If competitive intelligence professionals are to add value to organisational imperatives intelligence must become a central component of users decision-making processes. Competitive intelligence must make a material difference to the agendas of policymakers. Competitive intelligence and often the very managers whose job it is to lead the intelligence initiative are not perceived as credible by the decisionmakers. At times intelligence with which executives disagree is ignored and in many instances the competitive intelligence team will concentrate on delivering what it assumes to be important rather than focus on topics which are of real concern to their customers. The outcome or more accurately lack of outcome is generally regarded as a failure of intelligence. This paper addresses some of the cultural and political hurdles that must be overcome and the steps competitive intelligence practitioners can take in order to ensure that intelligence becomes an indispensable management resource fully integrated into the processes of strategic and operational decision-making.