Monday, December 21, 2009

Product Review and the Egoless Office

There is a paradox in intelligence analysis that may, or may not, be readily noticeable. That apparent contradiction is that to work best in a team situation a crime or intelligence analyst should really be able to map their ego , cut it out, and leave it safely at the door before entering the office. More than most any other place of employment or endeavor; the intelligence office is not a place for egos getting in the way of a polished and useful intelligence product. Inflated egos and infighting can cause an intelligence product to be defective and this can mean higher crimes rates and damaged lives. Why is it a paradox, you ask? Because analysts are usually highly intelligent, well trained and balanced individuals who have a definite point of view. However, they operate in an environment where educated opinion must be checked and re-checked against all available information to produce actionable intelligence.

Intelligence is not fact and never exact; but is a tool to direct finite resources to the areas of greatest possible effect. It may be based on certain, specific facts, but is not fact in its own right. This is because intelligence operates in the realm of prediction and gaps with parts of it being subjective. And, of course, subjectivity can be dangerous. The methodology used to reduce the risk of subjectivity producing erroneous prediction is to establish a healthy and robust product review mechanism. This would involve both peer and supervisory review and editing of intelligence products submitted formally for dissemination.

Robust intelligence products that meet the needs of operational police, law enforcement, and public safety officers are best created in an atmosphere of mutual trust. This is where each member of the team put individual fears and prejudices aside and works for the common good to bring together the best possible result. Difficult as this may be at times, this is a win-win for all concerned.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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