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Building a Strong Intelligence Reporting Function

Tuesday, December 12, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Presented by

Tina Bundgaard

Finance and Controlling Manager

ToEcho

 

In this exclusive preview of the SCIP Europe 2017 Chronicles, we highlight a key session on best practices for building a strong, pro-active intelligence portfolio. Tina Bundgaard provides guidelines for delivering reports that include visuals, storytelling and Key Intelligence Topics, and offers tips to help keep practitioners from falling victim to constant ad-hoc requests for intelligence deliverables.

 

Please contact memberservices@scip.org or Matt McSweegan at Matthew.McSweegan@frost.com if you are interested in purchasing the complete SCIP Europe 2017 Chronicles, an invaluable e-Book containing up to date ideas, take-aways and implementable action items from the 22nd Annual SCIP European Summit!

 

SESSION ABSTRACT

Would you like to build a portfolio of intelligence deliverables, but are stuck staring at a blank PowerPoint slide? In this session, intended for early exposure, we discussed how to move beyond an endless stream of ad hoc reports to build a portfolio of reporting tools that are impactful, mindful of your audience, and won’t take forever to build. We discussed when you, as a practitioner, should be flexible with the requests you receive, and when you hold your clients accountable.

 

In short, how do you build a brand with your reporting, increase your effectiveness and keep your sanity intact?

 

KEY TAKE-AWAYS 

  • How to use simple techniques to master your intelligence reporting and building your brand.
  •  Insight into why SWOT Analysis, while simplistic, might be what your company needsHow to report Threats and Weaknesses in realistic and constructive way
  •  KITs – How to ‘recast’ them in a way that makes sense for people who can’t tell a KIT from a KIT KAT)
  •  Why you need to think of your deliverables as “products” and how to track what is selling 
  •  

    OVERVIEW

    As analysts and CI professionals, there is a desire to share all of the information with the C-Suite. But when you are focused on trying to convey all the information, it is hard to pare down to a one-pager. In order to be successful, and for the C-Suite to hear what you have to say, you must keep it short and sweet – and interesting. In your reporting, lose the bullet points and use visual aids - use something that is attention-grabbing (like animation). The following are some simple techniques to use to improve your reporting and tailor it in a way that the C-Suite will understand.

     

    BEST PRACTICE

    The Rule of Three – This is a concept that a person will only remember three things when presented with a lot of information. This applies to reports, presentations, and other methods of reporting. In order to give an epic presentation, you must limit it to three elements (key points). Then format the presentation into three parts (beginning, middle and end)

     

    ACTION ITEM

    Look at a report you have prepared and count how many key points are included; there are probably more than three. Try narrowing it down to three.

     

    BEST PRACTICE

    Storytelling - Every report, analysis and presentation is an opportunity to tell a story. Effective reporting is telling a story with the intention of informing the audience about something you know, but they don’t; persuading the audience to adopt your viewpoint; or a combination of the two. It is not sufficient to simply inform the audience of a problem; you need to help them understand the background as well as the solution/action.

     

    ACTION ITEM

    Use storytelling for your next report. When telling a story, use these three parts:

  • The beginning - start with an “attention grabber”
  • The middle – digging deeper into the issue
  • The end – “wrapping things up”/ “the grand finale” – present the action plan 
  •  

    BEST PRACTICE

    Key Intelligence Topics (KITs) - In order to identify KITs, you must know your audience and understand how to identify and define intelligence needs. Intelligence needs can be generally assigned to one of three functional areas:

    1.    Strategic Decisions and Actions – including the development of strategic plans

    2.    Early Warning Topics – competitor initiatives, technological surprise, government actions

    3.    Descriptions of the Key Players – know your environment, competitors

     

    You have the choice of being reactive by producing what you think is needed or waiting until the C-Suite asks for something, or you can be proactive and take the initiative by asking what decisions and actions are being considered and where good intelligence could help. To be a true CI professional, you must be proactive

     

    ACTION ITEM

  • Work with the three functional areas in your company
  • Take the initiative! Interview company managers and decision makers, help them identify and define their intelligence requirements. Create and use an interview form that brings the three functional areas together
  •  

    BEST PRACTICE

    SWOT Analysis – With a Plan - SWOT on its own is not enough, there must be a strategic plan. More than just being aware of internal and external factors, you need to understand the forces and how to tackle them.

     

    BEST PRACTICE

    Social Media - The fundamentals of social media marketing are to (1) maximize quality, (2) elevate audience in a dramatic way; and (3) build a foundation to serve your customers and your brand. When considering social media techniques, use the Top 5 Laws:

    1.    The law of listening – know what your audience wants

    2.    The law of focus – focus on a few key points

    3.    The law of quality - quality trumps quantity

    4.    The law of value – add value to your content

    5.    The law of acknowledgement – use networking and get responses

     

    ACTION ITEM

    Grab the attention of your audience! Consider using a different platform for delivery of reports. Have you considered Skype for reporting purposes? What about video? A study says that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.

     

    FINAL THOUGHT

    Aim high, but fly low. Intelligence deliverables do not need to take the form of reports and presentations. Simply sending out data and figures is not enough – you have to create a story. With a few simple techniques, you can improve audience reception and retention. Make it your job to understand your audience and their goals, and to deliver something memorable. 

     

     

     


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