The IntelliSummit 2019 in Stockholm was attended by more than 10 expert speakers and close to 80 guests, with a focused theme Creating Competitive Advantages in a Complex Future. Six special roundtables covered topics such as:
- How do you increase the value of IT tools for Competitive Intelligence (CI) in the future?
- Where to find content?
- Getting the right data into your system so that you can get the right results.
- Managing expectations in a changing CI world.
- 'Lead me, follow me' - The pros and cons of recommending actions.
- Unconventional Market Intelligence Methods – Best Practices and Possibilities.
- How do you increase the value of IT tools for CI in the future?
- How will AI change intelligence work?
René Rohrbeck, Director at the Chair for Foresight, Innovation & Transformation, moderated the roundtable discussion on “How will AI change intelligence work?”.
The key takeaways were:
The emphasis in the intelligence work is shifting from backward to forward-looking.
Corporate foresight permits an organisation to lay the foundation for future competitive advantage.
Corporate foresight is identifying, observing and interpreting factors that induce change, determining possible organisation-specific implications, and triggering appropriate organisational responses. Corporate Foresight involves multiple stakeholders and creates value through providing access to critical resources ahead of the competition, preparing the organisation for change, and permitting the organisation to steer proactively towards a desired future.
Impactful intelligence creates shared future outlooks in the form of scenarios, radars or trend audits.
Scenario planning is important for competitive analysis. Scenarios are defined as challenging descriptions of alternative future states. Competitor scenarios have been used to identify and test plausible competitor strategy alternatives. They map out industry opportunities and link them to anticipated competitor actions. They serve as mental models that form the basis for strategising, and they allow an organisation to assess its responses to competitors’ moves and select a strategy that is viable under a variety of competitive conditions. In doing so, scenario planning serves as an organisational radar, allowing decision-makers to develop an early warning system.
We move towards real-time participation in decision-making processes.
Organisations need wargames, monitoring and dashboards for real-time decision making. They will have to combine scenario planning and business wargaming to better anticipate future competitive dynamics. Scenario analysis that leverages deep foresight based on key external factors is often too weak in proposing clear organisational actions in regard to competitive dynamics. You have to up the game. Typically, business wargames are directly linked to strategic decisions concerning the competitive positioning of an organisation.
The content of this article is inspired by Professor René Rohrbeck’s talk at The IntelliSummit 2019 and his recently published paper in 2019: Combining scenario planning and business wargaming to better anticipate future competitive dynamics.