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The Secret Language of Competitive Intelligence: How to See Through & Stay Ahead of Business Disruptions, Distortions, Rumors & Smoke Screens Paperback – March 31, 2010
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“One of the most important - and toughest - jobs of a manager is "seeing through" the competition: understanding the strategy, cost structure and pricing models of the companies that you bump up against in the marketplace. Leonard Fuld's new book offers approaches and insights into solving a problem which bedevils managers at every level.” —Robert Crandall, retired Chairman and CEO of American Airlines
“Leonard Fuld is the grandmaster of this kind of competitive intelligence work. He knows all about how companies engage in denial and need what he calls a moment of ‘competitive clarity.’ This book walks the reader through his techniques in very clear language. Yet it imparts an extremely sophisticated understanding of how to understand what the competition is doing.” —William J. Holstein, Editor in Chief of Chief Executive
"Leonard Fuld is the guru of competitive intelligence. In his new book, he shows your company how to anticipate competitors' moves, through war games and other methods. His stories and ideas will make you question whether you're doing an adequate job of staying ahead of the competition." —Philip Kotler, S. C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
"My challenge as an executive is digesting gobs of loose data. One of the great benefits of Leonard Fuld's The Secret Language of Competitive Intelligence, is to figure out how to filter that data and understand what it really means." —Dr. Ku-Hyun Jung, President, Samsung Economic Research Institute
“A big part of every executive's job is having a clear-eyed realistic understanding of the marketplace. Yet, the problem, as Leonard Fuld says, is that every market is full of ‘distortions, rumors and smoke screens.’ What he does in The Secret Language of Competitive Intelligence is provide potential solutions to the problem with practical tools for separating fact from fiction and the wheat from the chaff. The result is a methodology for understanding whether the competition you face is mediocre, weak or strong, what its future plans are and the steps you need to take to be successful. In short, a smart, easy-to-use set of ideas for how to get the information you need to make the decisions you must.” —Yang Yuanqing, Chairman of the Board, Lenovo Group Ltd --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Leonard M. Fuld, the founder and president of Fuld & Company and cofounder of the Fuld Gilad Herring Academy of Competitive Intelligence, was called “the undisputed dean of competitive intelligence” by Fast Company. His articles have been published in leading publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and Journal of Business Strategy. Mr. Fuld and his firm have also been profiled in the New York Times, The Economist, Fast Company, Newsweek, and Investors Business Daily, and he has appeared on the Today show and Marketplace. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Lenny Fuld, leveraging his many years of experience in the world of competitive intelligence, has written a book that is must reading for every corporate executive serious about building and maintaining a competitive edge today and in the future. Fuld takes us through the multiple ways companies can learn more about the marketplace in which they are operating and the tools and thinking of their competitors. His insights come from not only teaching others how to engage in useful information collecting and analysis, but also from working himself in the trenches and at senior levels with numerous major Fortune-500 clients in a broad array of industries and business settings. I was impressed by his real world understanding of business competition, esp. his notions about the ways in which companies quite unknowingly can expose themselves to "attack" by not being vigilant about their own information and data.
Some might think competitive intelligence is simply a commercial version of the CIA, and that competitive intelligence is a nasty part of business that does not get discussed in formal settings with "ladies and gentlemen" present. This would be a big mistake. Rather, as Fuld shows us, winning in the 21st century is about command of information--this command of information is about more than the quantity that can be collected. It is about targeting, processing, and adding value to the right kind of information to help explain what the competition is doing and why they may be doing something new, different or counter-intuitive. Fuld is to be commended for taking the challenge of competing in the 21st century to a new level. With competitiion becoming increasingly global and more intense, developing and utilizing an effective competitive intelligence capability may be the difference between winning and losing at home and abroad.
The book is an easy read and, I think, pretty interesting. Where it falls short is in failing to provide any specific structure or plan of action that the reader can implement. Having learned what intelligence is, and how and why it is useful, Fuld leaves the reader with few tools to plow forward towards success. He touches only briefly on what, in the military, is called the "Intelligence Collection Cycle" or an intel collection plan and readers would benefit greatly from learning the 7 steps (or however many he wanted to make them) to developing a formal, structured, intelligence collection plan for one's company. If thought out in a systemmatic way, the actual collection of information is far less tedious, much of it can be automated, and it will not just be used in performing static research, but can be a living tool to actively inform management decision on a daily basis. For example, if set up, automated processes can inform you that your competitor just fired one of their top managers and suggest that you contact that manager and either try to hire them, or learn more about their former employer.
Overall, the book is well worth buying if you are new to intelligence as a profession. If you have done intelligence formally before, the book is less useful.
There were few if any strategies outlined for building and developing the CI function within an organization. The war game scenario involving Google, Yahoo, and AOL was actually very basic, and you got the impression that war games are very disorganized events that provide little strategic insight. I would like to see the author really outline how to create and develop a competitive intelligence function, and also link CI to primary marketing research more. CI is just a sub-field of marketing research and it needs to be developed in that context.