7 Sphere of Influence

In this chapter, we have chosen to illustrate the fruitful articulation between the competitive intelligence approach and strategy through a “strategy of influence” approach inspired by the field of geopolitics [CLE 11]. In 2001, strategist Richard D’Aveni [DAV 02] showed how global companies achieve “supremacy” through influence by shaping the market to their advantage through the construction of spheres of influence, real competitive arsenals, and playing a mix of confrontation, cooperation and competition. In this, it illustrates what we call, among others, strategic invention or strategic innovation, essential steps that are the motivation of this book. The analyst D’Aveni debates the doxa on business strategies, hybrid analysis matrix companies with those of geopoliticians. Chambers of commerce and industry, in France, used this matrix both to think about the strategies of SMEs, clusters of companies, but also local development strategies in the French regions [DOU 16]. They used it as a matrix for organizing prospective approaches to think about their own future. This chapter illustrates the creative capacity of the competitive intelligence approach, which tirelessly links, crosses, associates, cross-fertilizes and never separates to brave the uncertain, the unforeseen, even the unknown. It also reinforces the positioning of competitive intelligence as “daughter of strategic intelligence” [BLA 06].

The strategic thinking and the steering of strategies ...

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