Accession Number:

ADA522720

Title:

Towards a Theory on the Design of Adaptive Transformation: A Systemic Approach

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-05-21

Pagination or Media Count:

75.0

Abstract:

This work proposes a novel approach to military transformation, Adaptive Transformation, that accounts for an inescapable reality in the current and future operational environment uncertainty. Military planners and decision makers have to face long-term, evolutionary, and transformational changes under two major premises. First, military transformation needs to be conceptualized as a continuously evolving, self-adapting process. Second, the terms that define its desired end-state need revision, as the quest for an unequivocal, well-defined end-state can derail the process. Adaptive Transformation benefits from complex systems theory and the principles of the Art of Design. A systemic approach to tackling military transformation through the lens of complexity offers a useful intellectual approach to addressing transformational issues. Moreover, the Art of Design provides a methodology that seems ideally suited to tackling the complex, ill-defined problems that military transformation embodies. A theory on the design of military transformation helps address the military planners dilemma. An Adaptive Transformation Cycle, based on four cognitive spaces, encompasses at the institutional level the inner Adaption Cycle that functions at the operational level. Both processes are complementary and self-reinforcing in nature, with the former providing a higher level of adaptation informed by design. The fourth cognitive space, the engagement space, gives meaning to this construct, as it represents the institutions ongoing physical and cognitive interaction with the environment. This research ends with several conclusions on the application of complexity theory and the Art of Design to military transformation. It also provides some recommendations for military planners who are involved in transformational issues. Adaptive Transformation is the proposed intellectual and operational approach to adequately address Armed Forces evolution in the 21st century.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE