How to Position Your Competitive Intelligence Team to Optimize Impact

By James D. Underwood

To develop a sustainable, effective intelligence operation, position your competitive intelligence team at the very center of operations so everyone in the organization can feed information to CI and access its output. Think of CI as a service provider within your organization.


Having advised you to position CI at the center of your organization, I do realize that all organizations are different and focus CI efforts in different areas. As a result, many organizations attach their CI function to certain positions or departments in the organization.

For example, CI may be attached to the CEO or another executive, where it serves as strategic advisor. In some organizations, CI is attached to the legal and regulatory department. Many organizations make CI a function of marketing. However, to ensure that it monitors all factors that can affect the organization, CI really should maintain contact with all departments and decision makers within the organization.

In other words, regardless of where it’s positioned, it should act as though it’s at the center of the organization, pulling data from all areas and serving their strategic needs.