Thank you Fred for an outstanding answer(s) to the questions posted earlier! Your insights are more important because you are a leader in an organization that deals with 4GW scenarios on daily basis. I may also say that you have demonstrated moral courage because you have implemented innovative techniques to develop you people’s cognitive ability alongside the emphasis on physical courage, physical training and shooting that most law enforcement focus on (all important, but the tangible is easier to deal with while subordinating the mental development to a “nice to know if we have time to do it”).
What I am going to get into more over the next few weeks as I can post (I am going to be on the road the next three weeks working with Army cadre/instructors regarding adaptability development at three different locations) is the most important, and usually missing from all the theoretical discussions of evolving an organization to be adaptive (or called “Learning Organization”) is the “How To.” I am also looking for excellent insights from others, such as Fred Leland, on actual implementation of Boyd’s ideas (which Dr. Chet Richards does well explaining Boyd’s theories to audiences) to their organizations. Another person recently told me from Fort Sill, OK that what they [the Army] is looking for amongst all the theories of adaptability and decision making (cognitive development) was taking the “theory to reality.” Or, as I say, taking the rhetoric to reality.
First of all, it is not easy to take this giant leap. It can easily threaten job security, family and your own security, which we humans thrive on. Why not just do what I am supposed to do, do it well, follow the regs, use the boss(es) to resolve my problems, and make sure I am in the proper dress! Looking good today is important. If I look professional, I must be professional.
Second, it is going to take time, and it is not going to happen in a day, a week or a month. The change agent(s) should expect many battles, set backs, threats, frustration and stress. I can tell you though, the honest truth, having lived doing this (with both the Army (the Army is always evolving) and working with Georgetown ROTC) that it is worth all the pain because of the positive impact it has on the organization (as it succeeds) and more importantly on the organization’s members (particularly the development of the younger members).
Third, as COL Mike Wyly (who taught me in graduate school how to facilitate TDGs), it is not just you. You have to find allies, others who, as my friend CSM (ret.) Morgan Darwin says “they have the itch, knows there is a way to do it better, but just have not found how to do it yet.” Also identify some subordinates who buy into what you are pushing to evolve, and not just a careerist minded person who is kissing you tail end to push it. Find gaps and avoid surfaces.
Finally, as I tell audiences and groups I teach, if you are a true professional, you are never satisfied with the status quo. You understand that you always have to evolve your team, your larger organization with its Contemporary Operating Environment (COE) or you get left behind. You can always get better. As my father used to tell me, “the train never stops at the station.”
Also, believe or not, It is fun. Just ask a change agent like Chet Richards, Chuck Spinney, Mike Wyly, Fred Leland, or Dale Stewart, Fun in the afterthought, taking on the bureaucracy, the autocrats, making your team and its people better, doing the right thing in hindsight is fun, because it is the right thing to do morally. Hearing from a former subordinate, or team member, “hey, thanks, that was a great period in my life, we were doing great things, and I am now using similar techniques in my organization.”
Don’t know when the next post is going to be, sometime during this week while I am in AZ, but look forward to your comments. By the way, appreciate the welcome by Zenpundit, as well as the help from Ginger and Chet Richards. Without Ginger’s and Chet’s friendship and patience, I would not be blogging right now.
Happy Easter to everyone out there. Now, go out and get ready to lead.