Return of the Expanding Bookshelf Part 1:

Authored bycascade

Three Sources for Toolsets on Your Utility Belt

Incremental additions to the approaches you already use for competitive intelligence can make your efforts far more effective, as well as giving your organization new inspiration. As much as we are all intrigued by paradigm shifts, breakthrough techniques, and new analysis frameworks, those aren’t the stuff of everyday work. This list is designed to provide small additions to your repertoire (there will be some “a-ha” moments as well):

  1. Research on Main Street (M Phelps) covers an area of competitive intelligence work that rarely gets a book-length treatment: open-source intelligence techniques to uncover localized information. Mastering this skill set is vital to researching specific market geographies and smaller companies that may not be adequately covered in national or international media.
  2. Wikis and Intelligence Analysis (K Wheaton et. al.) introduces the untapped potential of wikis as a collaborative tool for collecting, synthesizing, and organizing information. In particular, the book outlines specific concepts and techniques for helping competitive intelligence practitioners at corporations and other organizations use wikis to be more effective by working across channels.
  3. Harvard Business Review delivers content through its magazine, web site, and weekly audio podcast (the IdeaCast) that gets to the heart of a broad spectrum of competitive intelligence topics. These resources consolidate analysis and advice from world-class leaders in management and related fields, yielding near-limitless insights great and small.

This is the first of a set of three entries built around suggestions for your bookshelf. The second post, “Four Ways to Go Beyond the Five Forces,” rounds up a brief reading list to get the most out of the work of Michael Porter. The third, “Four Voices That Aren’t Right Under Your Nose,” suggests ways to access some perspectives that you may not have considered.

By Sean Campbell
By Scott Swigart

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