outmaneuver the competition before all is lost.
As they examined various books in their space, Maag and Kalinowski realized nearly all were lacking an engaging way to get readers to understand what competitive intelligence is and how it adds value to any organization. So, in 2011 they decided to educate business professionals through the power of storytelling. That resulted in their first business book, New Directions: A Competitive Intelligence Tale.
“One of the biggest reasons we wrote both books as fictional tales was that we wanted to provide C-suite executives something they would find different and interesting enough to spend their time reading and do so fairly quickly,” said Maag.
“If you’re a senior executive, functional leader, CI professional, college professor, or even a business student, this book is a great way to quickly learn about the value and impact of CI,” said Kalinowski.