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Military

CHAPTER 5

Organization

Chapter 4:  Doctrine
Table of Contents
Chapter 6:  Materiel

The key is organizing around information--not around functions. We can change organizational structure (in the Tactical Operations Center (TOC), or in units themselves) relatively easily, but the change must be focused on facilitating information flow. We must evaluate what inputs come into the organization (what medium and what format) and what outputs do we expect (orders and graphics). Once we know that, we can organize our TOCs and headquarters to truly capitalize on the power of information technology.

A perfect example is plans and operations at the brigade or division level. Routinely, we separate the two functions. However, there isn't an efficient method to ensure that everything the current operations people know about what's happening is transferred to the planning people, or vice versa.

Another example is the information available in each of the ABCS boxes. Routinely, a piece of information that the S3 needed would be resident in the Fire Support Officers "box," but the Fire Support Officer (FSO) never bothered to tell the S3.

There is a tendency to want to reorganize sooner (rather than later) to take advantage of the opportunities that advanced technology provides, such as increased efficiency or new way of doing business. There is a major problem with this line of thought. Reorganizing based on the projected presence of enablers--before the enablers are indeed present--is dangerous. There is indeed cost savings (time, people) embedded in the goodness of advanced technology, but reorganizing before that technology is present causes problems in the ranks. It simply just makes things harder.

Thought processes hinder attempts at organizational changes. Many of us are wedded to a specific idea only because that is what we are comfortable with. We cannot allow ourselves to be hamstrung by the way things were.

Each of the imperatives is intertwined with each other. Nothing illustrates that example more than the tie between leader development and organizations. If when we reorganize, we reduce the number of positions that allow our subordinates to grow, then, by definition, we are affecting our leader development. Nothing takes the place of learning by doing.

Chapter 4:  Doctrine
Table of Contents
Chapter 6:  Materiel



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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias