This year, the annual SCIP conference continued its role as the leading competitive intelligence event in North America. With over 500 attendees representing a diverse range of industries and five continents, it was an opportunity to share best practices, learn from peers, and renew old friendships. The overall theme of the conference, building CI Skills, resonated well, and many attendees talked about the skill sets needed to be effective CI leaders. With sessions on almost every area of CI skill sets, there was a lot to cover. For the Fletcher/CSI team, there were three sessions where we contributed to the skills training.
Developing a Win/Loss Program
The first highlight was our workshop on building a Win/Loss program. In this workshop, we guided participants through a series of discussions and exercises that reviewed the key elements of a successful Win/Loss program, and how those can be applied to building an internal program. The workshop looked at how to engage internal resources in generating deals to review, share insights, and act on deal findings.
Advanced Scenario Planning for Strategic Decision Making
Right after the Win/Loss workshop, we participated in another program on Scenario Planning. This session looked at the steps needed to create a scenario, reviewing how to establish trends that will impact the future market. In our case, we looked at changes in how home food delivery will impact the market by 2027. Building on four conditions, one a status quo, another a best of times, one worst of times, and a final on a full paradigm shift, we found that the scenario for the status quo and paradigm both included similar elements. This is expected with good scenario planning as the goal is to identify strategies that will work in all the future scenarios.
CI Adventure Games
Running throughout the conference was the CI Adventure Games, which Fletcher/CSI quarterbacked. The game built on the scenario planning session and pitted four teams against each other to develop a CI plan that would inform company leadership in the future food market. Game participants were able to link the event sessions to their plans, putting the learning into action and demonstrating how the breakout sessions skills apply to real world CI. At the end of the conference, the CI Adventure Game teams presented their CI plans, showing how they would use their newly acquired skills to keep management informed of competitive actions in a changing food market. Each team had a unique take, but all included combinations of primary, secondary, and trade show collection, while adding in what sources they would use to keep current.
Even after participating in over 25 annual meetings, SCIP 2017 reminded us again of the importance of effective strategic and competitive intelligence to organizations. We would be happy to share additional perspectives about the state of the industry, the 2017 conference, and/or the services we provide. We look forward to seeing you in November at SCIP Europe and next year at SCIP 2018 in Orlando!