MLM COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE CONSULTING
When sales are down, slow, need to go up, or you're facing a hard business decision, who do you turn to for good advice? Co-Executives? Subordinates? Employees? Do you ever consider that these sounding boards are biased?
Their output will be influenced by their own knowledge base, needs, and goals according to executive advisor Rod Cook, people tend to seek second opinions from colleagues – both inside and outside their companies. But, Rod warns, although insights can be gained this way, those second opinions – even if they come from the best-intentioned individuals – are unlikely to be objective, and simply aren't enough data especially if they are not “information catalogers.”
When you ask others for advice the need to advance their own agenda or goals is naturally going to affect their perspective – and therefore, the advice they give. Nonetheless, Rod Cook argues, it is possible to get unbiased advice from people who have the expertise to be genuinely helpful.
The key, Rod says, is to pursue the third opinion – the one that most people never ask for, but which is the most important of all. Too many executives are wary of outside “hired guns” that deliver opinion, but not fact. The third opinion needs to come from a neutral party that is paid for their ability to transfer information. In addition, other skills need to be…. experience in problem solving in a specialized area.
Rod Cook says that outside paid mentors that look at and study the global side of an industry to collect statistics are valuable and underutilized. A totally ignored side of business is Competitive Intelligence. The problem that he identifies is that Executives have a fear of displaying their lack of knowledge to Competitive Intelligence operatives, rather like the businessman in Gold Finger when he met James Bond. The Exec was almost fearful of the spy. Rod laughs at the thought of this and points out that most Competitive Intelligence advisors today are not cloak and dagger, nor do they steal information. One of the real powers is to “see” the whole industry and “feel” what is happening in terms of market movements, trends and even fads. The down to earth part of Competitive Intelligence is to know humans in key locations that can be “touched” for exact information relative to the needs of a Competitive Intelligence client. Rod reports that one paragraph of information can beat the pants off of a 2 day Executive Retreat for Strategic Planning. He does give one caveat, don’t always expect “cheerful” information if you contract with a good Competitive Intelligence Consultant!