Decision superiority: putting the emphasis back on the warfighter
Shobe, Katharine K.
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Military operations have all the trademarks of agile decision making due to the complexity, uncertainty, time constraints, high risk and ill-defined goals of the mission environment. Any discussion of the naval command and control environment must address the relationship between the decision maker and the technological systems with which he operates. The U.S. Navy tends to address issues of decision supeiority with improved technology, sometmes disregarding what the human operator brings to the picture. We argue that this approach provides limited short-term gains in terms of human performance. Addressing the root cause of decision making problems by realigning professional training, selection and experience with the prerequisite analytical, intuitive, creative and affective skills is a superior approach. A decision maker's skill of striking a balance among these abilities, finding the right synthesis for the right situation, adapting to the situation, and moving along the continnum of performance, is what is needed to improve decision making in the maritime environment - not more C2 displays. Through the synthesis and application of the fields of expertise developoment and decision making, a framework of command tactical performance or "artful competence" is presented that has direct impllications for improving decision superiority.
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