The Competitive Enablement Platform
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Adam is joined by the Johnson Brothers, Arik and Derek, both with nearly three decades in the world of compete. Arik is the founder, and Derek is the CEO, of Aurora WDC. Here are three takeaways from their conversation.
Wayne Gretzky says that until you’re willing to go hard into the corners you’ll never be a great player. The corners are where things get tough. And that’s exactly where you need to get comfortable to build a great career in sports as much as in compete.
Derek and Arik call this positive friction. Taking the easy way out and not ruffling any feathers won’t get you far as a competitive intelligence professional. That’s because, in order to build trust within the organization, you need to show you’re committed to the truth.
There’s no doubt that negative friction also exists. Stakeholders with big egos who don’t want to hear the truth if it doesn’t suit them. In those situations, going head-to-head might not be your best bet.
But if you come to table with empathy, humility, a willingness to listen and the facts as you see them, you’re going to win out in the long run.
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Most colleagues in most departments are serving their departments’ needs — their superiors’. In some cases in some organizations, these colleagues are better off (in the short term at least) looking at the bright side of things, sweeping potential negative outcomes under the rug.
If you’re doing your job as a competitive intelligence pro though, you need to think the unthinkable, and be ready for the improbable.
There’s a delicate balance between acknowledging that things might go wrong and telling everyone the sky is falling.
This is where you need to be an unbiased truth teller. Look at the data, combine that with your gut, your intuition and your experience and make the best recommendations for the organization.
If you do that, you have nothing to be worried about — even if what you’re predicting is a negative outcome.
👆 Watch another competitive intelligence veteran Professor John Horn talk about what it takes to get inside the competitor’s mindset👆
You’ve got the goods. The competitive insights, the recommendations. So it makes sense that you’re excited to share.
But your insights and recommendations are only good if they’re adopted by your stakeholders. And the best way to do that is to build relationships with those stakeholders through active listening.
The best intel is often the intel that others share with you. And no one wants to share anything important with someone who doesn’t listen.
Be confident in your recommendations and the value you bring. But listen more than you speak.
Welcome to the Competitive Enablement Show. On this podcast, host Adam McQueen is joined by experts in the competitive intelligence industry to talk about innovative strategy, tangible advice and tactics that work, and building a competitive program that impacts the bottom line.
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