Archive for February 12th, 2010

A (Nearly Perfect?) Modern Intelligence Report… On Haiti

One thing that has often amused me about the guidance offered to novice or would-be employees in the intelligence field – be it national security intelligence, law enforcement intelligence, or business or competitive intelligence – is that there are any number of books, websites, classes, and other resources that tell you how to produce a good final product, but there are almost no good examples of actual final products to use as examples.

Intelligence relies greatly on the written word, and while everybody has their own idea of what formats should be used, and so on, there are a lot of more fundamental things that are somewhat universally considered “best practices” – the use of words of estimative probability, for example. There are some very good books that will teach you most of the fundamentals, but they all either leave it to the reader to put all the pieces together, or use samples or examples that are dated and don’t fully reflect modern practices.

If your job is to write, say, press releases, I can assure you that there are lots of classes, books, and resources that show you examples of successful, recent, real-world press releases. If you spend a lot of money to learn to write screenplays, you’re going to learn by looking at real, honest-to-goodness screenplays.

If you’re supposed to learn how to write intelligence reports, you’re given some vague guidance on what’s in vogue just at the moment, and kind of left to fend for yourself.

Strange, isn’t it?
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Published in: Geekiness, General, Security | on February 12th, 2010 | No Comments »