When I was in business I had met a number of former CIA operatives who now ran their own businesses over the years. I always thought it was interesting when I talked to them because as they remained aloof, they would attempt to guide conversations into a realm where they could get the most information. It wasn’t until I hired a vendor who was a former CIA man that I realized the methods to their madness. In one regard it was brilliant, and in another regard it was highly manipulative, and perhaps even less than ethical.
Now then, what if you recruit an ex-CIA man to snoop the competition? What if he finds out that the competition can offer him a better deal, or has a new venue or opportunity that he might exploit? Next thing you know he’s become a double agent. Worse, you can’t do anything about it, and he’s not going to tell you that he is considering an opportunity with your competitor. Because he has your information, and the competitor’s information, and everything he’s learned in the process, he knows more than you do. If you aren’t getting all that information, and if he is putting it all into perspective, you might have yourself a problem on your hands.
Welcome to the world of corporate intelligence and spy versus spy. You can hire organizations that have former CIA operatives to work for you and your business. These organizations promise to only do what is above the law. What is interesting is that if you aren’t hiring them and you work in a large corporation with hundreds of billions of dollars at stake, you can bet that your competition is. The question is who are these people that are snooping on your business, and how do you know that your employees aren’t leaking information to them?