SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Military Art & Science Applied > Catch-All, Military Art & Science

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-03-2015   #1
Bill Moore
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,936
Default The C2 implications of Team of Teams

Some quick thoughts on the implications of GEN (Ret) Stanley Chrystal’s book Team of Teams. IMO this book goes well beyond the importance of trust, common purpose, shared awareness, and empowerment to act, which is what most of the reviews I have read have focused on. Those aspects are absolutely necessary for his concept to work, but looking beyond that what is the value of his concept? Why did he push his Task Force (TF) to develop an adaptive network structure in the first place?

McChrystal points out that it was al-Qaeda’s structure, not their plan, that was their strategy. They had a resilient structure that his TF was having limited success against until he adapted their structure and management style. That story is fairly well known, I think the question now is how relevant is this approach for the future?

The recently released 2015 National Military Strategy emphasizes the importance of globally integrated operations (GIO), a concept described in detail in the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations (CCJO): Joint Force 2020. It emphasizes that we must adapt to an increasingly complex and uncertain security environment, with multiple threats to our interests around the globe. To deal with this uncertainty it proposes an overarching concept, called Globally Integrated Operations, summarized as:
“This concept requires globally postured joint forces to quickly combine capabilities with itself and mission partners across domains, echelons, geographic boundaries, and organizational affiliations. These networks of forces and partners will form, evolve, dissolve, and reform in different arrangements in time and space with significantly greater fluidity than today’s Joint Force.” Sounds a lot like of Team of Teams.

I think the Team of Teams concept is a method to make these integrated operations possible, but only if conventional forces, legacy SOF organizations that are not currently as agile as Task Force, and civilian leaders in Defense and other interagency members are willing to change their management style. DOD’s management style in many ways still has one foot in the industrial age.
McChrystal writes that management, obviously current management systems, is one of the limiting factors in the quest of human progress.

While McChrystal hailed Winslow Taylor’s work on scientific management to increase production in the industrial age. It proved highly effective at enhancing production efficiency for execution of known and repeatable processes at scale. Now Taylor’s processes are part of the problem, because the real world is full of complex interdependencies, and linear management processes can’t force the complex to conform to the rules meant for the merely complicated.

It is not my intent to point out all the examples in Team of Teams on how they transformed the TF's structure and management. Rather I just want to use the book as a sag way on how management systems influence how we fight wars. If these systems don’t evolve with the time, they can become a considerable hindrance, and probably a more significant impact on our success than whether or not we get the latest jet fighter or tank.

Samuel J. Palmisano, the former CEO of IBM, discussed how the forces of globalization and new technologies have forced the business world to embrace new paradigms for conducting their operations to remain competitive. Hence, businesses are flatter and increasingly use lateral and vertical collaboration over top-down directive management. In fact, in many cases transformation of business processes is often more important than the product (read management) they produce or the services they provide to gain a competitive edge. The transformational power of management is hardly a new concept, the historian Michael Howard pointed out that the greatest military innovation of the 19th century was not technological, but the development of the general staff for managing the challenges of waging large scale war. Now we’re waging a global netwar, and need to consider a DOD wide change in management, not just for the TF.
Bill Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
management, mcchrystal, team of teams, transformation

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Size of the Platoon and Company tankersteve Trigger Puller 129 07-31-2014 01:20 PM
Should you merge Advisors with PRT's? TROUFION FID & Working With Indigenous Forces 22 07-26-2013 07:31 AM
Human Terrain Team study Michael Davies RFIs & Members' Projects 0 10-02-2011 01:20 AM
CSA Sends - Transition Team Commanders SWJED FID & Working With Indigenous Forces 26 07-31-2008 08:50 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation