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To the Left of Planning: Lawrence, Wingate, and Operational Design

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Technical Report,25 Jun 2018,23 May 2019

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U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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Military history is full of unorthodox characters. For centuries, individuals imbued with a rebellious streak have created unique strategies and operational approaches. When design first appeared on the curriculum of the School of Advanced Military Studies SAMS, studying these individuals, their habits of thought, and patterns of inquiry, formed much of the theory behind emerging design concepts. Since then, design has evolved into a series of models and methodologies which, when studied, often reduce a willingness to depart from certainty and think expansively, imaginatively, and creatively everything that should happen to the left of any design process. This paper seeks to reassess what creative principles can be drawn from two of Britains most eccentric individuals T.E. Lawrence and Orde Wingate. In doing so, the paper will consider who they were, why they were successful, and the cognitive characteristics they demonstrated when generating their operational approaches. Ultimately, this paper will explore how military practitioners think about thinking in an increasingly complex operating environment.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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