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Mindset is more important than skillset for CI - Discuss

Over the past few years, I've had conversations with colleagues and clients about how to hire for CI positions. The longer I do this work, the more I seek out those who think a particular way rather than those that necessarily have specific CI experience or skills. Of course, having both is ideal, but I will take a creative, curious thinker who is always asking questions and thinking several steps ahead over someone who has mastered Five Forces, online searches, etc.

What's your opinion? If you agree, what implications does this have for the development of the discipline, and in particular, any certification program that SCIP or others produce? Can these skills be taught?

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I have submitted my earlier post only to realize that it needed editing due to word omission or mistyping, which luckily does not alter the original meaning. I am not aware how to take advantage of the 15 minutes editing time that displayed.
Apologies and if anyone could tell me how to edit after posting, I'll appreciate it. I also understand that proof reading before posting is important :-)

Ulrich Tibaut Houzanme
Your posted comment will come up in a box but it is a delayed posting. Hover your mouse over your comment and it will show a pale yellow background which indicates you can still edit. For some strange reason I find it easier to see the typos like that. If you spot any errors, just change them in the normal way and when you are finally done, hit the SAVE button which is just under the comment box. As the time runs down, provided you keep the comment box open, you can go back again and again to edit and save, but as soon as the 15 mins is up, the comment as it stands will "go live". Alternatively, prepare what you want to say in Word, proof read and spell check in that programme and then copy and paste across.

I appreciate that you took the time, not only to respond, but also to suggest two alternatives. I've actually used the first option to edit this very post. It works and I wonder how I didn't notice the change of color before your reply. I'll definitely consider the other option too!

Again, Sincere Thanks.

Ulrich Tibaut Houzanme
Totally agree. You need someone that likes to dig to the root cause of things. I think Monk would be an excellent CI/CA professional. You need to be a tad bit OCD to do this work. You have to be able to see the trends where others miss. Take 2+2 and come up with 47 because you see things other miss. This is addictive work. For some it can be terribly tedious, but for others its like a narcotic. You get a notion of something then spend days getting to the ground truth. I have been doing CI/CA for years and never knew it. It all started in 87 at CSOD where I had a class in intelligence-- I kept thinking this is so obvious, my classmates were all lost. I could not explain it to them. This also takes discipline---focus or you will be all over the map chasing a thousand threads. I think Col John Boyd had it down---his OODA loop (the one he describes in his Patterns of Behavior Brief, not the butchered explainations) had it. Read Corams bio of Boyd--you will see this guy had it.
What irony Richard,

One of my Mentors is your namesake - Richard Silva

Richard Silva was with Spectre in Vietnam.

Please read my posts regarding OODA,mentioned previously in this thread.

I fully agree with you Richard.

Reply by Vivek Raghuvanshi on May 28, 2009 at 11:56pm


It requires continuous training and conditioning of the mind ie to be able to see the "Micro Picture" on one hand and see the "Macro Picture" on the other.

Human beings can either see the Micro or the Macro picture.

If we train our mind to sift from the "Macro picture" to the "Micro picture" and vice versa we develop the ability to "Focus" and "Re-Focus"

Perfection of Mind Processing Ability using OODA Loop + Ability to Focus and Re-Focus generates Insight

Reply by Vivek Raghuvanshi on May 28, 2009 at 11:45pm


If we can perfect the OODA loop like a fighter pilot, or lets say if our mental processing ability is superior to a fighter pilot in using the OODA loop

Observe - Orient - Decide - Act

We become a special breed of Agile gladiators ie the finest and the best.

But again mindset requires skill set.

Kaizen, I think that it a better way to describe Mindset + Skillset

Mindset requires Skillset and skillset requires mindset.

Again Perception driven.

The key is INSIGHT


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