Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Dao of Strategy: Gathering Intelligence

Before a plan can be developed and implemented , one must assess the tangibility of their situation. Proper assessment requires proper collection of data. Unless one is a psychic, he or she cannot have one without the other.

Knowing  how to properly gather intelligence is one thing.  Having the intent to implement the process is the real challenge.

Failure to Plan is to Plan for Failure 
A few people from the Taiwan's baseball team recently failed in their attempt to gain an informational advantage and got caught.  Even the idol of the Art of the War Cult got caught in 2007.   ... They should have reading this book , this book, and this book for some ideas.

In the 1960's the Oakland Raiders organization has been known to do unique activities to gain the upper hand.

Side note: After the "Spygate"incident, Coach Belichick was able to achieve a perfect 16-0 season.  He is going to Hall of Fame regardless of this minor oversight. His dad wrote a super book on scouting. If you are a football enthusiast, we highly recommend this book. ) 

The Challenge of the Process
Pinpointing the objective and deciding on the right approach is the semi-difficult job.  Choosing the means and executing it properly is another story.  Our research tells us that most people are quite bad in building and implementing contingency plans.  In most cases, they will have problems when worst case scenarios become real.

The Other Alternative
The stealth choice of some strategic players is the satellite.  However, that option has its limitations.  We presumed that you know why.  

Click here and here for more interesting information on how high-tech intelligence gathering is being used.  

Side note: While high-tech intelligence gathering is used for narrowing the scope of a target, human intelligence gathering is still viable.  It is usually utilized for an unique target especially when "big data" becomes irrelevant.  ... Choosing the right target promptly can be problematic in a non-transparent situation.

Reflections from the Compass Desk
It is up to the reader to decide whether gathering intelligence is unethical? Our role is to delineate the fundamentals of strategy, not to judge people's decisions.

# updated 02.26.13

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