Leaders in the competitive intelligence and market insights practice gathered in Berlin for the sixth CiMi.CON Evolution event. Over the course of two full days, participants shared experiences in CI and MI for critical strategic and tactical operations.
Fletcher/CSI participated as a topic host at the opening reception and led a discussion on how to transform competitive information into competitive intelligence, and competitive intelligence into competitive advantage. While no single solution emerged, the consensus was that stakeholder engagement is essential and that detailed analysis drives change.
Day One sessions at CiMi.CON were a mix of corporate side and provider side. Presentations discussed ways to set up CI and MI units for greatest effectiveness. This includes a combination of software tools, organizational structure, and primary sourcing. The day also included a series of interactive discussion groups focused on CI challenges. We really enjoyed the session presented by David Gram, a former innovation leader at Lego. David presented a list of issues that all innovators face and offered some solutions that can help guide the process in the face of opposition.
Source: CiMi.CON 2017, David Gram, Executive Advisor & Founder of Diplomatic Rebels
On day two of CiMi.CON, Fletcher/CSI served as the chair and provided summaries of each presentation. Sarah Clerkson of Sky TV kicked off with a presentation on how SKY TV links CI to programming. Her key statement was that finding a correlation is not the same as finding causation; she also reminded the audience that the link between CI recommendations and revenue is a powerful tool in CI value. A theme that emerged on the second day through various presentations was how changes in leadership can impact the CI department. In two case studies, the CI department used a leadership change to institute new practices. Both were successful because they had developed plans for change to implement when the opportunity arose. This highlighted the importance of CI unit planning for future and growth.
The session from Christina Sterenborg of Deutsch Telecom on how millennials are changing CI and MI was relevant to all. Millennials will be over 50% of the global workforce by 2020, and over 73% by 2030, which means they will impact business in the same way the boomers did. In general, the millenial cohort has different work styles and ethics than previous generations, which will continue to be noticed in the workforce.
Source: CiMi.CON 2017, Christina Sterenborg, Deutsche Telekom
The central themes of moving past the data, leveraging CI automation, increasing company engagement, and continuous evolution were reinforced throughout the event. These themes interact and are self-reinforcing. Moving past data allows for better analysis, effective CI automation enhances data analysis, and cross-company engagement helps move analysis to action. Throughout all the steps, the CI unit must evolve to remain relevant.
Presenters offered a range of perspectives about the conference themes. From the role of leadership in change strategy, to support structures that enable data analysis and engagement, significant ground was covered. Icebreakers, topic tables, and world cafes helped attendees put the presentations into practical concerns.
This was an event with a full schedule and there were too many different sessions to include each one in this summary. Fletcher/CSI was proud to be a sponsor of the event, and we look forward to seeing the attendees at other CI related events in the coming years.