Collaborative Intelligence

Using Teams to Solve Hard Problems

J. Richard Hackman (Author)

Publication date: 05/12/2011

Collaborative Intelligence

Shows what's needed to lead teams in one of the most demanding settings imaginable: intelligence work

Intelligence professionals are popularly viewed as solo operators--most famously as the lone wolf "secret agents" of fiction. But, particularly today, doing intelligence is mostly about teamwork--the volume, complexity, and global nature of the work demand collaboration acroos a diversity of people, disciplines, and organizations.

And yet teams in the intelligence community face formidable challenges. Needed information may be classified and difficult or impossible to obtain, and ultimate goals are sometimes covert--concealed from the very people working to achieve them. They bureaucracy is immense and complex, and the extraordinary demands of the work lead to high turnover and frequent transfers. As a result, teams often devolve into wheel-spinning, contentious assemblies that get nothing done--or do the wrong things.

But there is also good news. J. Richard Hackman draws on his unparalleled decade of experience as a researcher on and consultant to the intelligence community, as well as his pioneering work on teams, to show how intelligence leaders can create an environment where teamwork flourishes. Hackman identifies six conditions necessary for any team to succeed: seeting up a well-defined, stable, interdependent unit; getting the right people on the team; defining a compelling purpose; establishing clear norms of conduct; creating a supportive organizational context; and providing team-focused coaching. He uses concrete examples to show how each of these conditions helps teams accomplish their missions in the unusual and always demanding context of intelligence work.

Although written with intelligence, defense, crisis management, and law enforcement professionals in mind, the book contains lessons that can be applied to any organization--these necessary conditions are universal. Collaborative Intelligence is a vital resource for the intelligence community and a fascinating look inside that community for outsiders.

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Book Details
Overview

Shows what's needed to lead teams in one of the most demanding settings imaginable: intelligence work

Intelligence professionals are popularly viewed as solo operators--most famously as the lone wolf "secret agents" of fiction. But, particularly today, doing intelligence is mostly about teamwork--the volume, complexity, and global nature of the work demand collaboration acroos a diversity of people, disciplines, and organizations.

And yet teams in the intelligence community face formidable challenges. Needed information may be classified and difficult or impossible to obtain, and ultimate goals are sometimes covert--concealed from the very people working to achieve them. They bureaucracy is immense and complex, and the extraordinary demands of the work lead to high turnover and frequent transfers. As a result, teams often devolve into wheel-spinning, contentious assemblies that get nothing done--or do the wrong things.

But there is also good news. J. Richard Hackman draws on his unparalleled decade of experience as a researcher on and consultant to the intelligence community, as well as his pioneering work on teams, to show how intelligence leaders can create an environment where teamwork flourishes. Hackman identifies six conditions necessary for any team to succeed: seeting up a well-defined, stable, interdependent unit; getting the right people on the team; defining a compelling purpose; establishing clear norms of conduct; creating a supportive organizational context; and providing team-focused coaching. He uses concrete examples to show how each of these conditions helps teams accomplish their missions in the unusual and always demanding context of intelligence work.

Although written with intelligence, defense, crisis management, and law enforcement professionals in mind, the book contains lessons that can be applied to any organization--these necessary conditions are universal. Collaborative Intelligence is a vital resource for the intelligence community and a fascinating look inside that community for outsiders.

About the Author
Endorsements
Table of Contents
Excerpt

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