Michael Neugarten was born in London in 1952 – he is married to Ruth, and lives just outside of Tel Aviv in Israel. They have one daughter and two grandchildren.
Michael holds a BSc in Physics from Southampton University, and an MSc in Applied and Modern Optics from the University of Reading, both in the UK. As a student, he worked, for a summer, at the UK’s prestigious National Physical Laboratory, on moiré optical techniques for measuring stress in motorway bridges. After his MSc studies, he worked on optical testing at Watsons, an old-established optical company, at that time a subsidiary of Philips.
After moving to Israel in 1976, Michael worked first as a research assistant making field measurements in atmospheric infrared radiometry at the Technion – Israel’s Institute of Technology, and then in industry as a lens designer and optical engineer. For most of his career, he worked at Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Israel’s largest aviation and aerospace company, first in IAI’s Tamam Division as an optical engineer, and then as an international marketer, during which time when he began to gravitate towards Competitive Intelligence. At this time, he also studied for an MBA at Henley Management College, with a thesis on organizational collective memory as this relates to ‘soft issues’ in the practice of implementing a Competitive Intelligence system, which was at that time being rolled out within IAI. In 1999, He presented this at an AGSI (Association for Global Strategic Information) conference in The Hague, and published it in their journal. Towards the end of his MBA studies, he began to mentor (on-line) students in Henley’s then-course on Competitor Intelligence, thus beginning a teaching process at Henley which lasted some 10 years, training and supporting some 40-50 MBA students in each of three such courses a year.
In 1999, Michael moved to IAI’s Corporate Marketing, where he worked as a Competitive Intelligence manager, providing tactical and strategic CI support to IAI’s senior management, while also conducting a considerable amount of CI training to a variety of IAI personnel, including Customer Service, “bottom-up” through IAI’s Training Division.
Connecting his optics ‘past’ and CI ‘present’, Michael then began a doctorate in Business Administration at the prestigious Swiss University of St Gallen, graduating in 2008 with a thesis entitled “Noticing noticing – the role of noticing in the praxis of Competitive Intelligence”.
Outside of his ‘regular’ work, Michael continued teaching CI in Israel, France, and the UK, to many MBA and other students, and managers: at Henley Management College and City University’s Cass Business School in the UK, at ESCP-EAP in Paris, and at the Technion, Tel Aviv University, and The College of Management, in Israel, where he initiated their MBA elective in Competitive Intelligence. He has published and presented several technical optical engineering papers, as well as several related to Competitive Intelligence, and given many CI presentations and workshops at conferences in Europe and Israel. He holds one optics-related patent, the direct result of noticing an anomaly.
Now formally retired, he still presents and teaches CI to a variety of audiences, making use of Art, metaphor and analogy to communicate and teach underlying CI lessons, while stressing the role of individual noticing, awareness, cognition and perception in making sense of one’s external business environment, both for potential CI practitioners, and those involved in innovation and entrepreneurship.