Economic Intelligence, a tool for risk management and reputation management!

Find out a couple of examples where Economic Intelligence can serve as a Risk management tool.  Apply some tips & tricks for Reputation Management.
Thanks to Jean-Paul Bissen, associate partner at Fitch Bennett, for the interview – published on Fitch Bennett Partners blog in January 2020.

Logo-Fitch-Bennett Economic Intelligence : how is it useful for Managers?

What is economic intelligence, and how is it useful for managers?

Economic intelligence is a decision support tool based on three pillars: monitoring, protection and influence.

The monitoring is used to guide actions to ensure continuity (Business Continuity). It covers competitors, the market, customers and has a PESTEL dimension (Political, Economic, Societal, Technological and Legal). This is to analyze data external to the company, in addition to the business intelligence that exploits companies’ internal data.

The protection of the economic and scientific heritage of the company is ensured.

Influence can be exerted on various stakeholders, such as consumers, potential buyers, legislators, …

pestel-Chart Economic Intelligence : how is it useful for Managers?

What risks can be reduced with economic intelligence?

Tigerkidnapping eg any staff member in contact with valuables (banks, jewelry) can be encouraged to give details (place of work, schedule, interest, family etc) and forced to commit malicious acts. Tigerkidnapping refers to the kidnapping or taking hostage of a person close to the collaborator to force him to commit a negative action.

The reputational risk: a private security company lost 50% of its value on the stock market when the press disclosed that it had employed someone who perpetrated a mass shooting in Orlando, the FBI reproaching the employer for having only conducted a psychological evaluation when he joined without updating it
… To name just two, there are of course many more!

The employee could be an ambassador or a detractor, a role that can evolve according to his career and after. An evolution that can be conscious or unconscious (fraud, passion, malicious intent, stupidity, pride, revenge …).

What about the GPDR?

Good question! In itself, the GDPR restricts the « surveillance » of staff members, which does not prevent the company from monitoring its brand, especially on open sources such as social networks.

What to do?

Reputational watch is a good start. Cooperative involvement of everyone in the company par excellence because it concerns various departments of the company:

  • HR for the employer brand (employer branding) and best profile with potential talent,
  • Sales & Marketing to learn more about the perception of customers / prospects products / solutions,
  • QHSSE (Quality, Health, Safety, Security, Environment) to respond to / anticipate possible complaints or incidents and
  • Operations to find out what’s happening in the field.

This common interest makes it possible to break the walls between departments and bring the teams together.

Where to start?

  1. Appoint a dedicated monitor and establish a structured reputation monitoring.
  2. Communicate internally to make employees aware of the use of social networks and establish a « social media » charter, while combining freedom of expression and protection of the family, the company and its customers.
  3. Appoint a Community Manager who will be trained to react quickly to any recrimination.
  4. Set up a crisis unit for the most delicate cases.