Double Agents

These agents try to extract intelligence about your company. Stay alert to their intentions. Once identified, you can attempt to turn them around and get them working on your behalf. If you are successful, they could serve as your inside agents. Here, too, you can assume double agents seek lavish rewards and may even show similar personality traits and motivations to inside agents. However, it is in your best interest to exercise caution. That is, determine the sincerity of these individuals, the reliability of their information, and how long you can expect them to remain loyal to your cause. Once again, make certain you are not violating ethical, legal, or policy guidelines.

Expendable Agents

These agents are your own people who are deliberately fed inaccurate information, which is disseminated in a variety of ways to distract competitors into making wrong decisions. Such contrived leaks take many forms: Passing fabricated information about new product features through sales reps who come in contact with competitors’ reps. Or it could be product managers revealing false dates about a product launch that would disrupt a competitor’s plans.

In spite of your possible discomfort when undertaking such activities, look at the situation from strictly a strategist’s viewpoint. Disinformation for the purpose of deception needs distribution to divert competitors from directly opposing your moves and consuming resources that you cannot replace.

You thereby preserve your company’s hard-won market position, control needless expenditures of financial and human resources fighting unnecessary market battles, and avoid disrupting your strategies.

Of all rewards none is more liberal than those given to secret agents.

Sun Tzu

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