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OODAcast – A Conversation With Expert Practitioner of Analysis Carmen Medina

Carmen Medina served 32 years in senior positions at the Central Intelligence Agency, most of which focused on one of the hardest tasks in the community, that of analysis. Carmen rose to lead the strategic assessments group for the agency, then was deputy director of intelligence, the most senior leadership position for analysis at the agency and one of the most senior positions in the entire intelligence community. She also spent time as the director of the Center for the Study of Intelligence, where she oversaw ways to teach, mentor and improve analysis for the community.

She is also a writer, co-authority two books, Rebels at Work: A handbook for leading change, and Rebels at Work Dispatches.

We have been huge fans of Carmen’s for years, having observed her practicing her art in and out of the intelligence community. In this wide-ranging discussion we covered many topics of high relevance to business and government leaders, including:

  • Some of her recent writing on analytical thought
  • Ways to estimate intentions of others even in chaotic environments
  • Using the actions of leaders to track intent
  • Cognitive traps, cognitive bias and analytical methods that can mitigate problems with these traps
  • Human nature when it comes to analysis, and ways we can improve on our own weaknesses when it comes to thinking
  • The paradox of warning
  • The streetlight effect
  • Her sources of information

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Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of OODA LLC, the technology research and advisory firm with a focus on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity which publishes OODALoop.com and CTOvision.com. Bob is the author of the book The Cyber Threat. Bob has been an advisor to dozens of successful high tech startups and has conducted enterprise cybersecurity assessments for businesses in multiple sectors of the economy. He was a career Naval Intelligence Officer and is the former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency.