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Forecasting involves recognizing how current patterns may impact the future and requires both creativity and logic. It’s also a learnable skill - that needs an ability to alternate between broad and narrow (focused) ways of thinking - in a six-step methodology.
Often there is a conflict between the two aspects - so creativity gets rejected in favour of logical approaches or vice versa. This leads to the risk of strategic failures where a business fails to anticipate and prepare for future changes appropriately - as can be seen with how Blackberry never met the challenge thrown up by the launch of Apple's iPhone.
10 Statistics that Prove the Value of Competitive Intelligence for Business Success
John Pepper, Chairman at Procter & Gamble, said it best, "I can’t imagine a time in history when the competencies, the skills, and the knowledge of the men and women in competitive intelligence ... are more needed and more relevant to a company being able to design a winning strategy and act on it."
Here are 10 statistics on why CI works. (The original article at the end gives links to the sources of the following figures). 1. 90% of Fortune 500 companies practice competitive intelligence. 2. 70% of large enterprises believe that having competitive intelligence in the past would have increased the effectiveness of previous campaigns. 3. Over 73% of businesses are investing more than 20% of overall technology budgets on intelligence and data analytics 4. 56% of CEOs see cross-sector competition on the rise, and plan to enter new markets in the next three years 5. When it comes to informing senior-level decisions, 70% of executives consider predictive intelligence the most critical data insight, followed by trend insights 6. 72% of business leaders say that their organizations will be susceptible to threats from digital market disruptions in the next three years 7. 80% of CEOs say that mobile technology and analytics are key to their strategy 8. On average, businesses are only analyzing 12% of their data, leaving a lot of untapped opportunities and critical insights 9. 69% of organizations that have used an external partner to gain better data insight report positive results from that decision 10. Only 35% of CEOs say they are very confident about their business growth prospects in the coming year buff.ly/2E0WtK8... See MoreSee Less
President Obama calls President Trump a complete dipsh*t in -https://buff.ly/2EV55SC except he doesn't. It's an example of how #FakeNews can now be generated as a deep fake - computational propaganda is a growing problem and can be hard to spot.
Sam Gregory, an expert on such areas is interviewed by HBR. The problem is not just to politicians. It can also impact business as business is about reputation, and deep fakes can target reputations by making leaders appear to say things or support ideas that they don’t actually endorse. buff.ly/2mH49uq... See MoreSee Less
In March 2018 President Trump’s tweets claiming Amazon pays “little or no taxes to state & local governments” sent Amazon’s stock to its worst monthly performance in 2 years. Trump's facts were wrong & the stock price recovered. Companies are really vulnerable to misinformation on social media. The truth is nobody is safe from this kind of damage. The spread of falsity has implications for our democracies, economies, businesses & even national security.
False news traveled farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in every category of information, sometimes by an order of magnitude, and false political news traveled farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than any other type.
The importance of understanding this phenomenon is difficult to overstate. And, in all likelihood, the problem will get worse before it gets better, because the technology for manipulating video and audio is improving, making distortions of reality more convincing and more difficult to detect. The good news, though, is that researchers, AI experts, and social media platforms themselves are taking the issue seriously and digging into both the nature of the problem and potential solutions.
A successful fight will require four interrelated approaches — educating the players, changing their incentives, improving technological tools, and (the right amount of) governmental oversight — and the answers to five key questions:
• How can we educate people to spot and resist falsity? • How can we disincentivize the spread of falsity and incentivize the spread of good-faith communication and truth? • How can technological tools — algorithms in particular — be used to contain false information? • How can regulators usefully weigh in without destroying the economic and social value created by social media? • And, perhaps most important, Who gets to decide what’s true and what’s false? ... See MoreSee Less
“Google Search Operators: The Complete List (42 Advanced Operators)” buff.ly/2IUEVpc
This gives a list along with examples of Google's search operators for advanced search. Unusually the list is pretty much correct. Usually such lists include operators that have been deprecated. This one gets it right - with two exceptions (that do work but I'd not recommend). 1) Define: - yes it works great. But you just need to type Define <word> - no need to view it as a separate operator. 2) AROUND - this can give very odd results so I don't recommend using it. If you do, don't combine it with other operators as that does tend to give poor results.
