There was this guy who called himself a "Competitive Intelligence Analyst". He was the type of guy who sailed through school, picking up an MA in English, MSc in Pscyhology and MBA along the way. He could talk the hind legs of a donkey and was connected in all the right places. When he was in the office, you just knew that he was about to say or do something really intelligent. I guess, that's the way he liked it.
There was no doubt that he had read every book on CI under the sun and he was proud of his association with the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professional (SCIP), so much so he hung their organisational colours above his desk - for all too see. He also made sure that everyone knew that he was an ethical person and that he was following a strict process to ensure maximum CI efficiency.
People liked him because he fitted in well and gave everyone a sense of confidence that Competitive Intelligence was alive and well within the organisation. What they really liked about him was that he painted pictures of their business and marketplace that reinforced their understanding of the business and their competitors and this made them feel comfortable.
It was true, that Tim the CI Analyst really knew how to pump known intelligence sources and qualify CI - and was exceptional at articulating his findings, at the right time in the right context.
It all looked really good.
But somehow, you just knew, that Tim lacked an edge somewhere. Somehow you just knew that he was lacking in some way. In a way that would one day catch up on him. In a way that would not be so forgiving of his organisational style, his wardrobe of trophies or his finely tuned wit and charm.
And so it was that one day when he least expected it one of the company's competitors launched an all out attack on the marketplace. They deployed a "disruptive technology" strategy, gravely wounding his company in one quick blow.
At the post-mortem he was found to have been negligent of using outdated CI techniques and court marshalled for being an inflexible thinker who was stuck in his own ego and didn't even know how to program a computer.
Had he been a hacker..... the outcome might have been very different!