Techniques from the clandestine world can help you legitimately succeed in the business world. In particular, classic spy methods are valuable for understanding and manipulating your customers, your competition and your suppliers, according to J C Carleson in her book Work Like a Spy: Business Tips from a Former CIA Officer. The book aims to describe the legal use of intelligence techniques, rather than to promote corporate espionage.
So, what sorts of business decisions and activities can benefit from the experience of a former intelligence officer? The author has advice to offer in relation to:
The book contains some interesting spy stories, although the specific facts have presumably been changed. The book also reveals how much like any other business the CIA really is, although once again the CIA censors may have buffed things up to make the appearance slightly shinier than the reality. It did seem rather odd being lectured on the importance of integrity and trust by someone from an organisation that deals in deception and theft, and I struggled to understand the author’s explanation of what motivates people to become CIA operatives. Nonetheless, it is an interesting book with some sound business advice.