Introduction to Strategic Intelligence

Introduction to Strategic Intelligence

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Executive Summary Strategic intelligence (SI) is an important tool in informing and supporting strategic management activities in different stages of the strategy development. In short, Strategic Intelligence can be defined as “a systematic and continuous process of producing needed intelligence of strategic value in an actionable form to facilitate long-term decisionmaking”. Customers of SI include individuals involved in strategic decision-making. From the process perspective, Strategic Intelligence can be seen as a part of Competitive Intelligence, as it is also a systematic and continuous process with a purpose to facilitate decision-making with needed and timely intelligence input delivered in actionable form. The major difference between SI and CI is that SI actions focus strictly on supporting strategic decision-making by monitoring aspects with strategic significance. Additionally, a SI time horizon is broad and the focus is on all significant events: past, present and future events. In order to practice effective Strategic Intelligence capable of meeting the needs of strategic

management and introducing intelligence of strategic value into the decision-making process, certain critical aspects should be considered. They include: • Appointing a strategic level process owner, preferably the VP for Corporate Strategy, and a seasoned SI Manager. It enables integrating the best available internal senior expertise into the SI process. • Knowing and understanding the internal SI customers - individuals involved in strategic planning. • Defining the SI priorities and properly communicating them (critical strategic themes, key players to be analyzed, early warning themes). • Designing and producing SI products that serve customers’ content needs and communication needs. • Building a network of Strategic Intelligence contributors, both internal and external.

GIA White Paper 2/2004 Introduction to Strategic Intelligence

1. Introduction This paper focuses on the relationship between Strategic Intelligence and strategy. The aim is to provide readers with a definition of Strategic Intelligence (SI) and explain the role of intelligence in formulating and implementing strategy.

monitor, interpret, and respond to environmental changes. This is where SI, a systematic process of collecting, analyzing and communicating actionable strategy-oriented business information, can serve as input in strategic decision-making.

The role of Intelligence in strategy formulation is a critical one, especially now, given the quickly changing business environment. As the pace accelerates, it becomes more difficult for senior managers and decision-makers to adequately

The paper begins with a discussion on strategy and attempts to define for readers the concept of Strategic Intelligence (SI). Strategic Intelligence as a part of Strategy Development will then be discussed followed by some concluding remarks.

2. Strategy The concept of strategy has been around for as long as there have been organizations and wars. Inevitably, there has been a huge amount of studies and writings on the subject. Today, there are different ways of defining strategy and the concept of strategy can be viewed from many angles. The aim of this chapter is not to provide a clear-cut definition of strategy but to give readers an overview of strategy which can serve as a framework for studying the relationship between Strategic Intelligence, strategy formulation and implementation. As mentioned earlier the concept of strategy can be viewed from different angles. Here are some, but by no means all, dimensions that should be included in any unified definition of the concept of strategy. These dimensions can provide an insight on how thinking strategically can benefit our business. Some traditional views: • Strategy as a coherent, unifying and integrative pattern for decision- making, a blueprint for the whole organiza