I'd also question the comments on the #..# search - I've found that does work, while brackets around expressions sometimes gives odd results so I generally only use brackets when searching on Bing and not Google.
Nevertheless, a good list - at least until Google kills more operators. ... See MoreSee Less
Management Guru Seth Godin recently posted on his blog 5 tips on improving presentations.
1) Make it shorter. No extra points for filling your time. 2) Be really clear about what it’s for. If the presentation works, what will change? Who will be changed? Will people take a different course of action because of your work? If not, then why do you do a presentation? 3) Don’t use slides as a teleprompter. If you have details, write them up in a short memo and give it to us after the presentation. 4) Don’t sing, don’t dance, don’t tell jokes. If those three skills are foreign to you, this is not a good time to try them out. 5) Be here now. The reason you’re giving a presentation and not sending us a memo is that your personal presence, your energy and your humanity add value. Don’t hide them. Don’t use a prescribed format if that format doesn’t match the best version of you.
And a bonus: the best presentation is one you actually give. Don’t hide. Don’t postpone it. We need to hear from you.
A presentation is expensive. It’s many of us, in real time, in sync, all watching you do your thing. If you’re going to do it live, make it worth it. For us and for you.
As a bonus, Seth Godin links to a fascinating podcast on time and doing things in real time. What is special about time and doing it live? The difference is about doing things "in sync" i.e. live versus asynchronously. Godin gives lots of examples e.g. Mark Twain. How did Twain make his living? The answer (surprisingly) is not from his books BUT from the lectures he gave as a result of his books.
(And the Podcast itself is an example on doing a Podcast that's worth listening to).
You're Probably Keeping Tabs on Your Competitors All Wrong
Many companies think they do #CI but get it wrong. A Fuld study showed that 45% of competitive analyses had no actual impact on management decisions, even from experienced CI Professionals.
For many companies CI processes haven't changed since the 1980s despite the rapid explosion in data availability. 3 mistakes companies make are - to do CI research periodically (even annually) rather than continually/daily - ignoring the whole picture and sources that appear unimportant - hoarding intelligence into silos and restricting access so that some who need it don't see it buff.ly/2DehoJ6... See MoreSee Less
Decision Trees are a great management & strategy tool to examine options in complex decisions. Daniel Finkelstein of the London Times shows how they may have been used by David Davis, the UK Minister for #Brexit who has just resigned. Finkelstein explains their use - mentioning Barry Nalebuff and Avinash Dixit's book "The Art of Strategy: A Game-Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life". ((Nalebuff also wrote Co-opertition with Adam Brandenberger - another essential strategy text giving tips to beat competition using a game theory model and PARTS analysis)
Finkelstein explains that to really benefit, start from where you want to end up, and see what actions you need to take to get there. He suggests that Davis resigned when he realised that the result wanted was impossible in the timescales required and hence resignation was preferable than failure. The approach can be used for any complex management decision. buff.ly/2NaOkr3
The last time David Davis resigned I was as baffled as everyone else. In 2008 he was David Cameron’s shadow home secretary and looked set fair to hold the office itself. Suddenly he stood down. He.....
Impact of infobesity on the Intelligence Function. A comparison between two industrial cases showed that more information actually reduced the intelligence impact - with fewer identified opportunities and threats found.
The reason lay in the thoroughness information could be checked. A larger volume meant that there was too much information to properly analyse and so opportunities were missed. buff.ly/2kzpOnm #Competitive #Intelligenc #CI ... See MoreSee Less
At Antara we had the unique opportunity to compare the results of two different strategies in the Digitization of the Intelligence Function, developed in two industrial companies. Let's see how these ...
