Intelligence professionals are popularly viewed as solo operators. But, particularly today, doing intelligence is mostly about teamwork—the volume, complexity, and global nature of the work demand collaboration across a diversity of people, disciplines, and organizations.
And yet teams in the intelligence community face formidable challenges. Needed information may be classified, and ultimate goals are sometimes covert—concealed from the very people working to achieve them. The bureaucracy is immense and complex, and the extraordinary demands of the work lead to high turnover and frequent transfers.
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 to show how to create an environment where teamwork flourishes. Hackman identifies six conditions necessary for any team to succeed: setting 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.
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.