Senate Report on Fusion Centers: An Analysis

The recent Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report on fusion centers illustrates a key issue that exists throughout the public and private sectors: BAD MANAGEMENT.

The problem isn’t with fusion centers themselves, the problem lies in the way in which the fusion center initiative was led and managed.  Without a clear mission, vision or set of values programs, business ventures and initiatives will fail.  Leaders (at every level) must set the priorities, continue to reinforce the mission and organizational values through careful thought and action.  Is there anything that can be learned from the private sector?

Consider this quote by Gary Hamel,  a visiting professor at the London School of Economics and Director of the Management Innovation Exchange:

“…the typical management hierarchy increases the risk of large, calamitous decisions. As decisions get bigger, the ranks of those able to challenge the decision maker get smaller. Hubris, myopia, and naïveté can lead to bad judgment at any level, but the danger is greatest when the decision maker’s power is, for all purposes, uncontestable.”

How many analysts assigned to fusion centers had the opportunity to challenge assignments, reporting requirements, deadlines and mandates?

For more information please read the Senate Report, Gary Hamel’s article, the New York Times article, a perspective in Homeland Security Today and the Homeland Security New Wire article.

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One thought on “Senate Report on Fusion Centers: An Analysis

  1. Mike says:

    I work in Massachusetts. We have two “Fusion Centers”. One we never hear from, the Commonwealth Fusion Center, which appears to only put out the minimum amount of info as possible. To this day we are not sure what they do.

    The other is the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC). They only cover the greater Boston area (hence the name). These two centers do not communicate due to a lack of a memorandum of understanding (they each blame the other). BRIC puts out several products daily which are Boston area centric.

    I work on the MA/RI border and use the Rhode Island Fusion Center frequently. They couldn’t be more helpful.

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