People are more inclined to accept information as true and accurate if it aligns with their world view - explaining the reluctance of many to dismiss #FakeNews and the acceptance of Biased information buff.ly/2FeLLQD #CI #Competitive #Intelligence ... See MoreSee Less
DuckDuckGo.com Is Profitable Without Tracking You Online. And Google and Facebook Could Do It Too buff.ly/2IJjXcV
Focus on the keywords used to search and you can still target ads without being intrusive and using trackers to monitor net usage.
DuckDuckGo has actively focused on ensuring tracking users’ search histories and personal data is not part of their business model. It makes money by showing ads based on search terms for an individual query and affiliate revenue. Other search / social media companies have done just the opposite. Executives at Facebook, for example, have insisted on numerous occasions that in order to keep the social network free, the way to optimize the company’s profitability is by tracking and collecting information about user behavior to serve its data-based advertising mode.
"On web search, you really don’t need to track anyone to make money because the money is made off of the keyword that you type in.” In other words, Google makes money based off of what you type in and search for on Google.com, so its profit comes directly from what word you type in, like “car” or “mortgage,” not by keeping track of what other websites you visit and what you click on when you go to those websites.
“Google and Facebook have taken it to a level I don’t think people realize. They’re collecting basically everything about you online because they have hidden trackers on almost every website that’s out there.” Google deploys hidden trackers on 76% of websites across the web to monitor your behavior in order to make money and Facebook has hidden trackers on about 25% of websites, according to the Princeton Web Transparency & Accountability Project, which monitors and studies how websites collect and use people’s data. ... See MoreSee Less
Google and (to a lesser extent) Bing are the kings of search. However there are many other search tools that specialise in key areas that are worth knowing e.g. Archive.org - the wayback machine - searches historical pages from its archive. DuckDuckGo guarantees the privacy Google and Bing ignore. Boardreader searches discussion forums. And there are many more (and this list excludes Baidu for Chinese sites). ... See MoreSee Less
No matter how good your company’s cyber hygiene is, a targeted attack will penetrate your networks and systems. The Idaho National Lab suggests another approach. It's not perfect but may be safer than current approaches.
Learn to think like your adversaries. You might go as far as to build an internal team charged with continually assessing the strength of your defenses by trying to reach critical targets. The team should include experts in the processes in question, control and safety systems, and operational networks.
Even if you can maintain consistently high levels of cyber hygiene, you must prepare for a breach. The best way to do that is to create a cyber safety culture similar to those that exist at elite chemical factories and nuclear power plants. Every employee, from the most senior to the most junior, should be aware of the importance of reacting quickly when a computer system or a machine in their care starts acting abnormally: It might be an equipment malfunction, but it might also indicate a cyberattack.
Finally, a Plan B should be ready for implementation if and when you and your team lose confidence in systems that support your most critical functions. It should be designed to allow your company to continue essential operations, even if at a reduced level. Ideally, the backup system should not rely on digital technologies and should not be connected to a network — particularly the internet. But at a minimum, it should not exactly replicate the one in question, for an obvious reason: If attackers were able to breach the original, they’ll be able to easily invade one identical to it.
Based on US data derived from Quantcast and Global Data from Alexa and SimilarWeb. No surprises in top 3 or 4 but some interesting survivors in bottom ranks. #Search #SearchEngines ... See MoreSee Less
The Best Private Search Engines — Alternatives to Google
Private search engines have seen huge growth over the past few years. Until recently, it was unthinkable that anyone could compete with Google in the search realm. However, there are now many smaller players in the search game that are growing rapidly. Google’s market share has declined from 78.7 percent in February 2017 to slightly below 70 percent in February 2018.
A few of these search engines, including DuckDuckGo and StartPage began as normal search engines with no privacy enhancements. However, after they realized the massive risk associated with storing so much data, they decided to take a different approach. Your privacy really matters, and these search engines can help you stay private online.
