Volume 65, No. 4 (December 2021)

Looking for More "Imagination": Fostering Creativity in the IC: Insights from Four Decades Ago.

By James D. Marchio

Former Air Force intelligence officer, evaluator of intelligence, and frequent contributor of articles on IC history descrives efforts during the 1970s to bring greater imagination to the intelligence analysis process. Some ideas will be familiar. The efforts brought out the humor in some analysts with penchants for waxing poetic:

Ode to Creativity

To be creative is oft taken for granted,

If you’re a Brahms, a Poe or a

Rembranted . . .

In Elysian fields, a muse may be hid,

To inspire tomorrow’s PDB, CIRL

or NID.

We report and write in prose Miltonic,

Of agents run on gins and tonic,

In Maputu, London, Quito, or Madras,

We pledge to create or we’ll cover


Written by students in a CIA midcareer

training course ca. July 1977 and transmitted in a memo to the Acting Deputy

Director of Central Intelligence.

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