It’s no secret that we operate in exponentially changing times, moving beyond the VUCA framework (of, v…u…c…a..) of the 2010s to a more complex and unpredictable BANI world. Coined by Jamais Cascio, an American anthropologist, author, and futurist, the BANI framework considers the changes brought about by the pandemic and encompasses the qualities of our contemporary world.
BANI stands for:
B = Brittle – the idea is that we are susceptible to catastrophe at any time, and all businesses that are built on fragile foundations can fall apart overnight.
A = Anxious – anxiety is one of the most present symptoms today, not just in people’s personal lives but in the job market as well. We are living on the edge, which creates a sense of urgency, which guides decision-making.
N = Nonlinear – In this period, we live in a world whose events seem disconnected and disproportionate. Without a well-defined and standardised structure, it is not possible to make structured organisations. Therefore, detailed, long-term planning may no longer make sense.
I = Incomprehensible – misunderstanding is generated when we find answers, but the answers don’t make sense. So, we need to understand that we don’t have control over everything.
Which begs the question – How do we deal with all of this?
In an unpredictable environment there is one acronym that shouldn’t be forgotten – CI, aka Competitive Intelligence.
In the corporate world, many aspects that appear to be unpredictable, uncontrollable, or mysterious can be attributed to inadequate CI capabilities. Businesses become vulnerable due to the proliferation of blind spots, as competitive intelligence is not effectively utilised to address significant issues openly (brittle).
Additionally, employees often experience heightened states of confusion and concern due to the sheer volume of data and information that is presented to them every second of the day (anxious).
This information comes from indiscriminate “platforms,” which obscures valuable insights amid the clutter, particularly when it is harder than ever to understand the magnitude of implications (nonlinear).
And with the ever-growing number of voices and commentators amidst fast-changing global contexts, knowing what’s important and why is increasingly difficult (incomprehensible)
In our industry, not only must we focus on operational issues, budgets and unrelenting deadlines but in this BANI world we are still expected to delight our customers, innovate, increase our efficiency & responsiveness and keep two steps ahead of our competitors.
Not to mention that ‘adapting’ to changing market conditions is no longer sufficient, as that would suggest we are following someone, to achieve competitive advantage you must be leading the pack.
Companies may not have control over external events, but by leveraging CI, they can be aware of and monitor these developments from an early stage.
Companies that think the world is incomprehensible simply don’t understand the methodology of CI: seeing the world from different perspectives.
CI done the Commercial Eyes way is about understanding what strategy really means, because real competitive intelligence is about gaining a perspective on the changing market conditions, what are the true strategic opportunities and where do the real risks lie for your brand or organisation.
At Commercial Eyes, our CI specialists have been trained and attained accreditation in Competitive Intelligence by the Academy of Competitive Intelligence (ACI) (www.academyci.com). Our experts apply a rigorous…process to competitive intelligence that provides our clients with a comprehensive view of past actions and behaviours and also the ability to look ahead and predict future behaviour.
If your company is in fact internally focused on operational issues, including execution, budgets and company deadlines and rarely focuses on what your competitors are doing, perhaps it’s time to invest in some CI to ensure that you are not blindsided by your competitors.
Jo Atkins, the Head of Access, Research and Intelligence
Jo is a certified intelligence professional, a registered pharmacist and has postgraduate qualifications in Marketing and Health Economics. She has worked within the Australian healthcare industry for over 25 years. Contact Jo at [email protected] to discuss your Competitive Intelligence needs.