By Rothberg Helen N.
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Extra info for From Knowledge to Intelligence: Creating Competitive Advantage in the Next Economy
2000) to Ford/Fiat (Mackintosh 2003a, 2003b), ex-employees and their “inevitable disclosure” of knowledge have been the subject of substantial legal and press attention. External sources A salesperson for Coordinated Resources, a Herman Miller (HM) reseller, knew that a particular firm was the major competitor for a given account. Other salespeople from HM’s distribution network had noted on the HM intranet that the competitor’s office cubicles had no power source. The CR salesperson was able to use this information to better focus her sales presentation on this important differentiation (Peterson 1999).
Whether top management wasn’t aware of this competitive knowledge or simply didn’t realize its importance, Motorola ignored direct evidence of Nokia’s increasing participation in the digital market, failing to forcefully enter the market itself until it was far behind its Finnish competitor (Finkelstein 2003). Possessing knowledge is important, but to be truly useful, knowledge must be used. Knowledge must become intelligence. Knowledge has value, but intelligence has power. This is a key lesson as we move from the New Economy to the Next Economy.
Certainly this is a good thing—having knowledge at Generating Competitive Capital 15 one’s fingertips. The difference between knowledge and intelligence is that “knowing” explicitly becomes appropriate action. This is also a good thing—taking knowledge and doing something with it. In knowledge management, tacit knowledge becomes explicit and is distributed or readied for distribution to those who may think to use it. In competitive intelligence, knowledge is sought and gathered to answer specific questions and to create action-oriented portfolios around specific issues.