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"In Intel, we really do need to challenge ourselves"- Cynthia Cheng Correia

“In Intel, we really do need to challenge ourselves, challenge our assumptions, and challenge our worldviews and perspectives, so that we can achieve greater clarity,” says Cynthia Cheng Correia, Managing Director of Knowledge InForm and Founding President of the Council of Competitive Intelligence Fellows. This approach is particularly crucial after the tumultuous year we’ve had, which, according to Cynthia, has been a glaring reminder of the importance of foresight and Intel in our modern-day world.

As a long-time educator and leader in the competitive intelligence field, Cynthia has a deep understanding of the gaps that need to be filled in Intel. Cynthia has worked with her fair share of individuals with strong informational backgrounds, who have a tendency to favor acquisition and research over what happens afterwards. Cynthia notes that intelligence analysts need to move beyond a focus on research alone and instead cultivate an Intel mindset to ensure that they don’t become stuck in gathering mode. True CI competency requires the ability to generate intel, not just info.

Join the Jo Bros on this week’s episode of Running Into the Fog for a conversation with Cynthia about catalyzing innovation in the realm of CI. Learn about the power of the reference interview, the cross-fertilization of government and commercial intel, and the battle against attentional and expectation biases in the Intel field. You’ll even learn how Host Derek Johnson exposed Cynthia’s secret musical career at the 2019 SLA Annual Conference! Tune in to learn more.


  • “In Intel, we really do need to challenge ourselves, challenge our assumptions, challenge our worldviews and perspectives, so that we can really achieve greater clarity.” (03:55-04:04)
  • “[As we bring people through the SLA certification program, we focus on] trying to minimize those biases and cultivate that intelligence mindset and helping them see the practice more holistically, so that we can overcome that tendency to just want to focus on research.” (18:24-18:36)
  • “If we’re not challenging our own lines of thinking, we’re susceptible to missing a lot of what is important. I think it’s important that we try to be as evidence-based as possible in how we find solutions.” (37:35-37:50)
  • “I think that one of the things that Intel pros are excellent at is the idea that we can take a broader view. We’re trained in trying to understand the broader perspective, so that we can take a longer view of problems and issues.” (39:17- 39:34) 
  • “Everything about 2020 teaches us the importance of Intel and foresight.” (41:05-41:10)
  • “When we’re working at the entity level…we also really need to look at this and understand: how am I being driven by my personal interests or managerial interests versus a broader interest in the organization or even organization at different periods in time as we look outward in different time horizons? So these are the types of things we have to challenge ourselves all the time. We’re in constant tension to our inherent biases and inherent wishes versus the reality that’s out there. So, perspectives are important.” (47:38-48:19)


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