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Connecting the dots – parallels between military intelligence and compliance intelligence

March 23, 2012

Below is a link to an article written by Malcolm Gladwell titled “Connecting The Dots – The paradoxes of intelligence reform.”  I have to give credit to Chris Rogers Associate AD for Compliance at South Carolina for pointing out the parallels between military intelligence & compliance intelligence.  Not that military intelligence and the tragic events that occurred on September 11th are a kin to the world of athletics compliance and major infractions cases.  But what is similar is the notion that “what is clear in hindsight is rarely clear before the fact.”  An important point to remember when assigning blame for any events after the fact.  I would strongly encourage anyone working in intercollegiate athletics to read Galdwell’s article, but imagine how these concepts would apply to a DI institution.  Be sure to consider the following concepts as you do so:

  • Communication – Was the right information shared with the right people?
  • Decision Making – Was the appropriate action taken based upon the information available at the time?
  • Clairvoyance – Could the dots have been connected at that moment in time? Was the pattern obvious at that moment in time?
  • Was every surprise truly foreseeable?
  • System vs People – Was this a procedural failure (e.g., failure to monitor, not asking the right questions) or a people failure (e.g., sometimes a crook is going to steal, no matter how many cops are watching…the question is did the school catch the crook at all?).

Click the link below to read the article:

This story and many others many be found in Gladwell’s new book What the Dog Saw.


From → Culture, Enforcement

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