Copyright 2019 - Out In Front, LLC

CI Workshops - Course Catalog


CI Boot Camp


CI Officer Training


CI CXO Training


Detailed Course Descriptions

Each element is aimed at providing decision support professionals with sharper skills and fresh perspectives in all of the skill sets identified below. Takeaways will be realized in the form of greater focus, efficiency, and effectiveness in all aspects of CI leading, in turn, to higher customer satisfaction and enhanced effectiveness, reputation and credibility.


CI Boot Camp (100-200 Level Courses)

CI professionals’ success will be determined by their ability to deal with the demanding business challenges of today and tomorrow and will largely be driven by how well prepared they are as CI professionals. That preparation begins with the kind of training and development that CI professionals are exposed to, especially those in the beginning stages of their careers.


100: Getting Started: The Basics of Competitive Intelligence (3 hours)

  • What is evidence-based intelligence?
  • Why is evidence-based intelligence and decision support important?
  • How do you create intelligence from data?
  • How do you do your job as an “intelligence professional”?

This session will introduce new intelligence analysts to the world of competitive intelligence and outline in detail the most important aspects of CI and how to master them in the field.


110: Diagnosing Customer Requests: Proper KIT and KIQ Development (1.5 hours)

Groucho Marx once said that military intelligence is an oxymoron. Is the same thing true for competitive intelligence? It is no secret that businesses and their executives make mistakes. Sometimes it seems the bigger the company, the more spectacular the blunders that are committed. One of the primary reasons for this seems to be a lack of focus on the right intelligence initiatives. Information is like oxygen within a corporate environment: if enough does not circulate to the head, it can really be hard to think straight. But before you circulate intelligence, you have to make sure you are identifying the correct Key Intelligence Topics (KITs) and answering the right Key Intelligence Questions (KIQs).

Defining an organization’s actual intelligence needs, and doing so in a way that results in the production of intelligence that management feels compelled to act on, is one of our profession’s most elusive goals. This seminar will deliver:

  • What is a KIT or KIQ and what is not a KIT or KIQ?
  • Why is proper KIT and KIQ development so important?
  • How do you properly create KITs and KIQs?
  • How do you categorize KITs and KIQs?

This session will result in competitive intelligence professionals’ understanding the proper use of the KIT/KIQ development process. It will result not only in helping them identify the organization’s key intelligence needs, but also in creating the critical communications channels necessary to produce credible and actionable intelligence.


120: Getting to the Meaning of Intelligence (1.5 hours)

For intelligence to have a high impact on an organization, it must be relevant and timely. The challenges of creating meaningful intelligence cover several key areas:

  • Understanding the business and market
  • Access to information that helps drive decision-making
  • Interpreting intelligence to meet the needs of the organization

This session will result in key takeaways that must be addressed to be able to get to the meaning of intelligence.


200: Conference and Tradeshow CI: Elicitation and the Art and Science of Steering Conversations (1.5 hours)

The primary skill set of a CI analyst is his or her ability to hold a conversation and interview sources on a routine basis. The primary objective of this set of training modules is to introduce primary research techniques to new analysts. The course consists of three training sessions: Introduction to Primary; Approaches; and Overcoming Challenges. Each session is at least one hour long and may include some form of exercise or case study. The three sessions will include the following as objectives:

  • Review the methods of source generation
  • Understand how to prioritize sources
  • Learn the best techniques
  • Determine how to select approaches
  • Discuss the seven primary factors that contribute to poor research
  • Learn how to overcome and deal with rejection


210: CI Customer Bill of Rights: What to Expect from Outside CI Consultants (1.5 hours )

All of us in CI are looking for ways to move our practice forward. We know that we need to continually raise the bar in order to prove value to clients. This session addresses the most important relationship in CI, the one between Competitive Intelligence supplier and client. It will cover five key rights that every CI client should expect when working with any outside Competitive Intelligence supplier. These CI Client Rights will ultimately:

  • Heighten the quality of intelligence that informs decision making and action
  • Produce partnerships that lead to long-term success
  • Elevate the CI function as one of penetrating insight and foreknowledge, an essential component of every successful business


220: Legal and Ethical Issues and Guidelines (1.5 hours)

This session addresses the relevant legal and ethical issues to consider as you establish your CI function. Through the use of “what if” case studies and other real life examples, attendees will come away with a better understanding of what guidelines ought to be established related to gathering competitive intelligence and how best to minimize and mitigate risks.


CI Officer Training (300-600 Level Courses)

300: CI Leadership – What a New Chief Intelligence Office Needs to Prepare in His/Her First 100 Days (1.5 hours )

FDR’s “First 100 Days” were legendary: they established the tone and the strategies that defined his presidency. Since that time, U.S. presidents and corporate CEOs have used the “First 100 Days” as a leadership model to share their vision and galvanize their constituents, stakeholders, and employees.

