Competitive Intelligence: Using Structured Analytic Techniques to See Around the Corner

In the wake of the failure of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) to accurately assess Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) capabilities, the IC has undertaken a concerted effort to apply a variety of approaches – most commonly referred to as structured analytic techniques – to mitigate the effects of the two primary challenges to accurate assessment of threats and opportunities within organizations: cognitive biases and “groupthink.”

Mitigating cognitive bias and groupthink requires not only robust competitive intelligence collection, but also an analytic process that facilitates critical examination of that information and the underlying assumptions applied to its interpretation. This second paper by John Kringen, the follow-up to Competitive Intelligence: Insights from the U.S. Intelligence Community, explores the array of structured analytic techniques developed by the IC to stimulate imaginative thinking, facilitate analytic rigor, challenge assumptions and prevailing wisdom, identify key indicators of change, and reconcile competing views through formal reevaluation of all available evidence.

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