Strategic design for NORSOF 2025
Roberts, Nancy C.
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In September 2014, a team of Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Officer Students from Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA, under the direction of Defense Analysis Department faculty, set out to answer this question: “How might we design a Special Operations Force (SOF) to best serve Norway’s security interests in 2025?” The team explored the future of Norwegian Special Operations Forces (NORSOF) through the lens of Design Thinking. As a starting point of Design process, the team began the Discovery Phase with an environmental analysis and in-depth discussions with more than 25 international subject matter experts. This Technical Report describes the team’s findings and prototypes as well as its nine month Design Thinking process. The prototypes were presented in May 2015 to the sponsor, the Norwegian Special Operations Command, as input to its long-term development plan. In brief, the team expects future warfare to move beyond the military domain into the civil domain, challenging traditional organizations and doctrines. To meet future challenges, the team recommends that NORSOF be: transformed to be a truly strategic instrument; configured to be a flexible, adaptable, highly maneuverable, well-connected network with a flat organization structure; re-organized to support interservice, interdepartmental and international cooperation; redesigned to integrate R&D and organizational innovation; reoriented to emphasize Military Assistance and Unconventional Warfare; and renewed to take a life-long perspective on career development with multiple career tracks activated to recruit, select, train, educate and retain the right personnel.
Approved for public release; distribution in unlimited.
NPS Report NumberNPS-DA-15-001
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