Formal and informal intelligence structures - Lessons from the rise and failure of Canada's largest company – Nortel

Competitive intelligence/market insight was at the center of both the rise and the failure of Nortel, Canada’s largest company in corporate history and at one point close to 40% of the entire value of the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE300). A comprehensive investigation into both the rise and fall of the Canadian telecommunications giant involving interviews with key Nortel competitors, customers, suppliers and employees as well as reviews of competitive intelligence unit materials both of Nortel and its competitors identified several intelligence related lessons that can help strengthen intelligence initiative.


In this talk, hear about the kind of formal and informal intelligence mechanisms that can help organizations avoid common failure problems such as attentional disorder, attenuated transactive memory and atrophied prior knowledge. Learn about how insight can be used to measure and manage what the study has termed the customer cloud.


Speaker profile

Dr. Jonathan Calof is a professor of International Business and Strategy at the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa. Jonathan combines research and consulting in competitive intelligence, technical foresight and business analytics to help organizations develop key insights on their competitive environment.


Jonathan has given over 1000 speeches and seminars around the world on intelligence, foresight and analytics and has helped several companies and government agencies around the world enhance their capabilities on these areas. Jonathan has been given several industry awards including Frost and Sullivan’s life time achievement award in competitive intelligence; Fellow award from the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals; and SCIP’s distinguished member award and also several honorary academic awards and appointments including: Honorary Professor at Yunnan Normal University in China; Leading Research Fellow at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia and Extraordinary Professor at North-West University in South Africa