If your company’s leadership has had the foresight to elevate the competitive intelligence function to a seat in the C-suite – or even if you are still climbing the corporate ladder and are helping to define the CI role as you do it – your first 100 days in your position are crucial for signaling the steps you will take to show value and get your tenure off to a strong, early start.

Demonstrable success in the first 100 days is crucial. Remember that “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” In your first critical days and weeks in an elevated CI role, your words and actions will send messages that define the directions for the CI position. This session will provide a systematic road map to success.


310: Don’t Cut Me or My CI Budget: How to Avoid Becoming Extinct (1.0 hours )

Most CI practitioners report that their CI budget, their staff and their own job is at risk during tough economic times. When companies start getting into cost cutting mode when their business goes into a downturn, instead of focusing on growth, CFOs start running the agenda. This results in business functions such as CI being among those at the top of the list to face budget and personnel cuts. Why is this? Why does CI, seemingly more than any other business function or discipline, have to constantly prove itself? During tough times, a company must invest more in CI, not less, but they rarely do.

During this session, participants will hear the real reasons why CI often gets cut or cut back, surprisingly even when times are good – and what to do about it. Participants will come away from this session realizing what they must be doing on a regular basis so that when it comes time to consider cost cuts, CI is not even on the list of areas to cut.


320: Building a High Performance CI Team: Training Field CI Team Members to Operate at Optimum Performance (1.5 hours )

We realize the importance of being brought up to speed on CI and individuals’ capacity to ascertain it. The fundamental goal for this session is to facilitate an active training dialogue with field members and team liaisons looking into the techniques and methodologies to assist in navigating intelligence gathering opportunities.

  • Identify nodes and develop intelligence networks
  • Create an internal source network and information sharing program
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities for CI gathering within the company
  • Heighten the quality of intelligence that is gathered and delivered
  • Produce awareness of gathering opportunities and actions that lead to long-term success.
  • Outline chain of pre -, actual- and post-events for gathering intelligence


330: Managing Internal Client Expectations (1.5 hours)

Communication between a CI group and its internal clients is crucial to successful CI, and often boils down to how well the client understands what actually can be delivered, the research-gathering process, when results can be expected, and at what cost. It also depends on how well the CI facilitator understands what the client expects for the investment. Specific key activities can help manage expectations and develop a consistent win-win relationship between CI users and providers. This module looks at which expectations are most important and how to convey them. The class will learn how to eliminate senior management's “get me whatever you can” mentality, and how to develop a mutually beneficial relationship between internal CI users and providers.

This session will focus on the following objectives:

  • Identify the most important expectations to convey/manage
  • Determine the challenges to managing expectations
  • Discuss practical action steps to overcome those challenges
  • Outline the benefits one receives by managing expectations and the negative effects of not properly managing expectations
  • Share specific examples of successfully managed expectations


400: Getting a Seat at the Executive Table: Creating a Fever Pitch within the C-Suite (1.5 hours)

David Fridstad, Chairman and CEO of Frost and Sullivan, and his team of analysts conducted a survey with over 300 CEOs. The survey was developed in part to determine what most CEOs’ objectives were for their companies and to identify what tools they used to hit their number one objective. Bottom line results were that the CEO’s top objective, no matter the industry or type of company or economic situation, was growth. The number one tool they identified with to assist in developing their strategy for growth was having an understanding of competitive strategy.

The value competitive intelligence has in this whole process may make sense to us. However, sometimes CEOs “don’t know what they don’t know.” In these cases the CI function has to make a concerted effort to connect with upper management and highlight CI’s core competencies and spotlight its success. This session will help outline effective ways to accomplish this by:

  • Marketing and promoting a legacy CI function
  • Creating CI awareness and expressing its value
  • Establishing a prolific CI culture within the organization


410: Safeguarding Company Information: Developing a Counterintelligence Mindset (1.5 hours)

John D. Rockefeller once said, “Next to knowing all about your own business, the best thing to know about is the other fellow’s business.” Just as important to creating a CI function to use as a weapon or tool to gain competitive advantage, so too must companies create a strong defense to protect their confidential information from the competition. This is not a session about physical security (although that is a small part of this training) but rather, how to prevent the intellectual property that resides in the minds of company employees from leaking outside the organization buy sibutramine .

