Accession Number : AD1001273

Title :   Adaptability: Time to Start Thinking about Thinking

Descriptive Note : Technical Report,01 Jun 2014,21 May 2015

Corporate Author : US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

Personal Author(s) : Crosby, Cassandra S

Full Text :

Report Date : 21 May 2015

Pagination or Media Count : 52

Abstract : The tendency to maintain familiar behaviors while evolving slowly and incrementally when faced with unfamiliar problems is the result of a gap in the US Army's understanding of adaptability and the conditions required to achieve it. Developing adaptive leaders is one of the Chief of Staff of the US Army's top priorities, yet few, if any, people seem to be talking about how to enable this critical capability. This monograph argues the US Army must foster strength of the mind at the individual level to enable the kind of adaptive behavior the Chief of Staff of the Army demands. Adaptability requires flexible, creative, unprejudiced, and reflective thinking; the thought patterns that enable cognitive agility. However, this kind of thinking is not something that merely happens in the mind. The interrelationship between mind, body and environment continuously and dynamically shapes the structure, functional organization, and connectivity of an individual's brain rendering them either more or less likely to sustain cognitive agility in both short-term and long-term contexts. Previous efforts to improve the Army's adaptability focused on institutional development. However, the US Army needs to do more than ask how it can inculcate adaptability through its doctrine and training programs. Rather, the question that requires further research is if the patterns in the Army's current culture and climate support the kind of thinking that enables adaptability at the individual level, or if its tendencies stifle flexible, creative, unprejudiced, and reflective thinking. The answer to this question will provide the impetus for the US Army to take steps toward actionable and enduring change.

Descriptors :   PROBLEM SOLVING , ARMY , leadership , behavior , adaptation , adjustment(psychology)

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE