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Global-corporations' executives, competitive-intelligence practioners
NATO defense strategists and leading scholars
recommend this book

Harnessing the Power of Intelligence,
Counterintelligence and Surprise Events

by Alain Paul Martin and Dr. Brian Morrissey

ISBN: 0-86502-924-5

“This is an extraordinarily thoughtful and well written book on a topic of great contemporary importance. Its advice is detailed, practical and completely on target.”
F. Warren McFarlan
Albert H. Gordon Professor of Business Administration
Harvard Business School

Book Review Links

Praise from Readers in the US, Canada, Europe and Japan

Back Cover

Back Cover

A Proven Framework and New Tools for:

  • Predicting Threats and Opportunities
  • Analyzing Stakeholders (F-Scale)
  • Selecting Reliable Allies and Teams
  • Building a Culture of Intelligence
  • Hitch-Hiking on Surprise Events
  • Mining Virtual Communities
  • Why Should You Read or Offer This Book As A Gift?
    Book Description      Table of Contents      Book Index

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    Praise from Distinguished Business School Professors

    “Information in the past tense is never as valuable as information in the future or present tense. How often do we hear that “the signs were all there”. Martin has created a framework and processes that anyone or any organization can adapt and use to create information and intelligence that will prevent or reduce unpleasant surprises in their lives or work.”
    Professor William J. Bruns, Jr., Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus,
    Harvard Business School
    Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Business Administration
    Northeastern University

    “This book is crisply written, offering a conceptual framework to tie together technical tools and practical wisdom. It is a must-read for Chief Intelligence Officers and others focused on moving to the forefront of their industry or shaping the next competitive arena.”
    Professor John S. Carroll, Sloan School of Management
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    “Executives that are just becoming aware of the untapped intelligence potential within their organizations need to absorb this book. Martin’s prescription for enhancing traditional market research information with intelligence activities will provide managers with the key to strategic advantage. Martin shows how to exploit the untapped competitive power in day-to-day intelligence. He presents ethical methods of collection and usage of intelligence and shows how all types of organizations can identify, monitor, and exploit early detection signals. If anticipating your competitors’ next move is what keeps you up at night- start here.”
    Dr. Paul Dishman, President
    Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals
    Associate Professor, Brigham Young University, Marriott School

    “Alain Martin has produced a very useful guide for strategy formulation that should be of interest to any general manager.”
    Professor Emeritus Samuel L. Hayes
    Harvard Business School

    “This impressive book forces us all to rethink the role of intelligence in organizations. It is an essential encyclopedia of knowledge about why intelligence gathering is vital for businesses and it also shows how it can be carried out successfully”.
    Robert J. Jackson, Fletcher Jones Professor of Government
    University of Redlands, California
    Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science
    Carleton University

    “A must read for senior executives. Alain Paul Martin built his concepts very cleverly with thought-provoking examples and jogs the minds of the readers to ponder deeper into the power of intelligence! This is a grand slam by Martin.”
    Professor Sunder Kekre
    Carnegie Mellon Graduate School of Industrial Administration

    “Competitive intelligence is one of the key antecedents for successful marketing strategy formulation. This book outlines the pertinent issues in conducting competitive analysis and provides an extremely useful tool for the practicing marketing strategist. As such, Alain Martin’s book is a timely as well as important contribution.”
    Professor Werner Reinartz
    INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France

    “Alain Martin has compiled an excellent compendium of tools and examples which define the “why and how to” of corporate intelligence. This book is highly recommended for anyone wanting to acquire an overview of this very complex subject.”
    Professor Dennis G. Severance, Accenture Professor of Computer and Information Systems,
    University of Michigan Business School

    “Alain Martin has deftly incorporated, adapted, challenged, and complemented the insights of Fuld, Porter, Sun Tzu, and others to achieve a superb practical guide to the strategic and tactical management of institutional information.”
    Dr. Mark Thompson
    President, Equity Resources Group Inc.
    Former Professor, Harvard School of Public Health

