By Jan Herring, ACI Faculty

If the quality and enthusiasm of my most recent Academy of CI class is any indication of the caliber of businessmen and women currently working in the CI field, I believe that the future of the profession will be in good hands. About 2⁄3 are savvy business people that were responsible for their organization’s CI function and over half want to make intelligence their career. They came from a wide variety of industries including aerospace, electronics, energy, healthcare, insurance and pharmaceuticals. The class also included attendees from Silicon Valley, the Federal government and about 20 percent from international venues.

Their individual CI experience coupled with the relative sophistication of their CI organizations bode well for their future business success. A large majority have Legal & Ethical guidelines in place, and many also have a CI mission statement for their functions. And, most were already using some form of Key Intelligence Topic (KIT) user-needs identification process. The one area that all seemed to be somewhat behind in was the use of IT for collection and/or analysis; but that appears to be generational since the younger CI professionals are more familiar with such IT usage.

I recently attended this year’s annual CI Fellows Council meeting in Chicago where three (3) bright, young, innovative CI professionals were inducted into the CI Fellowship. Their enthusiasm for the CI profession – much like my Fall class – gives me reason to believe that our profession is well, and will continue to grow and contribute to the future success of all organizations that employ such men and women.