Project White Horse
A forum for exchange of ideas on decision making and leadership in the 21st Century  

Editorial Note: Edition 8 -  Spring 2009

A Culture of Preparedness and Intersectional Ideas

The last two editions provided perspective on “resilient communities” and leadership required.  It was suggested that if leadership does not have the education, experience, or maybe even the attitude to recognize the true nature of this century, then can we reasonably expect acceptable results? The following questions were posed:

  • How do we become better prepared for events we can predict but have extreme possibilities or ready for the unpredictable uncertain outlier “Black Swans?”
  • Why are unconventional crises so different and how do they drive leadership and learning requirements?
  • How can community leaders learn to make better decisions faster?
  • What type of organization is capable of operating in highly uncertain environments at the tempo required?
  • How can understanding elements/concepts like Unconventional Analysis and Synthesis, Common Community Outlook, Adaptability Leadership, Teams of Leaders, and Learning Environment help us when faced with worst case situations?
  • How can the community learn and implement these concepts?

Edition #8 looks to start providing answers or at minimum, approaches to obtaining answers.  We shift from providing “perspective” to creating actionable understanding and answers through intersectional ideas for an environment described as hyper complex, low-probability-high-impact - the unconventional - the “Cat 5.”

Intersectional ideas are those resulting from combining concepts from multiple fields - areas of specialization gained through education and experience - as compared to those created traditionally by combing concepts within a field - noted as directional ideas. Success in intersectional idea generation is dependent upon breaking down barriers of association that would more than likely indicate a “non relationship” or at best limited context between or among fields.

To date, PWH has consisted of the electronic magazine website and a Forum for posting of articles between editions. Based on the above, INTERSECTIONS now becomes a third element of PWH.  The intersection will be created by providing the points of view from those with multiple and diverse backgrounds, including medicine, first response, intelligence, academia, and military.  The content will be operational threads selected for potential to increase actionable understanding. To date two topics have been under discussion:

  1. Actionable Intelligence and Resilient Communities
  2. Training Decision Makers to the “Ace’ Level

The FORUM includes ten new posts since the beginning of the year, all focused on bridging between the idea of a resilient community and leadership discussions – particularly that of the Team of Leaders (TOL) concept. – with the idea of creating a “culture of preparedness” – the true essence of a resilient community.

Culture is the predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization.   Culture of Preparedness is the term General Russ Honore uses to describe his future effort for America.  “It’s time for America to wake up to this reality.  Our task as Americans is to be ready.  We need to create a culture of preparedness in America.  Our forefathers knew how to take care of themselves, their families, and the communities in which they lived.  As citizens, we need to be prepared to do that same – we cannot wait on the federal government to do it for us.”

The edition begins with a true “intersectional dialogue” reflecting experience ranging from the deck of a war ship to the experimental laboratory to the chairman’s office from advisor Dr. Dag von Lubitz as the DaVinci’s Horse Director’s perspective offering.  General’s Honore’s words become the focal point for this edition in the lead article.

The articles that follow all address necessary aspects on creating leaders and decision makers 1) able to bring together unique, separate, and by initial appearance, possibly non-associated skills in a team context – the Team of Leaders – and 2) able to create innovative solutions to complex problems by breaking down the barriers of previous association that prevent truly ground breaking ideas to emerge.  First is the recently released EUCOM “Coaching Guide” for the oft discussed critical element of Team of Leaders (TOL), followed by a discussion on organizations that can operate at high OODA Loop tempo by advisor, Dr. Chet Richards.  Next is a truly ground breaking idea for police organization and operation in light of the continuing threat involving urban environments by Lt John P Sullivan (LASD) and Adam Elkus.  Finally Lt. Fred Leland (Walpole PD) addresses critical decision making under pressure and the emerging Adaptive Leader Methodology developed by Maj Don Vandergriff.

In closing I note with a great deal of pride, humility, and thanks that there are over twenty authors representing education and experience in Great Britain, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the mean streets of the United States, from the military, law enforcement, fire, emergency response, intelligence, medicine, and academia involved in this edition.  Their total experience is eye watering.
You will find perspectives and intersections.  You will find understanding that can be acted upon.  You will find answers.

24 April, 2009

On to the current edition...

If you're going to lead a cavalary charge, you better believe you look good on a white horse.

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