We All Have to Connect the Dots

President Obama today said that intelligence agencies failed to connect the dots, disparate pieces of information that when woven together should have triggered more alarm.

In reality, all of us live surrounded by an increasing number of disparate pieces of information: a blog post here, a few Tweets over there, that newspaper article from yesterday, that book on your Kindle, the headlines on your web browser, a conversation overheard at Starbucks. The list goes on and on.

Developing strategies, both individually and organizationally, to monitor, aggregate, analyze, interpret, and apply all this data is an increasingly valuable capability. It's what we have to do as agents of our own intelligence.

And at its best, we'll do more than just connect the dots, but we will blend them to create new meaning and new innovations ... just as the great Impressionist painters like George Seurat formed colors in their masterpieces from a complex array of overlapping micro burst of distinct and separate colors.