    “This serious book is breaking new ground in intelligence production and strategic risk management. It is well worth reading by decision-makers on both sides of the Pacific Rim.”
    Professor Tak Wakasugi, University of Tokyo
    Also concurrently Co-Director, Mitsui Life Financial Research Center,
    and NTT Program of Asian Finance and Economy
    University of Michigan Business School

    Praise from Business Executives, Scientists and Intelligence Professionals

    “In today’s turbulent business environment, decision-makers in global companies, particularly financial institutions, need a clear vision, effective strategies and state-of-the-art execution. In this book, Alain Martin provides thought-provoking analyses, a practical framework and concrete examples of how to develop the business intelligence required to support these three major challenges. Highly-recommended reading before taking action.”
    André Bérard, Chairman of the Board
    National Bank

    “Alain Martin’s book has shown me new ways to apply the discipline of intelligence in order to stay ahead of competitors. The book is well worth reading just for the sections on intelligence platforms and the Invisible Web alone. It provides a complete framework for building an ethical intelligence-driven organization with illustrations drawn from business, government, the military and NGOs.”
    David Baird, President and CEO
    ISS Integrated Security Solutions Inc.
    now part of Honeywell Integrated Security

    “Alain Martin integrates strategic planning, competitive analysis, and risk management tools into a powerful framework that provides valuable theoretical and practical approaches to strategy formulation and business risk management. His trenchant advice to “use competitive intelligence as both a sword and a shield” is particularly relevant in today’s competitive marketplace. More importantly, Martin shows how the ethical and responsible use of competitive intelligence can prepare an organization for unprecedented changes in the external environment. This practical book is well worth the busy executives’ time.”
    Dr. Peter B. Corr, Senior Vice President, Science and Technology
    Pfizer Inc

    “Alain Martin provides many up-to date examples, in a concise format that allows the reader to put the concepts to use immediately. I got ideas from the “Intelligence Insights From The Battlefield” regarding competitive intelligence cases in the public domain that I am already using to obtain competitive information.”
    Daniel B. Cunningham, President & CEO
    Long-Stanton Manufacturing Co.

    “This book is a useful guide on frameworks to enhance intelligence gathering and strategic planning in business.”
    Holger G. Demuth, Managing Director
    Credit Suisse, Zurich

    “Alain Martin provides great insight into the competitive intelligence function. Vivid examples from multiple industries bring the book alive. The framework and tools are practical. They would have broad applicability across our company from guiding R&D decisions to developing strategies for our sales representatives.”
    Denise Dickson, Director, Global Competitive Intelligence
    Eli Lilly and Company

    “Alain Martin delivers a powerful message that the most vital determinant of a company’s future performance is not reflected on its balance sheet. Rather, it’s the knowledge that’s retained within the organization. Martin’s latest publication is a richly-resourced guide for the intelligence gathering practitioner, replete with compelling examples of successful applications. And, in the process, Alain presents a wonderful panoply of methodologies for understanding people - and their cultures.”
    Archie W. Dunham, Chairman, President and CEO
    Conoco Inc

    “All too frequently the information coming into a company about its suppliers, competitors and customers is passive, ad hoc and fragmented. In this book, Alain Martin provides a structure for organizations of whatever size to assemble and collate the vital signs of change and proactively and ethically search for corroborating material. The section on exploiting the power of Search Engines typifies the extensive research input into this book.”
    John Fletcher, Global Change Advisor
    Shell International B.V., The Netherlands

    “Alain Martin’s new work is the perfect combination of practical advice and theoretical frameworks for building effective, far-sighted strategies. It is an easy-to-read reference source that will prove a valuable tool for strategic planning.”
    Tina Georgeou, Vice President, Business Development - Publishing
    Meredith Corporation

    “This book cites pertinent reference materials and explicit examples that substantiate Alain Martin’s methodology for assessing competitive intelligence, formulating strategic plans, and mitigating inherent risks. It provides a formidable and useful framework for a way forward in our dynamically changing business environment.”
    Amy M. Gepes, Vice President, Business Development & Planning
    MasterCard International Incorporated

