This article asks are you giving away free Competitive Intelligence for your competitors information are you giving away to your competitors? It is interesting to know that Russia ever stopped spying on the West. It is unlikely they will ever stop; after all, we haven’t either. Competitive Intelligence professional’s should look for things that aren’t there. And perhaps should be.
Have you ever read the Soviet Air Doctrine. Very interesting, I know. If so, you will have seen that they had units known as “Monkey Assets”. These assets tended to be older aircraft with less well-trained pilots. Their task was to degrade the West’s aircraft, saving their best aircraft for the real fight.
Their ground forces had a similar strategy. First in line tanks were not the best, and conscripts could hardly read, never mind look at a map. Given the Soviet Union’s state since the 1970s, any tank crossing into West Germany would have quickly broken down. And only the column officer would have had a map. It’s also certain the Russians have sleepers in the West. Ready to spring to action should world war three should commence. Disrupt and survive as long as they can.
This situation has got us thinking about something closer to you. Do you have sleepers and leaks in your business? The best way to ethically collect competitor information is by talking to people. Having spies in your competitor’s business is not only unethical. But it also tends to be illegal, especially if they give you secrets you can use. It works. Look at Chinese innovation, for instance. All of the actions we are talking about usually from innocent conversations. Just part of daily business life. Here are some questions to ask. To ensure you are protecting yourself from competitor’s advances:
- When your team are networking, do they say too much to make themselves look good?
- On a Friday night after work, do they go to the same pub to wind down?
- If so, does the conversation move to office politics?
- Does your receptionist gossip to the salesperson on the phone?
- What about your Monkey Assets? How much do they know and whom are they talking to?
- Is the security guard at 3 in the morning moaning to drivers about the amount of work he has to do?
- Can you trust the recruiter not to say too much?
- At the Trade Show the people you tell how good you are. And how exciting your new products are. They are real buyers, aren’t they?
- Who else does your PR firm work for?
- Your latest article in the press, what does it not say?
Free Competitive Intelligence for your competitors
Most people won’t give away secrets deliberately, and it may only be one piece of gossip. The more specialist the firm, the more aware people are of the risks. It may sound far fetched but be mindful of your surroundings.
A Competitive Intelligence operator doesn’t need the whole picture. They piece together information, verify and analyse. This article asked about the Free Competitive Intelligence for your competitors. And we hope it gives you some food for thought.