Author Archives: Milo Jones

Geopolitics in Japan and Harvard Business Review, Korea

On March 21, Milo will offer an IE Masterclass on “Geopolitics for Business” in Tokyo.  The following day, he will be speaking on the same topic at Nissan’s Global Headquarters  and in a Nikkei Open Seminar.  Please contact him if you would like to attend one of these sessions.

Special Lecture with Harvard Business Review Korea, 24 March, 2016

Special Lecture with Harvard Business Review Korea, 24 March, 2016

In Seoul on March 24, Milo will offer a session on the promise and pitfalls of Big Data at Ernst & Young.   That session will be followed in the evening by a special, two-part Masterclass for Harvard Business Review Korea (Donga Business Review) entitled “Intelligence Tools for the Business Professional”.   In this session, Milo will explore how businesses  can use analytic tools drawn from the Intelligence Community to understand incidents like the de facto 2010 Chinese embargo on the export of rare earth elements.  Please note that this event hosted by DBR on a fee basis; if you are interested in attending, please register here.

The content of all of these sessions will be covered in much greater depth in Madrid in June, when Milo is co-teaching the three-day IE Executive Education course “Unconventional Edges in Finance: Tools from Intelligence Agencies, Behavioral Finance, and Scenario Strategy.”  Details about the course and how to register for it can be found here.

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The Euromoney Qatar Conference 2015

Event_850_359px_Qatar_v1On Wednesday, December 9, Milo is speaking on the panel “Qatar’s Strategy in a Changing World” at the Euromoney Qatar conference.   The panel will address Qatar’s place among the shifting geopolitics of the Persian Gulf region, and the financial risks and opportunities generated by recent global trends.   In addition to his panel, conference speakers includes senior figures from the Qatari financial and political establishment and a keynote address by Sir John Scarlett, Former Chief​ of MI6.

For details of the event or if you would like to attend Milo’s panel, please contact him directly (or of course contact Euromoney directly to attend the Conference as a whole).

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.

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”.

Geopolitical Alpha – What It Is, And Why You Need It

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Milo has just published the first of a series of articles about Geopolitics and investing on the financial news site Seeking Alpha.  It’s entitled “Geopolitical Alpha – What It Is, And Why You Need It”.

If you want to jump ahead in the series (and explore some of topics the Seeking Alpha series will cover in more depth), see our previous posts, especially Geopolitics and Investing: A Reading List and How to Think like an Intelligence Analyst.

Comments and questions are most welcome either here or on the Seeking Alpha site.