Friday, April 29, 2011

Intel Deathmatch II: Who Will "Win" In Libya? ( that was fun!

If you missed Wednesday's post, we (me and about 250 readers) have been playing around with a new web/iPhone gadget called Swayable here at SAM.

The simple but brilliantly executed idea behind this tool is to get people in your social network to help you decide between two competing options. While much of the action on the Swayable site seems to center on which picture of Justin Bieber is "cutest", I decided to test it out on something which might be of a bit more interest to intelligence professionals.

Specifically, I wanted to know which of two classic intel texts should I read first (assuming I only had time to read one), Lowenthal or Clark. As of a few minutes ago, it was a dead heat (though, to be fair, Lowenthal has led for most of the last 48 hours by a slight but noticeable margin).

Today, I thought I would push the outside of Swayable's envelope once again. Here are a few more substantial questions for you. First, I want to know who is going to "win" in Libya (you can define winning any way you want):

Second, I want to know, if the pro-Gaddafi forces win, what will be the primary reason for the victory:

Finally, I want to know, if the Anti-Gaddafi forces win, with whom will they primarily align themselves after the conflict is over:

A couple of questions and comments have also come up about the service that I think are worth noting here.

First, I can't see who voted which way. All I can see is what you can see. Second, it is possible to preview the results before you cast your vote only on the web-based version of the tool. On the iPhone version, this feature is disabled.

I have had a few very kind emails from the founder of Swayable, Lindsey Harper, and she intends to run some tests to see how hiding the results before the vote would work on the web app as well.

Finally, she indicated that she plans to have an Android version out by summer!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Intel Deathmatch: Who Do You Read First, Clark Or Lowenthal? (Swayable)

A new online service just came out called "Swayable". 

Given that its primary focus is as an iPhone app, it seems to be designed to help people answer those burning questions while on the move such as which shoes should I buy or which dish should I order off a Chinese menu.  

However, I can see some very interesting unconventional uses for something like this, particularly with respect to intelligence in business.

So ... let's try it out. Both of the books below are great and both are "must reads" for intel professionals.  However, imagine you only have time to read one of them. Which one do you choose first?

Monday, April 25, 2011

What Do Decisionmakers Want From Intelligence? (Global Intelligence Forum)
One of the most important questions any intelligence professional can ask is "What do the decisionmakers I support want from me?"  Historically, it is also one of the most difficult questions to answer.

That is the reason why the faculty at Mercyhurst nominated Intelligence and the Decisionmaker as the theme for this year's Global Intelligence Forum in Dungarvan, Ireland (July 11-13, 2011).

Looking at the line-up of speakers -- GEN Mike Hayden, Charlie Allen, Hayden Peake from the US, Kathleen O'Toole from Ireland, Anthony Campbell from Canada, Niki Ekman from Sweden, Cees Wiebes from the Netherlands, etc. etc. -- and it easy to see why I think we are going to make some progress on this question.

Two other things make this conference one of a kind.  The first is the attendees.  This conference draws people from all three major sub-disciplines of intelligence:  National security, law enforcement and business.  Not only does it draw people from all areas of intelligence, it also draws people from all over the world.  

So you are going to see guys like Tom Carr, the executive director of the Washington Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program rubbing shoulders with Liam Fahey, founder and executive director of the Intelligence Leadership Forum, the organization for senior corporate intelligence professionals.  

There is simply no other conference that brings together this kind of mix of professionals for this kind of conference.  Everyone I spoke with last year took as much away from the interaction between the participants as they did from the speakers.

Which is a nice segue to the second big advantage:  Dungarvan.  What a beautiful place!  Located on the southern Irish coast in the midst of one of the prettiest parts of Ireland, Dungarvan is a perfect place for mixing, making new personal and professional relationships and carving out some time to think about some of the important questions facing the profession.  Extraordinary hospitality, simple pleasures and (my personal favorite) an outstanding local beer make this event both physically relaxing and intellectually energizing. 

We had to turn away people last year so this year we found a larger space and have expanded to 200 (and only 200) attendees.  

Registration and more info about the conference is available online here.  We are also offering two, one day workshops to round out the week. More information on the workshops here.

Questions regarding sponsorship opportunities for your company or organization should be directed to Bob Heibel, Executive Director of the Mercyhurst College Institute For Intelligence Studies at rheibel at mercyhurst dot edu.
Enhanced by Zemanta