Competitive Intelligence is legal and ethical. However often there can be blocks on what is done put up by the legal department because they either do not understand what CI is, or they are hypersensitive to how it is done and the implications (especially if they've heard about when things go wrong).
Brian Reuter's blog post gives some good advice on what to do and how to overcome legal objections. (He doesn't mention aspects such as when social media is blocked as this is now such an important part of CI collection. However the principles he gives apply to this too).
It's also essential to know the law yourself. I once did some work for a US based client - and included detailed finances on the company of interest. Shortly after, their legal counsel called me and said that they would not be paying me as I'd breached CI ethics in that there was no way I could have legally obtained the level of detail I'd provided on a private, non-quoted company. They would have been correct if the company being looked at had been based in the USA. In fact it was British and there is a legal requirement to file detailed company accounts. I'd used the official registry data and once I'd explained this and showed it was legal, there was no issue.
I've had other cross-border situations - e.g. the law relating to recording conversations differs across jurisdictions. In the UK it is currently legal to record a phone conversation without letting the other party know. In some locations this is not the case - so you need to know what you can and can't do.
Essentially the mix of legal and CI is a mine-field - so make the legal department your friend so you stay within the law, but also make sure they also know how important CI is for the company and hence their own jobs within your company. ... See MoreSee Less
FindSubDomains.com allows you to identify subdomains for a website. Often these will not be indexed by search engines and so can give hard-to-find intelligence.
Michael Bazzell, one of the world's best #OSINT researchers, emphasises the importance of checking for subdomains and gives a case example of how this can help in research - specifically for an emergency landing after a SouthWest flight - where he was looking for additional information that was not available on the normal pages. He shows this can include hyperlinks to subdomains, IP addresses and countries of origin - all information that can really help an in-depth competitive intelligence or OSINT investigation.
I have stressed the importance of searching subdomains for several years. Online services for this come and go, and application-based solutions such as Knock and SubBrute have various levels of succes...
- You want to complain to the CEO of a company that's given you poor service: send an email but will it get through? Of course not unless you get to their main / private email that's not filtered to their spam box. - You want to check somebody out - are they who they say they are? Find their email. - You need to contact somebody - for pretty much anything - but either don't have their phone number or don't actually want to phone them. Find their email and contact them that way. (You may not care whether or not they contact you back - the key thing is you've got to them. And with some email systems you can add a "read" receipt marker so you know the email was opened and didn't go straight to delete).
Finding email addresses when you don't have them in your address book can be tough. These 12 tricks can help. #OSINT #EMail #CI ... See MoreSee Less
When Solving Problems, Think About What You Could Do, Not What You Should Do buff.ly/2I7rvn6
Sometimes following the rules doesn't solve the problems. It's not what you should do but creatively thinking "what you could do" that gets the top results.
One example: Captain Chesley Sullenberger - the pilot of a USAirways jetliner that, shortly after taking off from La Guardia Airport hit a flock of birds and lost both engines. The most obvious course would be to head to the nearest airport — likely with catastrophic results. Sully allowed himself to think about what he could do. He decided to put the plane down on the Hudson River, and everyone was saved. ... See MoreSee Less
Telling stories is what humans have done since we lived in caves. It was how we used to pass on knowledge - and still do when we read to our children. However at some point this skill was seen as childish. To show expertise you had to show that you had mastered something complex and could talk about it in technical terms. This ignored that to really show mastery you need to be able to explain things in simple language. To really communicate you need to engage with the recipient and that needs to be in terms that are easy to understand. Often a story is the way that works best.
In fact you can go further - and make up a story or parable to illustrate something complex - and not only will be understandable but if done correctly it will be memorable. The catch is to be able to create a story that is accurate. It's not a technical skill. It needs creativity and that may not come from the PhDs and technicians but those that can understand the technology and explain it in non-technical terms. ... See MoreSee Less