Some of you may recall a previous blog post I did on Blindspots (“Understanding Blindspots”). A quick refresher about that concept before I take another crack about that topic—we have areas of ignorance—things we don’t know but usually we’re it’s a weakness or deficiency. For instance, I know nothing about horse riding or dressage–I’m aware that is an area of ignorance for me. Then we have blindspots—areas we not only don’t know about but we don’t know that we don’t know. In other words, blindspots are particularly dangerous because unlike an area of ignorance (where we might tread lightly or avoid because we know it’s a weakness or we’re cautious), blindspots typically involve overconfidence. Individuals can have blindspots and organizations can as well—in fact, most examples of military or intelligence failures involve blindspots.
I wanted to revisit this topic because I’ve been working with two recent clients on their strategy, plans and high-level goals. One client is in the US intelligence community and another is in the private sector (plus plays in the national security space). A key part of both pieces of work has involved identifying the collective blindspots within each organization. While I’ve done work like this plenty of times before in my career, it’s always fascinating to see what emerges as a blindspot within the client organization. Continue reading