UPFRONT I-spy business

Having positioned themselves in the global marketplace for labour, suppliers and customers, companies are now investing more resources in competitive intelligence to find out what others are doing, according to American strategic business futurist and management consultant Roger Herman.
He says the intelligence gathering includes knowledge about R&D, emerging markets, alternative distribution channels and top employee talent. For example, executive recruiters are being asked to check the receptivity of top players – not necessarily to recruit them but to check their loyalty to existing employers, and hence competitors’ workforce stability.
Knowledge about competitors can also be gathered in casual conversations where employees socialise – at conferences, conventions or trade shows, says Herman. And while little bits of gossip don’t mean much individually, they can paint useful pictures when aggregated.

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