We Never Expected That

We Never Expected That

A Comparative Study of Failures in National and Business Intelligence

Avner Barnea


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The disciplines of strategic intelligence at the governmental level and competitive business intelligence constitute accepted methods of decision-supporting to prevent mistakes and strategic surprise. This research discovered that many researchers in the intelligence field feel that intelligence methodology in both contexts has reached a “glass ceiling.” Thus far, research has focused separately on national intelligence and intelligence in business, without any attempt to benchmark from one field to the other. This book shows that it is possible to use experience gained in the business field to improve intelligence practices in national security, and vice versa through mutual learning. The book’s main innovation is its proposition that mutual learning can be employed in the context of a model distinguishes between concentrated and diffused surprises to provide a breakthrough in the intelligence field, thereby facilitating better prediction of the surprise development.

We Never Expected That: A Comparative Study of Failures in National and Business Intelligence focuses on a comparison between how states, through their intelligence organizations, cope with strategic surprises and how business organizations deal with unexpected movement in their field. Based on this comparison, the author proposes a new model which can better address the challenge of avoiding strategic surprises. This book can contribute significantly to the study of intelligence, which will become more influential in the coming years.


Avner Barnea:

Avner Barnea is research fellow at the National Security Study Center (NSSC), at the University of Haifa, in Israel.