As we draw down from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our force needs to make a very difficult transition from a large, rotational, counterinsurgency-based force to a leaner, more agile, more flexible, and ready force for the future.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Ashton Carter
See Dr. Carter’s full remarks at the National Press Club on May 7, 2013.
A March 2013 Harvard Business Review article, Long CEO Tenure Can Hurt Performance, highlighted research on CEO tenure on impact with employees and customers.
It’s a familiar cycle: A CEO takes office, begins gaining knowledge and experience, and is soon launching initiatives that boost the bottom line. Fast-forward a decade, and the same executive is risk-averse and slow to adapt to change—and the company’s performance is on the decline. Optimal tenure length: 4.8 years.
The underlying reasons for the pattern have to do with how CEOs learn. Early on, when new executives are getting up to speed, they seek information in diverse ways, turning to both external and internal company sources. This deepens their relationships with customers and employees alike.
But as CEOs accumulate knowledge and become entrenched, they rely more on their internal networks for information, growing less attuned to market conditions. And, because they have more invested in the firm, they favor avoiding losses over pursuing gains. Their attachment to the status quo makes them less responsive to vacillating consumer preferences.
In part 3 of my Inventing a Digital Pentagon post, I had a similar point on tenure of managers and key headquarters staff.
While the DoD frets about the frequent turnover of political appointees and program managers, it should remain vigilant of people who are entrenched into key headquarters staff positions. Maintaining a steady pipeline of fresh talent and ideas in organizations fosters an environment for thought leaders to emerge. Innovation rarely occurs from someone who has been in the same job for a decade. The DoD should review those who have been in a key position for over five years and develop transition strategies to maintain a vibrant enterprise.
Beyond tenure, they reinforced the importance of being attuned to the enterprise (internal and external) information networks. I couldn’t agree more.
Po Bronson had an inspiring piece in Fast Company in 2002: What Should I Do With My Life?
People thrive by focusing on the question of who they really are — and connecting that to work that they truly love (and, in so doing, unleashing a productive and creative power that they never imagined). Companies don’t grow because they represent a particular sector or adopt the latest management approach. They win because they engage the hearts and minds of individuals who are dedicated to answering that life question.
This is not a new idea. But it may be the most powerfully pressing one ever to be disrespected by the corporate world. There are far too many smart, educated, talented people operating at quarter speed, unsure of their place in the world, contributing far too little to the productive engine of modern civilization. There are far too many people who look like they have their act together but have yet to make an impact. You know who you are. It comes down to a simple gut check: You either love what you do or you don’t. Period.
The digital information revolution has handed the U.S. intelligence community a slew of new challenges that are nowhere close to resolution, a new study says. The 21st-century problems range from mountains of data to accelerated pace of change to competing information flow from nongovernmental sources to fears of violating privacy and civil liberties, according to a paper “Expectations of Intelligence in the Information Age” See GovExec article for highlights.
Decision makers will expect the Intelligence Community to validate and meld their information with that available in open source.
The new 10-page Army Doctrine Publications will be available on videos. The more detailed Army Doctrine Reference Publications will be on interactive computer-based training. The Army Training Publications will be on a MilWiki site, a collaborative website that enables Soldiers to participate in doctrine development. The system will allow Soldiers at any level to access Army doctrine, references, field manuals and technical publications through various different digital outlets. These outlets include DVD videos, interactive multimedia instruction videos and a wiki site allowing Soldiers to participate in doctrine development.
Integrating doctrine with digital applications will allow doctrinal resources to be readily available to Soldiers and provides a new approach to how doctrine is used to support education, training, and operations, he said. Users can locate Army publications specific to their jobs from an easy-to-use hierarchical process.
The redesign focus was based on guidance from Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno, who directed “a Doctrine Strategy to categorize our manuals differently, reduce their length, and number, and leverage emerging technology to make them more collaborative and accessible,”
By 2015, the Army plans to have only 50 field manuals on tactics and procedures. The rest of the doctrine will be in various pubs. The end result of Army Doctrine 2015 is to provide the user an easy way to access military publications via mobile devices, and other non-tradition methods, but the physical hard copies will still be available. It is expected the new streamlined system for delivering Army doctrine will be complete by 2015.
For more information, see Army Doctrine 2015