The September 11, 2001 attacks brought out an evident transformation in the working of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It is more intelligence driven and works heavily towards emphasising terror prevention and strategic thinking. Thomas Harrington, the FBI’s associate director told the Northeastern University members that this change hasn’t been easy but it was necessary to protect the nation from the threats of tomorrow.
Northeastern has played a key role in helping the FBI manage its transformation through years. Around 400 managers, analysts, and other officials had gone through a strategic change management leadership training under the College of Business Administration (CBA). David Abdow, CBA associate dean of the executive programs said that they provide frameworks, concepts, and tools which they can use to create the transformation they attempt to achieve.
According to the FBI, which said that they are looking to build alliances with professional organisations and that they see Northeastern as a centre of excellence from where they can learn great values. The CBA has also offered company-specific programs that are customized to meet their partner’s needs.
Harrington was appointed at the third highest post in FBI, prior to which he led the Criminal, Cyber and Response and Services Branches which is FBI’s largest operational branch. His campus visit led him to meet the members of Northeastern and CBA’s leadership team. He interacted with the students of Spector’s High-Tech MBA class on strategic change management.
Harrington says that even though most companies can produce a very good strategy, but there are very few who can handle the premium of the execution piece. He adds that though FBI has already achieved it, there is still a long way to go. He continues to look for people and bring up new tools who will help them to understand the way to tackle a very complex world with all kinds of new threats and challenges.”