Six tips for speeding up decision-making at your organization – Turn competitive intelligence insights into action
With the increasing speed of change taking place in the business environment, it is now more important than ever for companies to accelerate decision-making to stay ahead of the competition. Strategic decision-making is the top-rated purpose of market intelligence insights, according to 96% of respondents in the Market Intelligence Trends 2020 survey by M-Brain.
As a competitive intelligence (CI) manager, you’ve probably encountered situations where you and your team have delivered excellent intelligence insights to the top management, your recommendations have been recognized, you have received positive feedback, and after a few weeks or months you still haven’t noticed any changes at your organization. Perhaps, at the same time, your competition already acted on the changes in the business environment that you have pointed out in your recommendations, which might feel like a lost opportunity.
Here is a quick checklist for avoiding delays in decision-making by facilitating an immediate rollout of competitive intelligence results:
1. Develop an in-depth understanding around the decision-making context of the requested insights.
Always make sure that you know what decision will be made based on the outcome of your project, and what the planned timeline for making the decision is.
2. Identify all relevant stakeholders and understand their roles.
Identify the individuals who will utilize the insights, those who will have knowledge about the specific topic you are analyzing, those who will make decisions based on the delivered findings, and also those who will be affected by the decision made.
3. Involve key stakeholders from the start, and throughout the project.
Invite all key stakeholders to the needs analysis meeting and to the project kick-off meeting. Organize weekly or bi-weekly project status update meetings for all interested stakeholders, share preliminary results with them on a regular basis, ask for their input and feedback, and test your initial recommendations. In this way, the decision-makers involved in the process will be able to utilize created insights even before the project has been finalized.
4. Consider utilizing cloud-based technology solutions to share the insights and encourage others to comment and discuss.
This will enable real-time collaboration.
5. Organize a 1-2 day workshop for top management, to ensure that concrete decisions are made as early as the project delivery day.
Invite all key decision-makers and relevant project stakeholders to the workshop. Inform them about the date of the workshop during the project kick-off meeting. Distribute a reading package with project findings at least a few days before the workshop takes place. Make sure that the workshop is run by engaging facilitators. The workshop steps should lead to a few concrete decisions, which are documented and distributed to the participants and followed-up on with concrete steps agreed upon during the workshop.
6. Include post-workshop accountability in the process.
When a decision is made in the workshop based on competitive intelligence insights, assign responsibility to one of the stakeholders or to a team to act on the intelligence. Follow-up on the execution and the outcome in the next meeting. This accountability should be part of the regular cadence of the process.
Many companies with world class intelligence programs recognize the value of workshops for top management. Recent cases show that workshops are often the most efficient way of implementing market intelligence results in the decision-making process:
A global transportation company generated ideas for new products and services based on the changing consumption patterns and lifestyles in target geographies. The project consisted of interviews with market experts, secondary research, and trends scouting in order to identify megatrends, consumer trends, and products and services from benchmark industries that responded to the market changes. These insights were applied during a 2-day workshop, where 20 product managers and strategy heads gathered together and generated 20 concrete ideas that were uniquely positioned against the competition. The management team left the workshop with a list of products and services ready for prioritization and implementation.
A global machinery equipment company initiated a scenario planning project to support its annual strategic planning process. 18 representatives from the management team participated in three 1-day interactive workshops, facilitated by a market intelligence team and arranged according to the robust scenario development framework. The team developed a set of four future scenarios describing possible paths of the company’s business environment. Since the top management representatives participated in the workshops and collaborated on the findings between the workshops, the company was then able to effectively react to the rapid changes in its business environment.
Time is often the most powerful driver of ROI on CI. The faster a decision can be made, the faster the benefits can be captured, and the faster financial gains are realized. To learn more about how intelligence can help in making faster decisions, attend our conferences.
Are you looking for ways to accelerate decision-making supported by competitive insights at your organization? Do you believe your company could be faster at reacting to the changes in its business environment? Are you looking for a partner who can help you to facilitate workshops with top management to immediately generate concrete actions and ideas based on intelligence insights?
Call us at M-Brain. We can help you.
By Anna Räder, Senior Consultant at M-Brain Toronto
Intelligence Best Practices