Thursday, September 24, 2009

When Does Web 2.0 Work? Lessons For The Intelligence Communities (McKinsey Quarterly)

McKinsey, the capo di tutti capi of consulting firms, recently published a fascinating report titled How Companies Are Benefiting From Web 2.0. You have to register with McKinsey to read the full text but it is probably worth it if you are interested in how (and what) Web 2.0 technologies are actually making a difference in the very competitive, global business environment -- and, of course, which technologies appear to be falling out of favor as well.

The coolest thing about the report is the visualization tool they developed to supplement their report. I have a screenshot of one of the views of the data it provides below but that does not do it justice. Click here or on the picture to take you to the fully interactive set of charts and graphs (No registration required to play with the chart...).

The most interesting thing about the report, however, is the implications it holds for the intelligence community and its attempt to bring Web 2.0 technologies into the workplace. According to a report from earlier this year, Web 2.0 is in a midlife crisis within the national security intelligence community. The McKinsey report pretty clearly points to the likely reasons why. Specifically, they identified three major performance factors (ranked by the percentage that each factor made in the average company's success):

  • "Management capabilities ranked highest at 54 percent, meaning that good management is more than half of the battle in ensuring satisfaction with Web 2.0, a high rate of adoption, and widespread use of the tools. The competitive environment explained 28 percent, size and location 17 percent."
Since management was such a fundamental part of the success or failure of these initiatives, McKinsey then dug into the numbers regarding management and found three critical management related sub-factors:
  • "Parsing these results even further, we found that three aspects of management were particularly critical to superior performance: a lack of internal barriers to Web 2.0, a culture favoring open collaboration (a factor confirmed in the 2009 survey), and early adoption of Web 2.0 technologies."

If McKinsey's results are accurate, then a true cynic would say the national security intel community already has three strikes against it. In these circumstances, it is only surprising that Web 2.0 has had any success -- at all.

That view is clearly unfair to the thousands of people who are already successfully working with these technologies inside the national security intelligence community. What would also be unfair, however, is to underestimate the roadblocks that conventional management approaches may be putting in the way of the productivity to be gained from implementing these technologies in intelligence.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Part 12 -- Intelligence Job Links (How To Get A Job In Intelligence)

Part 1 -- Introduction
Part 2 -- The Intelligence Job Market From 20,000 Feet
Part 3 -- The Good News!
Part 4 -- Even Better News!
Part 5 -- Beyond The Big Three
Part 6 -- Beyond Borders
Part 7 -- Beyond Borders: India, Europe And South Africa
Part 8 -- Going It On Your Own
Part 9 -- The 5 Things You Must Have
Part 10 -- Advice From The Trenches
Special Report: Where The Jobs Are, 2009
Part 11 -- Advice From Intelligence Veterans

(Note: This is the last part of this 12 part marathon (not what I had in mind when I started, I assure you...) on jobs in intelligence. I would like to thank all those who contributed comments or even whole sections to the series. Your efforts made this series much more valuable to those trying to break into intelligence. I would also like to thank all of you job hunters who took the time to send me notes telling me how useful this series was to you. I wish you all the best of luck in your job searches!)

In this final post in this series, I intend to include all of those links for which I have not found a spot for in any of the previous posts. This list is by no means all-inclusive. Please do not hesitate to add your own good link in the comments...

The best single link I know:

Intelligence Jobs And Internships On Squidoo -- I set up this "lens" on Squidoo a couple of years ago to provide a "one-stop shop" for Mercyhurst students looking for a job in intel. I had one of our super work studies update it last year and will probably see if I can get another one to update it later this fall but the site covers may of the basic job sites and even has some dynamic content where new jobs appear as they become available in all three disciplines.

Other Links of Interest:

(Note: I apologize for not linking all of the hyperlinks to the appropriate text below. I simply did not have the time to make all of the links. To get to the sites you may have to copy and paste the URLs into your browser's address bar. In addition, much of this part of the list comes from LTC Rich Holden's amazing list of intel job sites first published on the US Army's INTELST. I genuinely appreciate him allowing me to republish it here.)

General Job Help:

Washington State Library's Employment and Job Seeking Site (some good info even if you are not a resident of Washington State)

The HR Data Revolution: Your CV Should Be A DB

How To Write A Resume

12 Top Tips To A Successful Interview

Women's Fashion Tips: How To Dress For An Interview

Professional Wardrobe For Men

10 Boilerplate Phrases That Kill Resumes

How To Prepare A Plain Text Resume

Quintessential Careers - Guide to College, Careers, & Jobs

Salaries and Wages

U.S. Department of Labor

Best Places to Launch A Career, 2009 (Thanks, Shannon!)

Best Companies to Work For, 2009

Price Waterhouse Coopers Career Advice


Veterans Business Network - job listings and resumes


Defense Contractor Company sites:


BAE Systems

Battelle Science & Technology International


Booz Allen Hamilton

Caliber, an ICF Consulting Company

Covenant Security / Covenant Special Projects

Cubic Applications, Inc.

DESE Research Inc.

Electronic Warfare Associates

Imagery and Intelligence Solutions Inc.

J.L. White & Associates

Lockheed Martin Corporation

MPRI - Taking Expertise Around the World

Northrop Grumman


SAIC Job Opportunities Career Find Your Job

Tapestry Solutions

TEK systems

Titan - L-3 Communications

Thanks again to everyone who read, commented or contributed to this series! Good luck and good hunting!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]