This is both a very intelligent search and a very funny search. CIA and the rest of the IC do not have a “method” because they do not do “learning” in the classical sense. It is virtually all “on the job” training and the culture across the board is one of hubris as in “we know best, if you have time for training–which we consider a vacation–then you must not be essential or having anything urgent to do.”
The National Intelligence University has taken a few baby steps, perhaps moving the US Intelligence Community from the first grade to the fourth grade, absolutely no further. The legal, security, management, budget, and cultural mind-sets are simply too daunting.
The ONE THING that could be taught early, and is not, because all of the management levels crush it along with creativity and freedom of expression, is INTEGRITY. The truth at any cost reduces all others costs. Most managers in most of the secret agencies believe they are the sole arbiters of the truth, the truth must by definition be secret, and anyone who disagrees with them is a traitor, stupid, or a loose-cannon.
Such learning as takes place is non-competitive didactic (we lecture you listen), with a few stellare exceptions: the analytic exercise in the CIA Mid-Career Course (as of 1987) was the single most profound eye-opener we have ever experienced, demonstrating conclusively that the formal communications system is absolutely worthless, the databases inaccessible, and the ONLY way to get a “feeling in the fingertips” for any problem is to walk around constantly talking to counterparts across all boundaries. Of course that is not possible in the day-to-day life of the secret world with agencies far removed from one another, no timely means of transport (e.g. a CH-46 hourly shuttle that would make it “fun” to visit others), still too much of a hassle to get in and out of “estranged” sisten agencies, the list is long.
There are of course exceptions–leadership training at DIA is rumored to be caring and interesting but we have not had direct access to it. In each agency there are no doubt single courses that shine. Over-all, however, by throwing so much money at old mind-set managers, we have perpetuated and made worse all that was wrong in the 1990’s.
In classic public administration terms, the entire US IC is an archipelago of “dumb” organizations as opposed to “learning” organizations. At the management level most last went to school in the 1970’s (40 years ago) and because of the non-learning environment that permeates the entire system, have not learned anything unconventional in the forty years since they have been employed. They don’t read books (Bill Casey was an exception), don’t interact with unconventional external third parties, and are most comfortable sitting quietly in their offices removed from reality pretending to be important.
The “cure” for this disease of inbred ignorance is a national or defense open source agency that is outside the wire and not subject to all of the idiotic security and legal constraints that are imposed on the good people trapped in a bad system. By both establishing a baseline for what can be known about EVERYTHING using a Strategic Analytic Model that actually embraces everything that matters, not just the ideological threat of the day, and by casting a very wide net through Multinational Engagement, this open source endeavor serves as the global scout for the secret world, constantly moving multilingual information (translated outside the wire, you are very welcome) to the high side, while identifying the open source rock stars regardless of nationality and culture that can be brought in for close encounters of the third kind….
In the ideal, the US Intelligence Community should be the hub for a World Brain, 80% of which is outside the wire and not subject to the idiocy of the clogged up security-legal layers that have built up over the past fifty years–together, the 80% open source costing 10% and the 20% secret costing 90%, should be the brain housing group for Spaceship Earth. We’re not even close to understanding that at any level that matters within the U.S. Government.