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Competitive Intelligence: Assumptions and CI Don’t Mix

Sometimes I assume my clients know what I can do for them and what they should ask for. You all have heard the old adage about what happens when you assume. I still laugh when I think of my elementary teacher saying it, but It’s such a basic idea, and applies in so many situations. Here are just a few of which I’ve been reminded.

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Over the last few months I’ve been working with a group of lawyers with whom I don’t regularly work. It’s been a great experience for them and for me. I’m getting to know them and their practices better. They are getting to know me and how competitive intelligence can help them reach their business goals. However, it’s also made me take a step back and take stock of my interactions. Too easily I fall into a routine of taking and answering requests, taking and answering requests. Talking to these lawyers who don’t really know me, working with them, listening to their needs, and helping them to understand the resources available has reminded me to step out of the routine and into the moment. We read every day in the legal literature that lawyers need to differentiate themselves in the eyes of their clients. We, as CI professionals, must also heed that advice.

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