In-House Training

In-House Training 2017-10-30T18:21:07+00:00

The CIP program was the best professional training I have received in my 20 year career. I was amazed at the knowledge and insight which allowed the Academy to present multiple full days of information in an organized fashion, and still grip the attention of every student in the class. The program presented more than just the tools of the trade, it challenged the class to think critically. And that, I believe, is the essence of competitive intelligence.

-Dr. David Nixon, Northrop Grumman

Enroll Today!
Enroll Today!

Modules, Individual Courses, & Our CIP® Certification Are Available In-House!

In a world where information overloads and the pace of change are the main problems for decision makers, the companies who astutely use intelligence, not information, win in their markets, make better decisions, save billions and identify opportunities earlier than others.

Intelligence is not more data. It’s not Big Data. It’s insight based on understanding different perspectives in the market: customers, competitors, regulators, suppliers, disruptors, investors. Intelligence is always future looking and generates strategic (proactive) options for decision makers at all levels.

In the 90s, Fortune 500 created dedicated CI positions. Today, the hottest trend among the Fortune 500 is to train a cadre of managers in market-facing positions – business development, capture, product, brand, and project management, R&D, technology scouting, marketing and sales and strategy planning professionals in competitive intelligence techniques.

Making better decisions starts from developing an intelligence perspective. Flying blind is not a strategy.

There are basically two main reasons companies have increasingly turned to in house CI training with us in recent years:

  • 1. Economies of in-house training of a large number of managers vs the travel and tuition for outside programs. The program is economical with as few as 15 people.
  • 2. The ability to create instant internal networks of managers and analysts across various businesses who share the same frameworks and templates for their CI work.

ACI can work with your company to transform many of your managers in various functions dealing with the external competitive environment into true knowledge workers. Our faculty can deliver our classic CIP® education program courses, covering theory and leading edge practices from the basic collection to advanced analysis, from running the CI function to a sophisticated industry risk and opportunity management methodologies.

Whether your company brings us in for a few courses or the entire certificate program, we bring years of experience and breadth of cross industry lessons to bear on discussions with your managers. And, as an added and valuable benefit, your managers can earn internationally-recognized, IACET-approved CEUs for each course completed, enhancing their professional career status.

10 Reasons Why Every Manager Needs Education In CI

The most coveted corporate characteristics today are agility and resilience. Both require the ability to identify change and disruption before they become obvious. Strategic planning and decision made without the benefit of understanding other players. Predicting their reaction and executing robust proactive moves that allow a company to prosper as market evolve are nothing more than wishful thinking. You can rely on luck, rely on consultants (with agenda) or develop the culture of strategic intelligence in your organization. 
While competitive intelligence does not deliver a crystal ball, it has developed numerous, time-tested approaches and techniques to help management prepare rationally for the future. Early warning systems aim at avoiding surprises and taking early advantage of a competitive opportunities before others have the first move advantage. . Whether learning how to identify competitive blindspots, conduct war-gaming sessions, or apply models to anticipate predatory activity in your market, a CI curriculum provides a variety of frameworks for early warning management of nearly every competitive situation and at every level: from local to global markets.

Managers trained in the competitive intelligence skill minimize industry risk. Industry risk – risk that emanates from industry-wide forces – needs to be systematically and proactively managed, just as the more commonly perceived financial risks are managed. Examples of industry risk include disruptive technologies, long-term changes in consumer preferences, performance rise/price decline of substitute industries, an entry of “rule changing” competitors, formation of a new alliance that changes the company’s competitive position, etc. The ability to navigate through industry risk can spell the difference between corporate success and failure. This is a critical arena for CI education and one upon which ACI places special emphasis during its training.

Succeeding in business requires you take an active – not a passive approach – to nearly every aspect of business, including intelligence gathering. When a business crisis looms or someone “upstairs” exerts pressure to deliver results, those educated in competitive intelligence will understand the boundaries within which they can work without stepping over the legal or ethical line. Potential misrepresentation, conflicts of interest, internal management disputes, overselling of findings, trade secret and intellectual property rights, bribery and use of third parties, are among the many issues a managerl must learn. How to apply these guidelines globally, examine alternate strategies to deliver critical information, know how to work within the ethical “gray zone” are all part of a complete CI education.

Do not mistake competitive intelligence with knowledge management. Competitive intelligence always has a direct, profit-generating purpose. While knowledge management essentially tries to harness all the information contained with a company, its purpose is not always clear. Training managers to develop their competitive intelligence skill extracts the lessons learned from some of the greatest entrepreneurs and business managers in modern times, and it does so with far more than anecdotes. Whether tactical (such as determining a rivals’ pricing strategy), or strategic (such as understanding long-term competitive repositioning across the globe), competitive intelligence is a practical craft that your management will appreciate for its bottom-line view of the world
Information overload is not simply a nuisance. It actually a problem: it leads to slow acting (lack of agility), wrong judgement calls, and decision paralysis. The field of intelligence addresses overloads and fake loads very directly through critical analysis and intelligence process techniques – techniques for everyone from the Board of Directors down through the sales force. Information overload is the result of not knowing how to handle the information you have and not being able to recognize an insight out of noise. It confounds executives at all levels. We teach the frameworks that allow you directly to see through noise.
A manager skilled in competitive intelligence knows how to keep an objective view of the market realities and therefore, attempt to avoid blinders. Companies, especially successful ones, fall prey to pervasive and unchallenged “formulas” and beliefs about how things work, or should work. The result is that they ignore or deny strategic changes that transform markets, and keep using the same old conventional wisdom. When reality hits, it typically ushers in a severe crisis. A CI-trained manager is the first line of defense. Sometime it’s the best line of defense.
Competitive information about customers, suppliers, competitors, technology, patents, regulatory trends and other important market change drivers is scattered among many different departments, units, and levels. A lot of this treasure is wasted galore: it is never converge on the right people, never analyzed right, and never put to use. Training managers in critical CI skills addresses all these issues. Intelligent organizations are as good as their own internal CI networks.

Given priorities, dedicated CI professionals have to choose which projects and which executives they support. Training a cadre of market-facing managers in CI techniques allow the “voice of the market” to be introduced and heard at every junction and every project where market reaction is the unknown element that can make or break the bottom line.

All companies understand the importance of market research. MR however delivers mostly quantitative results from existing customers or focus groups. It does not address emerging competing ideas and business models that will take your customers away. Training MR and marketing managers in CI allows them to incorporate qualitative techniques which are the essence of strategic intelligence to look at the market through a strategic lens which is very different than either developing a strategy in a vacuum or expecting same moves to yield different results or milking big data to death without any real breakthrough strategy.
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When theoretical concepts and practical implementation come together, the value it creates is mind blowing.
Quinton Swart, Sasol Oil
Excellent tactical program for educating CI professionals – well worth the time spent.
Mike Deport, F. Hoffmann La-Roche
Excellent, introduction to CI Analytical Frameworks
Guy Ruediger, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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