Confidential: How to Uncover Your Competition's Top Business Secrets-- and Protect Your Own-- Quickly and Legally

Confidential: How to Uncover Your Competition's Top Business Secrets-- and Protect Your Own-- Quickly and Legally

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Overview

Confidential: How to Uncover Your Competition's Top Business Secrets-- and Protect Your Own-- Quickly and Legally by John Nolan

Whether you know it or not, your business competes in an environment in which many Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, General Electric, and Proctor & Gamble are recruiting ex-CIA officers with training in elicitation, disinformation, and counterintelligence; a world where small businesses are becoming increasingly more sophisticated at digging up information about their competitors—and are using it to beat the big boys at their own game. In an increasingly competitive world, companies must learn all that they can about their rivals-their abilities and resources, their problems, their plans for the future. But reading the journals and chatting up peers at trade shows is no longer enough; companies must develop an organized, systematic plan to collect and analyze information and to protect their own data. Welcome to the world of Competitive Intelligence. John Nolan, one of its foremost practitioners and founder of the Phoenix Consulting Group, a Business Intelligence solutions firm, now offers a comprehensive guide to this burgeoning field in Confidential.

Drawing on his decades of experience not only in business intelligence, but also with the government, Nolan describes a set of elicitation techniques that anyone can use to obtain information from another person. Using examples to illustrate each technique, he shows his readers how to recognize and take advantage of natural human tendencies to explain, to let off steam, or to boast; how to guide a conversation without drawing undo attention to the information in which they're interested; and how to get sources to reveal information through techniques such as naiveté, disbelief, criticism, or purposeful mistakes.

Useful as these tools are, however, they produce little value unless employed as part of a systematic intelligence plan. Nolan explains the elements of the business intelligence process as part of a plan:

  • Instituting an information gathering and analysis cycle
  • "Begining at home," identifying those people within your own organization who possess information about the competition from previous jobs or from professional contacts
  • Identifying and cultivating external sources: not only the employees of your competitors, but also their clients, suppliers, and other allied companies
  • Making the most of your time at trade shows and conferences by organizing, arranging, and analyzing the data you gather for maximum strategic and planning benefit
  • Creating psychological profiles of rival business leaders in order to better understand the competition

Finally, Nolan describes the realm of counterintelligence: how to keep your competitors from using these techniques on you_because chances are, they are already doing so. He shows how to analyze your own vulnerability to such techniques; how to identify which of your own employees are likely targets and how to train them to respond; and how to develop and deploy countermeasures. His counterintelligence techniques can even protect you against espionage or other illegal or unethical measures that an unscrupulous competitor might take. He concludes with a series of appendices, which offer additional examples, and case studies of his techniques.

As a longtime intelligence professional, John Nolan knows the value of information and the means to obtain it. Confidential is the ultimate guide to the growing field of business intelligence.

About the Author:

John Nolan, founder of Phoenix Consulting Group, an intelligence solutions firm, spent 22 years in intelligence special operations in the United States, Asia, and Europe. He is well known in the mainstream business community for his development of integrated solutions to industrial and economic espionage, trade secrets, and other informational issues.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780066619842
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/01/1999
Edition description: 1 Ed
Pages: 359
Product dimensions: 6.54(w) x 9.61(h) x 1.23(d)

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