This session will help build awareness by:  

  • Illustrating the value of information
  • Identifying the kinds of information competitors seek
  • Detecting intelligence gatherers – exposing their tactics
  • Preventing information loss
  • Provide guidelines to protect your company’s sensitive information


500: Building a World-class CI Function (5 hours)

Among the considerations to keep in mind when developing a highly functioning, world-class competitive intelligence group are that it should provide senior managers with the following:

  • Actionable intelligence that allows for informed decision making
  • Forward-looking intelligence that helps senior management plan for growth
  • In-depth understanding of the environment, opportunities, and risks
  • Early warning of competitive moves
  • Measurable impact over time


To have competitive intelligence that is worthwhile and actionable, there must be an investment in:

  • Understanding/communicating business decisions
  • Developing a CI process, best practices and operating procedures
  • Allocating appropriate resources
  • Defining jobs and scopes with clear expectations
  • Training competitive intelligence staff
  • Cultivating sources of information
  • Identifying third-party research services
  • Database/intranet to support knowledge sharing


This session focuses on the requirements associated with establishing a CI unit, and covers the following topics:

  • Value of competitive intelligence
  • Determining the need for CI
  • Getting buy-in from all levels, especially the C-suite
  • Defining staff positions and responsibilities, and recruiting CI people
  • Structure of the CI unit – decentralized vs. centralized function
  • Developing a purpose statement for the CI group
  • Identifying services to be offered by the CI group
  • Marketing the CI function internally
  • Locating key sources of information
  • Implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)


510: The Holy Grail: A True Framework for ROI (4 hours)

Measuring the ROI for competitive intelligence (CI) is imperative in today’s hyper-competitive business environment. In this fast-paced information era, business intelligence and decision support become even more critical drivers of business growth and financial success. That is why savvy business executives who do not want to be blindsided are arming for battle by demonstrating the value of competitive intelligence through demonstrating CI’s ROI and other measures of effectiveness.

Primary objectives for this workshop include:

  • Define and understand the essence and importance of CI ROI
  • Discover specific ways to create and cultivate an internal culture for CI ROI
  • Ascertain the tools and action steps to develop a practical ROI framework and reinforce it with human systems
  • Establish how to build an ongoing, cohesive ROI tracking and reporting process by implementing a unique high-performance planning model
  • Learn the critical techniques to achieve acceptance from the C-suite


600: Business War Gaming – Simulating Creation and Testing of a Virtual Company’s Strategic and Tactical Plan (3.0 hours)

In today’s hyper-competitive and fast-paced information era, business intelligence and decision support become even more critical drivers of your business growth and financial success. Consistently providing crisp, deeply penetrating insights that facilitate predictions that can be married into your business planning process can catapult your company or brand from merely having a presence in a market space, to actually owning an extraordinary and sustainable competitive advantage that catalyzes explosive growth.

At the heart of Business War Gaming is a simulated environment that challenges the teams to analyze and make critical decisions that will affect their company’s standing in the market and the bottom line. Over a defined period of time, participants establish a plan for a corporate or brand strategy and create the tactics for execution and tools of measurement. Participating in business war games allows a company to adopt preferred strategies and identify contingency alternatives. In this session, we will help the group to understand:

  • What are the terms and objectives of business war-gaming?
  • What data, tools and processes make it most effective?
  • How do you ensure robustness of thinking and its success?
  • What do you do with the conclusions and what you have learned?
  • How do you make it actionable throughout an organization?


Learning objectives:

  • Ensure that the business war game is designed and executed to meet your organizations strategic needs.
  • Meld conclusive actions into corporate and brand planning process.
  • Understand how to communicate the results, execute the plan and effectively manage expectations.
  • Articulate next steps to keep the plan refreshed and evergreen (identifying the role of business and competitive intelligence and linking it to corporate strategy).


CI CXO Training (700-Level Courses)

700: Using Evidence-based CI to Your Advantage: How to Position Your Organization for Growth (1.5 hours)

Militaries seem prone to assuming that the next war will be an “updated” version of the last war rather than something quite different. Consequently, they are often accused of preparing for the last war instead of the next war. Does the same hold true for businesses?

This is where rigorous, evidence-based competitive intelligence (EBCI) comes into play. Just as in the military, EBCI is designed to take uncertainty into account by explicitly incorporating factors that may change the character of future business in significant and perhaps profound ways. By presenting a plausible set of pathways into the future, evidence-based intelligence can help senior executives avoid the “default” setting in which tomorrow looks very much like today.

The foresight derived from evidence-based intelligence, properly applied, added to what scenario planners call “predetermined elements” is indispensable to those charged with crafting strategy. This session will convey how to use evidence-based CI and the importance of it to:

  • Accelerate and sustain competitive advantage
  • Blunt emerging threats, often before they can take place
  • Maximize the asset value of the business or brand
  • Manage the lifecycle with ultimate flexibility and options
  • Allocate/re-allocate resources to identified areas of greatest ROI
  • Achieve the greatest value for the company shareholders, stakeholders, employees and the client/customer


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