Competitive Intelligence: Insights from the U.S. Intelligence Community

The competitive environment faced by commercial firms is becoming ever more complicated by the frenetic pace of technology development, globalization of the world’s economy and financial system, and turbulent political and social changes in many regions of the world. In this environment, an enterprise must rise to the challenge of understanding, prioritizing, and responding to current and future threats and opportunities. The US intelligence community (IC) faces many of the same high-stakes challenges, particularly with regard to technology, globalization, and growing worldwide turbulence. Although the IC’s primary goals are to collect and analyze intelligence on threats to US national security rather than to engineer revenue growth and profitability, the hard-won lessons of the past 15 years can also inform more effective corporate leadership and protection of company value.

Thirty-plus years with the CIA, including leadership of CIA analytic efforts from 2005 to 2008, placed John Kringen, Senior Advisor to Cipher, in a prime position to observe and help to guide efforts to improve US intelligence. Three painful intelligence challenges collectively forced the IC to creatively transform its philosophy and intelligence practices. 

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