Agility and appropriateness: matching shift to scale
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Agility is organizational shape-shifting in the face of complex operating environments. Command is the guiding hand for the shape-shifting. As the DOD CCRP community has noted, agility is a multi-dimensional phenomenon that, if applied effectively, produces force multiplier effects of considerable value. However, achieving agility in command only works in very few organizations, and often not for very long. This paper describes and analyzes the characteristics of those organizations that can best apply agility in command, staff and planning. The key descriptor of those characteristics is appropriateness, a term defining the right scale for the applicable operating environment. Appropriateness has long been associated with technologies; however, in the current and foreseeable high entropic environments of the United States military and interagency, the term must be extended to include doctrine and force structure. The propsed paper presents case studies of appropriateness and agility to demonstrate both the extraordinary advantages enabled by coupling these concepts, and the disastrous results of ignoring both. The paper concludes by recommending necessary coupling of the two concepts for effective command in the future.
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