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Why We Created Agile Competitive Intelligence and What That Means for You

In a recent post, written while we attended the Business Agility Conference in New York City, we gave you a brief overview of the Agile Manifesto and its history. We mentioned that we were developing an Agile approach to competitive intelligence and that we’re really excited about it - but we didn’t tell you why.

Many of you who read it likely said to yourselves: “Agile’s hardly new, and Agile trainers are readily available for any company looking to hire them. You slapped ‘Agile’ on competitive intelligence? So what? What’s that going to do for my company? What’s that going to do for me?”

Well, let me ask you a few questions.

How often have you found yourselAgile Competition.jpgf playing catchup in the marketplace, struggling to perfect a competitor’s product - only to reach that goal and find your competitors another ten steps ahead? How often have you found yourself presenting a sales pitch you were convinced the buyer loved - only to see that sale slip through your fingers? How often have you fielded complaints about problems you never even knew existed, and would never have thought to look for? How often do you find that the assumptions you make about your competitors or your market leave your company in the lurch? How often have you been able to confidently (or comfortably) say “that’s our company’s biggest blindspot”?

These are all warning signs. Failing to get to know a buyer is a missed opportunity; making it a habit is a worrisome trend. In the same vein, while you can’t always know what your competitors are doing, if you seem to never know, that’s a dangerous sign. If you’re paralyzed when faced with feedback, then potentially fatal problems are not getting solved. Know your buyers, know your competitor, know yourself: if you’re not living by these maxims then you’re not thriving as a company. In fact, you’re likely barely treading water. If you see yourself reflected in these scenarios - or even if just the thought of them is making you break out in a cold sweat - then it’s safe to say that your competitive intelligence efforts are coming up short.

That’s why we’ve paired competitive intelligence with Agility - because we know that the old CI paradigms are not enough. An Agile Competitive Intelligence Program is more versatile than traditional ‘competitor-only’ models. With Agile, we bring a flexibility that similar models lack. An Agile CI Program makes buyer insights its core tenant. Our model delivers continuous insights, and encourages open and collaborative teams to help strategically prioritize their most pressing CI concerns. An Agile Approach to CI creates a culture of learning, a cycle of feedback to give you the insights you need to make you confident in your market positioning and your prospects for future success.

Why did we create Agile CI? Because you needed it.

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