I passed the defense! Now, I move on to the next phase - life as a professor.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Friday, November 04, 2005
An interesting quote on the business of intelligence:
Consider the following statement from a classic Spy movie and novel by John Le Carre, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, this was the statement made by Control (the handler) to Leamas (his agent) in the context of the cold war operations, “Our work is based on a single assumption that the West is not going to be aggressor. Thus we do disagreeable things, but we are defensive. Our policies are peaceful but are methods cannot be less ruthless than the opposition…Our methods, our techniques, are become very must the same (when compared to the Soviet’s). Occasionally we have to do wicked things, very wicked things indeed. But, you can’t be less wicked then your enemies because your government’s policies are benevolent, can you?” This quote is apt at capturing an important point, regardless of whether an organization wants to be the aggressor or pacifier in its industry its methods needs to be sharp, agile, and up-to-date in the context of intelligence management if it expects to survive.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 9:04 PM
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Managing Sources of Intelligence (Information)
Many sources used by organizations lack credibility, are never verified, or are outdated and yet are nevertheless used. Under such circumstances, other problems will inevitably ensue. In the case of the efforts leading up to the War in Iraq, members of the US government (one organization) had different opinions on the credibility of sources such as Ahmed Chalabi, the satellite images representing potential weapons, and also the significance of weapons capability. These were not appropriately synthesized by senior officials, worse yet, they were not adequately checked in the most basic sense. For example, one of the documents used by the British government was flawed in the most basic sense - it was not an intelligence report instead it was a high-school student’s term paper.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 1:11 AM
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Some thoughts on a book that I am working (ok. thinking about working on)
Unless an organization is able to effectively understand and manage intelligence, it flirts with the condition of predictive extinction, i.e., the deliberate inattention to conditions of vital importance which invariably destroys, in part or whole, the form and function of an organization. The concept of acting intelligently is not an isolated interest for logical organizations only. Physical organisms such as humans and animals must also act intelligently if they would like to thrive in their environments. Failure to represent even the most basic intelligent behavior will result in feelings of discomfort and stress. For example, if an animal does not act intelligently to capture its prey, it will have to experience the discomfort of hunger, and similarly, if a stock broker does not know how to act intelligently and conduct effective trades he will experience consequences associated with loss of income. In the context of organizations, the challenge of managing intelligence becomes more complicated than when dealing with individuals, as we are now concerned with “organizational intelligence”. Organizational intelligence, is not the sum of individual intelligence capacities, rather it emerges from the integration and assimilation of individual know-how, organizational memories, and routines in the organization. We argue that no organization can act without lack of intelligence. However, there are some organizations that exhibit greater intelligence behavior than their peers. Some organizations exhibit greater intelligence on an on-going basis, while some others have “intelligent flashes”. We can also have sectors within an organization that exhibit high levels of intelligent behavior only to be averaged out other sectors who act foolishly and with less care.
Constructing the intelligent organization is the focus of this book. Unless an organization is able to exhibit high degrees of intelligent behavior it will become extinct and face harsh consequences from its environments. By example, the Securities and Exchange Commission along with several other financial regulatory bodies failed to exhibit intelligent behavior in the case of the Enron debacle. As a result, these organizations including the culprit (Enron) were subject to harsh criticism from lawmakers and also from the public-at-large who had lost their faith in their value offered by these regulatory bodies. The United States failed, in almost every aspect to defend its homeland resulting in the successful execution of the 9/11 assault. The reason is simple yet salient dimwitted behavior on part of domestic intelligence agencies. In this book, we will show unequivocally how to construct an intelligent organization that is cognizant of its environment and can act with agility.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 8:50 PM
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Constructing Intelligent Actions:
Calibrating of actions based on incomplete and ambiguous information is never an easy proposition, in the context of intelligence management we also need to add the time pressure element. Intelligence operations are understandably secretive, for a private organization such work is secretive from one’s competitors for national governments it is against their adversaries. Actions based on secretive undertakings can be varied in range. For example, if we discover that our competitor has been receiving internal research and developments from a disgruntled employee, a case of competitive intelligence, what do we do? Three options are present. One, we can terminate the employee and cut off the channel, two we can feed the competitor misinformation, and three we can begin to use the established channel to request information from the competitor by luring our employee with incentives to work as a “double agent”. Each of these courses of action will have serious ramifications that need careful consideration. Most intelligence operations fail because anticipated actions are calibrated but not executed in a manner consistent with how they were gauged; using a hammer to kill a mosquito that has landed on your hand may be effective but will likely be considered less efficient at a later date when compared to other available alternatives.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 9:03 PM