Changing the army - how?

One to add there: being able to copy and paste reams of information - very easily - encourages recycling and insertion of nugatory extra information. The RN appears to particularly reproducing the references in entirety rather than just, er, referencing them.

This makes for overlong documents nobody reads!
Which reduces analysis

It's not the job of Staff Officers to regurgitate large chucks of information. The job they are expensively paid to do is to turn that info into usable facts and link the evidence to those facts.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
One to add there: being able to copy and paste reams of information - very easily - encourages recycling and insertion of nugatory extra information. The RN appears to particularly reproducing the references in entirety rather than just, er, referencing them.

This makes for overlong documents nobody reads!

Don’t forget printing out said multi page email to read it.
 
HCSC might be, but I've heard good things about it from my xWH mates who've attended so I think it isn't too terrible. I believe AADP is pretty intense though.

I didn't find ICSC(L) to be much of a thrashing. There are a few assessments that might demand some evening work if you want to do well, but there are plenty of study periods during working hours and a decent chunk of the course is syndicate room discussion. You can choose to spend the evenings in the bar or the (awful) gym, but there's definitely reflection time if you want it.

HCSC was a thrashing about five/six years ago. One course, as its end of course gift, presented a beautiful engraving of a kingfisher on a mirrored silver surface which hangs next to a large portrait of the late, great, Richard Holmes. There is also an engraved inscription which says something to the effect of 'for future courses, we thought that looking at this might be the only reflection time you get'....

One of the students on that course, though, went on to be the course Director and then the JSCSC Commandant, and being a thoughtful and astute chap made a number of changes which helped to increase the opportunity for reflection and de-heated it.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
One to add there: being able to copy and paste reams of information - very easily - encourages recycling and insertion of nugatory extra information. The RN appears to particularly reproducing the references in entirety rather than just, er, referencing them.

This makes for overlong documents nobody reads!
And yet, when I write an online article, I just provide links.

I suspect that part of the problem is that people continue to equate the quality of a document with volume.

I and a colleague had to deal with another colleague a few years ago who just kept adding and adding words to a white paper. The other colleague and I were cutting and cutting, he kept adding and adding.

It got to the point that we couldn’t get anything out the door.

Matters reached a head when the onside colleague said that we needed a one-page summary of something. We got on and wrote something which did the job well.

Cue angry phone exchange:

”What’s this?!”
”A one-page summary.”
”You’ve missed out [X, Y and Z]!”
”It’s perfectly adequate and grabs all the salient points.”
”Well, couldn’t you go to two pages?!”
”The clue’s in the name…”



The other possibility, of course, is that some people are trying hide a paucity of content with puff.
 
Which reduces analysis

It's not the job of Staff Officers to regurgitate large chucks of information. The job they are expensively paid to do is to turn that info into usable facts and link the evidence to those facts.
I think we have already established that the Army's approach to selection of the "brightest" has long been one that favours recollection and regurgitation over the capacity for rapid digestion and distillation of insight, so it should be no surprise that these habits resurface in practically every context.
 
This. When you had to type orders manually and have them copied out manually you're constrained, unless in a big static HQ, by the limits of the technology. Throw in the old BATCO SOC and you have it be really creative as space to waffle is really limited.

Swap for laptop & printers and the waffle merchants can get to work reproducing what got them the highest marks on courses.
The problem isn’t the technology but the way people use it. Having to prepare vufoils was a pain in the backside so people concentrated on keeping the numbers down, and spoke around the points on the screen. Now people can bang out dozens of slides for a single lesson, and half the ‘content’ is them simply reading what’s on the screen without adding any value.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Trends come from above.

The new HCS Manager sends every missive in the form of a powerpoint, sure enough, the herd are now doing the same.

Short emails are so last year.
 
Bonus points are accrued when this is done such that the audience attempt to follow both, achieve neither and become lost.
Indeed so - the same part of the brain processes both speech and text, and cannot do both both in parallel with any degree of success, but will almost automatically try to do exactly that.

Your only hope is to look away and listen or stick a finger in each ear, and read the words on screen.​
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Worse?

When a chap decides a 442 slide Powerpoint presentation is needed to get his message across.
Death by Powerpoint indeed.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I think we have already established that the Army's approach to selection of the "brightest" has long been one that favours recollection and regurgitation over the capacity for rapid digestion and distillation of insight

I believe this was true in the past, but things are definitely different now. I haven't seen recollection and regurgitation used as a measure of anything outside of a basic training environment, where it serves a useful purpose to help teach the basics.

I'd be interested to know when the shift happened*, because it'd tell us roughly which VSOs we should expect to see behaving differently.


*I know @Cynical has posted before about the staff college exam changing to a logic/reasoning test rather that a traditional test of recall.
 
Oops; sounds like all 3 Services may need to rethink things if we're going to continue as a valued ally for the USA. How quickly can UK doctrine, and more importantly, procurement cycles, adjust?

'A brutal loss in a wargaming exercise last October convinced the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. John Hyten to scrap the joint warfighting concept that had guided U.S. military operations for decades.

“Without overstating the issue, it failed miserably. An aggressive red team that had been studying the United States for the last 20 years just ran rings around us. They knew exactly what we're going to do before we did it,” Hyten told an audience Monday at the launch of the Emerging Technologies Institute, an effort by the National Defense Industrial Association industry group to speed military modernization.

'The Pentagon would not provide the name of the wargame, which was classified, but a defense official said one of the scenarios revolved around a battle for Taiwan. One key lesson: gathering ships, aircraft, and other forces to concentrate and reinforce each other’s combat power also made them sitting ducks.

“We always aggregate to fight, and aggregate to survive. But in today’s world, with hypersonic missiles, with significant long-range fires coming at us from all domains, if you're aggregated and everybody knows where you are, you're vulnerable,” Hyten said.

'Even more critically, the blue team lost access to its networks almost immediately.

“We basically attempted an information-dominance structure, where information was ubiquitous to our forces. Just like it was in the first Gulf War, just like it has been for the last 20 years, just like everybody in the world, including China and Russia, have watched us do for the last 30 years,” Hyten said. “Well, what happens if right from the beginning that information is not available? And that’s the big problem that we faced.”

'In response, the Joint Chiefs have since October been shifting the U.S. military to a new concept of warfighting operations they call “Expanded Maneuver.” Hyten wants the U.S. military to be ready to fight under the new operating concept by 2030, using many of today’s weapons, aircraft, and ships.'


 
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