Power to the Edge

This is a new book by David Alberts and Richard Hayes. It is called “Power to the Edge : Command and Control in the Information Age ”

A efriend pointed it to your way. Doug Simpson has bloged it a while ago.

From Doug’s blog

The Introduction continues to assert that the DOD is focused on developing Network Centric Warfare and/or Network Centric Operations (NCW/NCO). The authors make the point that disruptive , rather than adaptative changes are necessary:

“The path to NCO is forked. One road, often called “modernization,” is the straightest and most clearly signed. Traveling this road is clearly within the comfort zone of the institution (DoD) and most of its members. Unfortunately, this road will lead us only to incremental improvements and, ultimately, to a dead end. The improvements attained, however impressive, will fall short, not only of the potential of network-centricity, but more importantly, they will not enable us to meet the mission challenges of the 21st century. This is the road that many seem to have embarked upon, despite a high-level commitment to transformation. The other, less traveled road (actually it may appear more as a path) leads to a disruptive transformation of command and control (C2) that is central to all military organizations and processes, the first since the early to mid-19th century.( fn 10) This transformation must focus on C2, where information is translated into actionable knowledge. Without a transformation of C2, it is far less likely that we will be able to meet the challenges that lie ahead. A transformation of C2 provides us with the best opportunity to achieve the one organizational characteristic that is sure to stand us in good stead for the foreseeable future–agility.”

The authors see an essential element of this transformation to be moving “power to the edge,” the central theme of this book.

From page 5: “Power to the edge is about changing the way individuals, organizations, and systems relate to one another and work. Power to the edge involves the empowerment of individuals at the edge of an organization (where the organization interacts with its operating environment to have an impact or effect on that environment) or, in the case of systems, edge devices. Empowerment involves expanding access to information and the elimination of unnecessary constraints. For example, empowerment involves providing access to available information and expertise and the elimination of procedural constraints previously needed to deconflict elements of the force in the absence of quality information.”

“Moving power to the edge implies adoption of an edge organization, with greatly enhanced peer-to-peer interactions. Edge organizations also move senior personnel into roles that place them at the edge. They often reduce the need for middle managers whose role is to manage constraints and control measures. Command and control become unbundled.”