Once there was a boy who found there was a wonderful device, the telephone with a live person on the other line ready to help you. Her name was ‘Information Please’ and there seemed there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone’s number, the correct time and as the boy soon found was a means to gather intelligence.
The little boy took every advantage of Information please. ‘I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.’ Information please came to the rescue… ‘Can you open the icebox?’ she asked. He replied he could. ‘Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger,’ said the voice.
After that, he called ‘Information Please’ for everything. He asked for help with his geography, and she told him where Philadelphia was. She helped him with his math. She told him his pet chipmunk that he had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts. This little boy gathered information for any question he desired.
Where do we go to gather our intelligence? Thinking we are getting the most accurate information possible, we often use the World Wide Web as our personal Information Please. Unfortunately, the computer only answers what it has been told. The information we receive is at times not only misleading but inaccurate as well. So what do we do then?
To gather the correct information needed to make an educated and informed decision, a little strategic thinking may be involved. You might follow five ways to gather intelligence as taught by CMOE in its strategy programs:
- Do your homework and research your target thoroughly (get knowledge hungry)
- Investigate and understand the environment you are working in, moving into, or encountering
- Decode and anticipate future trends, recognize patterns, and “connect the dots” (cause and effect links)
- Seek out accurate and objective information about your capabilities and readiness level
- Establish signals, harbingers, and mechanisms to track progress and alert you to opportunities and dangers
Sometimes it takes more than just clicking a key on the computer or picking up the phone to gather information. Regardless of whether we use ‘Information Please’ or the Internet to gather our intelligence to make a decision, we must make sure the information is accurate.