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The RivalScape 2x2 WCI Matrix

Each of the four quadrants shown in the 2x2 matrix below lends itself to a productive discussion about corporate Workforce Competitive Intelligence™ (WCI) issues.

  You Know You Don’t Know
You Know Facts, assumptions, beliefs… and blind spots Known intelligence gaps
You Don’t Know Hidden internal knowledge Unknown but not always unknowable

 

This matrix is a variation of the famous “Johari Window” created by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham as an interpersonal communication tool.

Credit for the original intelligence adaptation is due to Liam Fahey of Babson College, author of “Learning From the Future.” Fahey first exposed us to his version of the Johari Window matrix at the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals annual conference in Anaheim, CA in 2003.

It is fair to say that each knowledge, insight and intelligence issue in your business would fit into one of these four quadrants. Let’s examine the quadrants and what the WCI implications are in each.

Quadrant One: “You Know You Know.”

Corporate certitude is dangerous because it causes blind spots. Ben Gilad, the author of “Business Blind spots.,” says an unexplored and unchallenged sense of certainty can lead to “corporate sclerosis.”

A WCI program will insure that you are constantly scanning the competitive landscape, exposing blind spots. and sharpening your vision.

Quadrant Two: “You Know You Don’t Know.”

A good executive recognizes the limits of his or her knowledge and then develops an action plan to gain the desired information and insight to solve the problem at hand.

RivalScape explores important competitive issues with the client as part of a workforce intelligence requirements planning exercise. If done properly, intelligence requirements planning leads to precise, well-defined and manageable issues called “key intelligence topics” (KITs).

The creation of KITS in a WCI program leads to a focused effort to gain exactly the intelligence you really need.

Quadrant Three: “You Don’t Know You Know.”

The tacit knowledge in your organization resides in this quadrant. Certain parts of this largely hidden knowledge pool can make important contributions to your bottom line, hence an effort should be made to make that silent knowledge explicit. Only then can it be used effectively to maximize competitive advantage.

For example: Are a significant number of key employees projected to retire in the next year or two? If so, think of the wealth of insight that will walk out the door, valuable knowledge “you didn’t know you knew.” (See our Pre-Retirement Insight Management Exchange program.)

Quadrant Four: “You Don’t Know You Don’t Know”

This is the worst “danger zone” for corporate decision making. It is often from this quadrant that the nastiest surprises emanate.

Competitors could be about to change the rules of the game in your market, or you might be about to have new labor market competitors – maybe even a new direct competitor that hasn’t made it to your radar screen yet. Or perhaps you have serious information security leakages from inside your workforce about which you are completely unaware and not even thinking about.

WCI provides a number of antidotes for such unwelcome surprises. The most obvious one is having access to a well-developed and motivated corporate intelligence network that is encouraged to “think outside the dots.” Another WCI tool is to cultivate and maintain a large internal and external source network that informs you of new and still-weak signals from the marketplace. (See our Competitor Alumni Program™, for example).

If you are concerned about possible information leakages from your workforce, a Workforce Information Security Program™ can help find you find and plug any leaks.


 
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