    “I have used the framework described in this remarkable book successfully for several years, first, to orchestrate the turnaround of North America’s fastest growing casualty-insurance company, and subsequently, to craft a vision and strategic direction of a $75 billion financial institution.”
    John Harbour, Former President and CEO, Desjardins Casualty Insurance Group,
    and President & COO, Desjardins Confederation

    “Alain Martin has created an easy-to-read primer filled with clear examples of intelligence, counterintelligence and decision making in large organizations. This book is highly recommended.”
    Fred Hassan, Chairman and CEO, Pharmacia Corporation
    and Chairman of the Board
    Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America

    “This book is worthwhile to read. The intelligence framework it presents helps executives reshape their own model to better focus on mission.”
    Jean-Peter Jansen, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board
    Lufthansa Cargo AG

    “Productive corporate governance, dynamic strategic planning and focused risk analysis are inextricably bound together. They are driven by the rigorous conversion of information into intelligence, the identification of threats and opportunities and a foundation for proactive management in an environment of constant change. Harnessing Intelligence, Counterintelligence and Surprise Events is a pragmatic blueprint for this essential process.”
    H. Earl Joudrie, Director of Abitibi Consolidated, ATCO,
    Conoco Canada Resources, Canadian Tire and Zargon Oil & Gas

    “Competitive intelligence is one of the key prerequisites to develop a robust and deliverable set of strategies. I found this book very appropriate to my business and I recommend it to decision makers who must secure high performance, particularly at a time of rapid change.”
    Werner Jung, Vice President, Finance, Strategic Planning & Legal
    SAAB, Sweden

    “Alain Martin has presented several important concepts within a single volume which will be beneficial whether utilized together or separately. The first is a strategy, structure and sources for the critical task of actionable strategic intelligence gathering and analysis, which is vital in the fast moving, highly competitive world of global consumer products. The second part is a framework for creating the circumstances in which things can happen, not just as result of new intelligence, but for any necessary change in business. This book should be compulsory reading for senior executives.”
    Howard Mann, President and CEO
    McCain Foods

    “Mining intelligence is a tall order. To tackle this formidable task, Alain Paul Martin delivers sensible advice, rich in practical ideas and real-life examples.”
    Douglas McCracken, CEO
    Deloitte Consulting

    “In Harnessing the Power of Intelligence, Counterintelligence & Surprise Events, Alan Martin first takes the reader through the active and defensive essentials of CI, from both the process and the management perspectives. While basic, these chapters are an interesting read, particularly since he uses a number of real-world examples that are new, at least to me.

    Harnessing the Power is a novel work. The core of that effort, Chapter seven “Value incubation: a proven framework for early detection of threats and opportunities” is a real gem. It walks the reader through one model of how individuals convert raw data into useable intelligence. As you read through it, Alan links his vision of analytical phases with real world examples of successes and failures, based on such principles. He then moves on to the use of the CI you have generated. Finally, Alan has three chapters to help the CI professional understand those with whom the CI professional must deal with, in his or her own organization. I found, as I read these closing pages, that many of the tools and techniques he was using could well be applied to profiling competitors’ key executives, or defining a competitors’ corporate culture and view of the world.

    [This book] deserves to be seen by all executives still unfamiliar with CI and by CI managers eager to improve their own management skills.”
    John McGonagle, Competitive Intelligence Magazine
    Author Bottom Line Competitive Intelligence (2002)
    Co-author of seven books on CI

    “This book is well researched. It stimulated my thoughts on the importance of competitive analysis and provides excellent examples of not only “how to”, but also the consequences of failing to try to understand your competitors’ strategies and actions.”
    Thaddeus T. Moore, Director - Missile Defense
    Washington Operations, Boeing

    “Alain Paul Martin starts the book with a quote from Napoleon and ends it with one from Sun Tzu. The book tries to be something to all people, which is normally a doomed endeavor. Paul Martin succeeded in doing so by a clear mission definition, a wealth of information sources and practical modeling to real-life applications. This book is highly recommended to everybody in the business field with a need for change.”
    T. Nakagawa, President
    ExxonMobil Chemical Japan

    “This groundbreaking book is invaluable to decision-makers who plan for emergencies and important risks. My fear is that most may read it after rather than prior to a major incident when it can really help save lives and property.”
    Jeff Robertson, President and CEO
    CML Emergency Services Inc.

