Our new Forbes piece: Chess, Centaurs and Your Future as an Investor in An Age of Machine Intelligence

Our new Forbes article is a reflection on the impact of artificial intelligence and machine reading on investing. Machine reading and artificial intelligence is becoming a fact of life in finance. As an investor, will you be a victim or will you take advantage of it? The article is available here.

 

Our new Forbes piece: Are You Near Your Altamont Moment? How Catastrophic Surprises Transform Business Identities

Our latest post on Forbes is a reflection on the role of catastrophic events in the transformation of people and organizations’ identities, based on the example of the ill-fated Rolling Stones’ Altamont festival in 1969. It is available here.

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Constructing Cassandra in Time magazine

President Bush Tours CIA HeadquartersYesterday the article “The CIA’s Latest Mission: Improving Diversity” appeared in Time magazine.  I was interviewed for the story, so it is gratifying to see that Constructing Cassandra is cited.   Nevertheless, it is a pity that Maya Rhodan, the author of the Time piece, did not explore more fully the link between diversity and effective analysis.

As I stressed to Ms Rhodan and as our book documents, diversity is a practical, not merely a moral issue for intelligence agencies (and for any organization charged with wide-ranging risk analysis).  Racial, ethnic, religious and gender diversity is far from a perfect proxy for cognitive diversity, but homogeneity in these categories assuredly contributes to the “natural selection of accidents” that produces intelligence failures.

Our new Forbes Piece: 1962, The U2, and You: A Risk Management Lesson from the Cold War

Our new Forbes piece shows that by looking at the origins of the Cuban Missile Crisis, one can learn valuable lessons on Risk management. Read it here.

UK Parliamentary Committee echos our findings on diversity

Readers of Constructing Cassandra will remember that our first recommendation for improving intelligence analysis at the Agency was, “Enforce diversity at the CIA for practical, not moral, reasons. We find that the homogeneity of the CIA personnel severely hobbles its central mission” (page 15).

While diversity in terms of gender, race, religion, etc. is not a perfect proxy for cognitive diversity, it certainly plays a role in the sociology of knowledge and the natural selection of accidents that are central to strategic surprises.

It is gratifying, therefore, that  in a report released yesterday, a UK parliamentary committee on intelligence and security urged MI5, MI6 and GCHQ to increase the diversity of their workforce, especially in terms of gender.

You read it here first

You read it here first

Specifically, the report notes, “it is the variety of ideas, the competition, the challenge, the lack of ‘group think’, and the interesting collaborations, that a diverse workforce brings to an organisation. If organisations are only recruiting and promoting one sort of person, then they are only going to get one sort of solution to a problem. Even with some of the brightest and the best, if they are cut from the same cultural cloth, this will inevitably result in a narrower perspective.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

You can read more about the committee’s recommendations in yesterday’s TelegraphGuardian and on the BBC.

Geopolitics: Shortcuts For Spotting Good And Bad Analysis

If you enjoyed the piece in Forbes earlier in the week about the similarities between poor geopolitical analysis and psychic cold-reading, an expanded version, “Geopolitics: Shortcuts For Spotting Good And Bad Analysis” is now available on Seeking Alpha.

A Slipshod Analysts Best Friend.

A Slipshod Analysts Best Friend.

Geopolitics, Investing, and the Little Book of Psychic Cold Reading

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Milo’s latest advice for investors and business people trying to come to grips with geopolitics is now available on Forbes.com.  It’s called “Geopolitics, Investing and the Little Book of Psychic Cold Reading”.