What’s the right target?

October 16, 2014

I just finished reading an interesting book (Hank Prunckun, Scientific Methods of Inquiry for Intelligence Analysis (second edition), Rowman & Littlefield, London, 2014, 369 pages) which I have reviewed for the International Association For Intelligence Education.

One of the many interesting observations on intelligence that Professor Prunckun makes is that intelligence has two intimately related features:

(1) that decision-makers should not base their decisions on information, but rather on intelligence, and

(2) that intelligence strives to answer the most pressing questions on a decision-maker’s mind. (p. 20).

For those involved with competitive intelligence who seem concerned, or even confused, about where CI is going, perhaps they consider the 2nd feature. Then ask whether or not those practicing CI, including you, are seeking to answer only the “most pressing” questions or are including questions of interest. (In my CI training, I usually divide these into “need to know” and “nice to know”). Unfortunately, I think the answer may too often be “questions of interest” and rarely, if ever, the “most pressing questions”.

If the CI being provided is just “interesting”, and not “vital” (a restatement of the same issue), then, I submit, it is not CI. Why? Because it is just interesting, not actionable.


As suggested, when this review is published, I will link this blog to it.