    “This book is focusing on an extremely important aspect of today’s global business - information and intelligence. It has a good balance between theory and practical examples and is easy to read. Without any doubt, it is a valuable guide for senior executives not only in the US, but also in Europe.”
    Dr. Axel Steiger, Head of Corporate Policy
    Bayer AG, Germany

    “This book takes us beyond the rhetoric by setting out a bold plan of action for hitch-hiking on surprise events. The combination of useful examples and a theoretically grounded approach to navigating turbulence makes this book worth reading - and using!”
    Cathrine F. Stene, Vice President, Human Resources Corporate
    Scandinavian Airlines Systems, SAS, Sweden

    “Filled with guidelines and techniques, the book provides a roadmap for gathering competitive intelligence, information on resources and cases. This is an excellent book that is well organized and highly useful.”
    Gerry Stern
    Book Reviews: Strategic Planning
    Stern & Associates
    Culver City, California

    “In today’s fast changing global markets where money and information flow at the speed of light, intelligence tasks should feature prominently on the daily agenda of every manager. For an innovative provider of application software like LBS, this compelling book describes a proven methodology to implement an ethical and far-reaching intelligence program.”
    Tugrul Tekbulut, President and CEO
    Logo Business Systems, Turkey

    “This book - well structured, excellently documented and easy to understand - represents a great step in mastering this extremely difficult subject. What fascinates me is that Alain Martin not only encourages to improve your management skills but awakes in you a strong desire to do so. He also shows insight stressing the difference between human capabilities and supporting tools. With this book you can conduct your business according to the French saying “Diriger c’est prévoir”. Bravo!”
    Jean-Claude Theurillat, Vice President
    Schindler Management Ltd, Switzerland

    “Alain Martin has deftly incorporated, adapted, challenged, and complemented the insights of Fuld, Porter, Sun Tzu, and others to achieve a superb practical guide to the strategic and tactical management of institutional information.”
    Dr. Mark Thompson
    President, Equity Resources Group Inc.
    Former Professor, Harvard School of Public Health

    “Harnessing the Power of Intelligence, Counterintelligence & Surprise Events provides pragmatic tools to tackle the uncertainties associated with risk assessment between R&D and new product development. The methodologies provided by Alain Martin are instrumental in diagnosing, prioritizing and deciding between technical and commercial factors. The book is lively and its scope is both deep and broad in applicability.”
    Dr. L.F. Vega, Manager, Technology Development

    “I found this book interesting and thought provoking. As Alain Martin clearly indicates, running an honest and ethical business does not mean that one should not do everything to understand and anticipate market and competitive activity. I have found over the years that these activities can and must be conducted fully consistent with the highest business principles. I found Martin’s Factional Grid an interesting tool, as well.”
    Group Chairman, Major Pharmaceutical Company

    Praise from Senior Military and Government Leaders

    “What is called intelligence in Alain Paul Martin’s book may be thought of by others as gathering appropriate information for which organization leaders should position their organizations to successful capitalize upon.  This is the message that senior leaders--in DOD or outside of DOD--should take away.  Intelligence, from my viewpoint, is only a subset of information and the concepts described in the book really provide a useful framework to grapple with this larger problem.

