The disciplines of strategic intelligence at the governmental level and competitive business intelligence constitute accepted methods of decision-supporting to prevent mistakes and strategic surprise. This research discovered that many researchers in the intelligence field feel that intelligence methodology in both contexts has reached a “glass ceiling.” Thus far, research has focused separately on national intelligence and intelligence in business, without any attempt to benchmark from one field to the other. This book shows that it is possible to use experience gained in the business field to improve intelligence practices in national security, and vice versa through mutual learning. The book’s main innovation is its proposition that mutual learning can be employed in the context of a model distinguishes between concentrated and diffused surprises to provide a breakthrough in the intelligence field, thereby facilitating better prediction of the surprise development.
We Never Expected That: A Comparative Study of Failures in National and Business Intelligence focuses on a comparison between how states, through their intelligence organizations, cope with strategic surprises and how business organizations deal with unexpected movement in their field. Based on this comparison, the author proposes a new model which can better address the challenge of avoiding strategic surprises. This book can contribute significantly to the study of intelligence, which will become more influential in the coming years.
Avner Barnea is research fellow at the National Security Study Center (NSSC), at the University of Haifa, in Israel.
Chapter 1: Surprise and Intelligence Failure
Chapter 2: National Intelligence Failures
Chapter 3: Intelligence Failures in Business
Chapter 4: Test Case: The First Palestinian Intifada
Chapter 5: Test Case: The Financial Crisis of 2008
Chapter 6: Test Case: The September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack on the United States
Chapter 7: Test Case: IBM: How Did One of the Largest Global Corporations Almost Collapse?
Chapter 8: Mutual Learning: Discussion
Chapter 9: Conclusion
Barnea’s book bridges the analytical gap between national and business intelligence by comparing intelligence failures of states and major corporations and their causes. Barnea convincingly shows how the corporate world could greatly benefit from a better understanding of national intelligence, its means and its analytical and forecast tools. This book is essential reading not only for intelligence scholars and students but also for managers who seek to gain advantage over the competition by better use of intelligence.