Presentation on theme: "1 SCIP Africa Summit | October 13 - 15, 2014 Serving as Servants: Overcoming the Disconnect between CI and Senior Management Presentation by Douglas Bernhardt."— Presentation transcript:
1 SCIP Africa Summit | October 13 - 15, 2014 Serving as Servants: Overcoming the Disconnect between CI and Senior Management Presentation by Douglas Bernhardt 2014 SCIP Africa Summit October 13 -15, 2014 University of South Africa, Pretoria
2 SCIP Africa Summit | October 13 - 15, 2014 Overcoming the ‘disconnect’ Gaining senior management buy-in and support for CI remains our profession’s biggest professional challenge Too often, executives “just don’t get it.” –They don’t want to hear it (the intelligence fails to match their existing agendas, assumptions, or biases, or it may simply represent ‘bad news’. –Or, they are not prepared to accept intelligence that points towards a policy direction with which they are not comfortable.
3 SCIP Africa Summit | October 13 - 15, 2014 So what’s the problem? 1.Most senior executives have no formal background – educational, national security, or military – with intelligence theory or practice. It’s not part of their DNA. 2.The “them and us” aspect of the relationship – or lack of it – between executives and CI practitioners. 3.The failure of CI departments to consistently deliver ‘product’ that is sufficiently compelling, or influences the way management behave or think.
4 SCIP Africa Summit | October 13 - 15, 2014 Problem N o 1 Most senior executives have no formal background – educational, national security, or military – with intelligence. –It is rare that any course of study – say, an MBA or EMBA – undertaken by executives includes CI as a core subject, or even elective. –So, if CI’s principle internal customers – management decision-makers – do not possess a clear understanding about what CI is and THEIR roles in it, even the best intelligence has little chance of making a real difference to organisational strategy.
5 SCIP Africa Summit | October 13 - 15, 2014 Problem N o 2 Executives and intelligence analysts are different. –Executives usually prefer making hard choices quickly (preferably based on information that is “100% certain”), while CI analysts are likely to consider and examine a problem in some detail. –Intelligence analysts tend to thrive (sometimes dwell!) on evidence, whilst executives simply “want it fast, factual, actionable.” –Intelligence analysts examine a problem not from the standpoint of whether something will or will not occur, but from the standpoint of ‘what if it does?’ –Executives are paid to ‘lead the charge’ towards better organisational performance, underpinned by “hope”.
7 Problem N o 3 CI departments, or teams often fail to deliver ‘product’ that is sufficiently compelling –Think: Does your reporting offer insight unavailable from other, more conventional streams of management information (e.g. market research)? Does it tell a story? Or, is it simply ‘news’?
8 SCIP Africa Summit | October 13 - 15, 2014 Recommendations (1) Sponsor short CI educational seminars, workshops or presentations for your firm’s top executives. Develop routines that ensure that the analytical needs of decision-makers are correctly deciphered at the outset of any study or investigation undertaken on their behalf Introduce or upgrade procedures for decision-maker feedback to the CI team Prepare and distribute to senior managers a ‘Consumer’s Guide to Intelligence’ which explains what intelligence can do, what it cannot do, and the various levels of analysis and analytical output (e.g. current intelligence, warning intelligence, trend analysis, longer-term estimates).
9 SCIP Africa Summit | October 13 - 15, 2014 Recommendations (2) Improve the dissemination, or transmission and format of intelligence reporting. If an advertising agency, in a 30- second TV spot, can convince viewers to buy a particular brand of laundry detergent, surely there’s room for improvement in how you deliver your findings and analysis. Is there a “wow” factor to what you’re delivering? If not, maybe it’s not actually that important. Insist on face-to-face briefings with your internal customers where possible. If the topic mattered enough for management to task you to investigate it, it’s important enough for them to make time and space for you to explain it.
10 SCIP Africa Summit | October 13 - 15, 2014 For your bedtime reading Bernhardt, DC. (1999). Consumer versus Producer: Overcoming the Disconnect between Management and Competitive Intelligence. Competitive Intelligence Review, 10(3), pp. 19-26. Bernhardt, D. (2009). Intelligence Versus Policy: Healthy Tension or Lost Cause? Competitive Intelligence Magazine, 12(4), pp. 24-28. Davis, Jack (2006). Intelligence analysts and policymakers: Benefits and dangers of tensions in the relationship. Intelligence and National Security, 21(6), pp. 999-1021.
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