    This book has a range of excellent concepts that are useful to DOD organizations to improve their awareness of internal and environmental factors.  This increased awareness could help leaders anticipate emerging issues and concerns to DOD at large.  Mid-level leaders should know that the book is really about how an organization can gather and manipulate information that is relevant to their organizations and not get caught in the trap of thinking the book is primarily about intelligence in a military sense.  As we operate in increasingly complex environments, information gathering, synthesizing, filtering, and distributing are incredibly important organizational tasks.  This book helps people think about and approach the complexity and uncertainty organizations face today.”
    Col. Robert J. D’Amico
    Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
    US Department of Defense

    “Alain Paul Martin has produced a book that allows decision-makers to improve their ability to understand how intelligence professionals link the dots between collection, analysis and interpretation.”
    Ray R. Henault, General and Chief of the Defence Staff
    Canadian Forces

    “Decision-makers who carefully read this remarkable book will improve their ability to connect the often-neglected dots between intelligence collection, analysis and interpretation. Alain Paul Martin’s framework and road maps are excellent.”
    Paul Hession, Chief Information Officer
    Department of Fisheries & Oceans

    “At present, one of the most important strategic management challenges is understanding and enhancing the process of transforming vast amounts of information into useable knowledge. Alain Martin’s book is an excellent guide to meeting this challenge. He provides a structure and format that enhances our understanding and creates useable knowledge. I highly recommend that all managers and leaders read this book with a view to gaining informational insights and practical knowledge that can be applied to either everyday or crisis situations.”
    George Kolisnek, Director Strategic Intelligence
    Department of National Defence

    “Must Reading. Alain Martin proposes a solid contemporary vision of risk management, with a rigorous method that is simple, practical and very effective, regardless of the size and current situation of the firm. Today, no organization is immune to surprises or perturbing events. We must learn how to promptly decipher the meaning of these events in order to manage their impact. Martin’s framework is equally useful to effectively plan and manage strategic change involving stakeholders with various vested interests. I recommend this excellent book to those who must lead their organization to the cutting edge, or simply wish to be equipped to better manage uncertainty.”
    Gilles Morin, Vice-President, e-Business

    “I sincerely hope incumbent members of the Defence Department will read this book, and that it be used in the instruction of all at military staff colleges, so that application of its guidance will assist all levels of national defence management in “harnessing” the powerful intelligence factors. Not only will the lessons be instructive for all, but also, the book will be an invaluable resource for its research references.”
    Brigadier-General Lloyd Skaalen
    NORAD Regional Deputy Commander (retired)

    Book Review by Dr. John Sviokla*

    "Ninety percent of the information used in organizations is internally focused and only ten percent about the outside environment.  This is exactly backwards." -- Peter Drucker

    As usual, in one pithy phrase, the management sage Peter Drucker captures the central problem facing organizations in an uncertain environment -- they are looking in the wrong place.  This sin has an even greater cost when things are volatile -- as they are today.  The natural human tendency in rocky times is to pull in antennae, and hunker down in the cocoon of the controllable.   However, the effective leader understands that volatility is an opportunity for achieving greatness because the prepared organization can jump ahead of its ostrich-like competition.

    Yet, there is little business management advice on how to combat these natural human tendencies and systematically scan, analyze and act on the uncertain environment.  Michael Porter, in his classic works Competitive Strategy and Competitive Advantage did dole out useful advice on how to gather competitive intelligence, but he did not opine on how leaders can systematically take action to turn intelligence into commercial advantage. Alain Martin’s new book Harnessing the Power of Intelligence is a compendium of practical advice and well tested management processes that facilitate this transformation from intelligence to value.

    Martin’s competitive intelligence framework is based on research on a number of companies including American Express, Boeing, Dell, DuPont, GlaxoSmithKline, and Microsoft.  Within the framework are a number of core tools that the author has applied in businesses, government entities and the military.  In my judgment, there are three key items.   First, the book has the most up to date and complete list of intelligence sources.  For example, Martin cites the University of California at Berkeley "Invisible Web" project, which has shown that search engines only document about 15% of publicly available business intelligence, because the vast majority of it is, either not in a standard hypertext format, or not linked to a public domain name (the so-called “silent campers”).  Second, his framework on issue incubation shows that large scale issues go through a relatively predictable process of evolution and development.  Many leaders make the mistake of getting on an issue too early or too late.  The issue incubation process delineates ways to recognize the progression of topics, and provides advice on if, when and how to intervene.  Third, Martin has a tool called Factional Analysis Grid that helps a manager analyze who is likely to influence a volatile situation (from allies to adversaries).  This tool is much richer than the traditional stakeholder analysis for it includes roles that do not fit in the normal economic calculus.  For example, he includes "fanatics" in the analysis -- people whose sole purpose is to disrupt.  A leader can take the advice in this book and use it to guide outward looking intelligence, assess the current state of issues (or do a triage on a surprise event), and then take concerted action.

