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                      Educational Offerings: Creative Thinking for the Security Professional


“What if we stopped scanning the horizon with binoculars and began instead examining our own decision-making and behavior through the most powerful of microscopes? I think that would change the way wars are fought, the kinds of products we see on the shelves, the kinds of movies that get made, the way police officers are trained, the way couples are counseled, the way job interviews are conducted, and on and on.”

Malcolm Gladwell, Blink, 2005

Today’s decision-maker, even if supported by a team of analysts, is barraged by data and information.  The volume of information available is daunting, and it often is polluted with malicious or benign lies, deception, ambiguity, feints, and fantasy.  There exist no reliable filters to separate fact from fiction, opinion from observation, or imagination from reality.  Despite a global network of human and technical sensors churning out data, information, and even knowledge non-stop, there are gaps in the collective knowledge base, holes in the data, and missing facts, absent contexts and entrenched institutional biases.

KGH offers a tailorable series of educational workshops focused on providing participants a solid understanding of how their innate worldview and accumulated knowledge base inform their thinking – ranging across the security enterprise.  These workshops are offered through our acclaimed Crafty Bastards® workshop series.  The aim of each of these workshops is to push conventional wisdom and reconceptualize important issues by employing creative learning techniques to security topics that suffer from a host of cognitive and institutional challenges.  Each of these workshop series’ are flexible to be offered across a spectrum of 2 hrs – 4 days, depending on the time and depth prospective participants can spend in addressing the issue.  The modules from each workshop series also can be blended to create a specific learning experience tailored to your needs.

Legitimacy and authority in Sunni Arab Rulership: Fall of the "American Caliphate"

How is rulership established and maintained in culture areas: Meaning, civilization communities sharing an extended sense of identity, beyond the state? The Sunni Arab world is just such a community, and there are others in South and East Asia, and in the Balkans and former Soviet Union. This seminar focuses on how Islamic traditions of political legitimacy and authority are orchestrated to create leadership power and build status within the Sunni Arab world, centering on the successful "Caliphal strategy" of the Saudi family — and its potential failure.

Studies in Sunni Arab War-Making: The Sunni Arab World

This workshop systematically explores cultural patterns of strategic formulation and war-making in the Sunni Arab Islam past, present, and future. This seminar frames a holistic path of analysis in which war is positioned at the heart of society and culture. Because war occupies a central, sacred place in Islamic (and especially Sunni Arab) identity, the seminar is built around historical continuities in both Muslim thought and behavior in war.

Imagined Community, Imagined kinship: The sources of America's World Relationships

Our analytic lens for international relations is based on power and interest. But in fact, America's world relationships are rooted just as much in "imagined kinship" — in other words, bonds of emotional connection not dissimilar to actual blood relations. This means that US world relationships, from our origins to the present, have been built on, and continue to be supported by, a strong emotional substrate. This seminar shows the analyst how to uncover, and factor in, the role of imagined kinship in American global strategy.

Fighting Identity: The Emergence of a New World of Resistant Movements and Communities

Entering the post-post-colonial world, we can identity a range of developing non-state polities that are not shaped by the legacies of European imperialism, but rather by the failing statecraft of colonial successor states. Emerging non-state actors range from insular communities to universalist movements, but they share a single active mode: Resistance. How will the world system be changed by a swathe of armed groups with a maturing capacity for governance, the means to resist declining states, and the determination to chart their own way?

Thinking About Thinking: Creative Thinking for the Advanced Analyst -- This cornerstone KGH Creative Thinking for the Security Professional workshop combines instruction and short exercises designed to understand and refine the assumptions with which individuals and groups view and approach complex issues.  Our approach causes participants to think deliberately about thinking, focusing on critical and creative thinking techniques that result in more powerful and accurate analysis.  Similarly, the powerfully enhanced foreknowledge-generation capabilities derived from this type of thinking enable better – and more confident -- decision making at all levels. 

Convergence: Understanding and Explaining the Whole of the Nontraditional Threat Continuum – This workshop series focuses on the relationship between the security threats of transnational organized crime, corruption, proliferation, trafficking, and terrorism, demonstrating that reality differs largely from the way most states understand and address these problems.  The holistic, relational approach to understanding these perennial challenges allows for a creative reconsideration of these activities and how state and non-state actors can act and interact.

Project 180: Fresh Approaches to Protecting Your Person and Environment – Turning around and re-thinking conventional approaches to physical and personal security is examined by taking a 360-degree survey of awareness, assessment, management, and mitigation for securing persons and assets. This KGH workshop series provides new tools and fresh perspectives for the 21st-century security professional.


About Kiernan Group Holdings

         Kiernan Group Holdings is in the problem solving business.  Our adaptability and creativity combined with solutions founded on exceptional tradecraft and streetcraft differentiate our offerings. We emphasize an approach that is centered on information-- the raw material of the intelligence and law enforcement business – and its lifecycle: data – information – knowledge – foreknowledge.  Our workshops and technologies focus on the processing, exploitation, analysis, protection, integration, management, transport and consumption of information, in all its forms.  We help our customers derive more value from current sources of information while simultaneously helping them prepare to exploit sources and technologies that will emerge in the future.

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