Aug 12, 2021
Sir David Omand is one of the most respected intelligence professionals in the world and author of the book How Spies Think: Ten lessons in intelligence.
His career in intelligence began shortly after graduating from Cambridge in 1969 when he joined the UK's GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters). He would later become the director of GCHQ. He also served as the first UK Security and Intelligence Coordinator, the most senior intelligence, counter-terror and homeland security position in the UK.
In this OODAcast we discuss lessons in leadership from his time in the intelligence service and his views on the current threat environment, including threats to nations, corporations and citizens of the free world. We also examine how his time in intelligence informed his own models for understanding and analyzing complex situations and how this motivated him to write How Spies Think.
We examine concepts critical to any corporate or government intelligence organization, including:
The interview also examines Omand's lessons by use of a framework he developed to capture the essence of how intelligence analysts and operational decision makers can deal with the modern information environment through perception and analysis. He calls this the SEES model. SEES stands for:
This model is examined in the context of both history and current operations in a way that can inform how intelligence is used not only by governments but by businesses and citizens.
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OODA’s leadership and analysts have decades of direct experience helping organizations improve their ability to make sense of their current environment and assess the best courses of action for success going forward. This includes helping establish competitive intelligence and corporate intelligence capabilities. Our special series on the Intelligent Enterprise highlights research and reports that can accelerate any organization along their journey to optimized intelligence. See: Corporate Sensemaking