    At points, the book does suffer from the same weakness of Porter’s books in that in its desire for completeness the text often has a "list-like" feel. But, on balance this book provides a framework full of tested tools to turn uncertainty into value. 

    * Dr. John J. Sviokla is a principal and US Advisory Innovation Leader with PwC. He also serves on PwC’s Advisory Leadership Group, the Global Thought Leadership Council, and leads The Exchange, an ongoing think tank for PwC clients and world class business leaders. Previously, he served as Vice Chairman of the Board and Chief Innovation Officer at Diamond Management Consultants.

    Dr. Sviokla has nearly 30 years of experience researching, writing and consulting on topics of innovation, technology, strategy and economic value. Dr. Sviokla has global experience serving a wide variety of clients. He works across many industries and businesses, and has a deep understanding of leading practices and research in customer behavior, economics, psychology, behavioral economics, sociology, business strategy, network analysis, and measurement & leadership.

    He has created some of the very first thought leadership pieces on the coming world of digital competition including, “Managing in the Marketspace,” Harvard Business Review 1994, and “Exploiting the Virtual Value Chain,” Harvard Business Review 1995. Dr. Sviokla is a frequent speaker on topics of innovation, growth, and emerging customer behavior. He is also a major contributor to Oxford Economics study on Digital Megatrends 2015. Dr. Sviokla earned his Bachelors degree from Harvard College and obtained his Masters and Doctorate degree from Harvard Business School. He served on the Harvard Business School faculty from 1986-1998.

    Book Review by Prof. André Potworowski*

    With our attention focused on post September 11 terrorist threats, an explosive Middle East situation and the demands of the ever-expanding knowledge economy, a new book offers a refreshing and practical perspective on dealing with intelligence. Alain Paul Martin’s Harnessing the Power of Intelligence, Counterintelligence & Surprise Events is a distillation of years of experience of working with corporate strategy, intelligence and counterintelligence.

    Martin, who provides strategic consultancy to major international clients, gives us powerful tools to better use intelligence at the national and corporate level. His “value incubation framework” allows the user to anticipate and see how the linkages between seemingly isolated events can often lead to major tidal waves. That ability to recognize isolated events as signals of potential upheavals is a recurring theme. Martin also provides many examples of failure to act on valuable intelligence. Approximately half of the book is devoted to this issue with a wealth of factual case studies that give readers the inside story behind major events.

    Martin focuses on how intelligence can help an organization’s staff make wiser choices, become well informed and be better prepared. His competitive intelligence framework uses examples from American Express, Boeing, Dell, DuPont, GE, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Kellogg and Microsoft, among others. By considering real business and government situations, the book brings the framework alive and shows how it can be applied to win customers and allies, seize opportunities, anticipate threats, shield intellectual assets from adversaries, and learn about the key players, all by legal and ethical means. For example, his “Factional Analysis Grid” provides a new way to analyze and categorize allies, foes, and political leaders. Consider the current German position on Iraq. As early as 1999, Martin warned his clients that Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is “a rider and hitch-hiker on foreign issues” who “can quickly shift his rhetoric to gain or maintain power.” Moreover, the appendix on the BSE outbreak in Britain is written by Dr. Brian Morrissey, a leading authority on managing large-scale risks in health, food and agriculture. This rich case study, about a mismanaged high level of risk to a national population, will be of interest to anyone engaged in building public trust when managing high-profile issues.

    While the book’s style is uneven at times, the wealth of practical information it offers, including accessible resources, tools and references, cements its value. All in all, a most valuable and practical guide to an increasingly vital dimension of corporate and government survival.

    * André Potworowski was Science Writer for the CBC. He held a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry and Computer Science from the University of Toronto, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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