ISCRAM 2013: Leading Cats: How to Effectively Command Collectives

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Authors: Joanne Hinds
Ana Calderon
Peter Johnson


University of Bath

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  • Pay particular attention to coalition situations – in an emergency, where they are expected to work together harmoniously
  • Brehmer – no single individual in command of a complex endeavour – so harmony is all csn hope forOrganisations who typically operate autonomously collaborateMaximum a collective can achieveHow to achieve “mutual support”
  • Elements of a single command refer to Usual understanding of what comprises a commandMission statementGoalsAnti-goalsTime constraintsCommander’s intentExplicit method for achieving crtain goals
  • Jessica here…..
  • Important because these elements limit the no. command appraoches available per crisis situationDuring coalitions, such an understanding is crucial so that different orgs can predict what might not work
  • Responded to Red Cross callCommander gave permission to goGoals most important, most relevantEg of appropriate selectin of intents and goals
  • John KellerFlexibilitya clear understanfinf of necessary goals and intents, house rules: when the right command structure meets the demands of the systems capabilitykatrina – civilian trapped in a buildingsuccessfully set up command and orgsnised food distribution, protection to all good intending residents as well as ensuring their evacuationsuggest that this particular situation called for a hierarchical, hero emergenct type of command and so the right command structure was chosed in the right circumstance at the right timehis obtaining of power was facilitated by people in the building being scared and seeking an authority figure as a means to relieve them of some responsibility for decision making during the crisis
  • ISCRAM 2013: Leading Cats: How to Effectively Command Collectives

    1. 1. Leading Cats: How to Effectively Command Collectives Joanne Hinds Ana Calderon Peter Johnson University of Bath
    2. 2. Command and Control in Collectives • Aim – Enhance understanding – Combine different approaches for dealing with commands • Individual command components • Interplay between different commands – How can human autonomous systems work as collectives? – How to achieve command by intent? – How to encourage new and agile behaviour? • For individuals • For organisations
    3. 3. Collaboration is difficult • Collectives – Ideally they would work together harmoniously – In practice, this is near impossible • Difficulties arise – Individuals have received particular training – Joint training is rare – Different command structures – Different organisational processes • Organisations must focus on – Information sharing – Collaboration – Coordination • Brehmer (2011) Harmony of Efforts – Harmony rather than unity
    4. 4. Defining commands in collectives • Defining commands in collectives • 2 streams – Higher conceptual level • Considers the command itself • Impact of one command on another • Little detail in the understanding of a single command • Accurate models for understanding interactions – Lower conceptual level • Grammatical decomposition of elements of a command • Accurately depict a single command • Doesn’t describe how different commands come together • Doesn’t describe what causes commands to be issued in different situations
    5. 5. Understanding commands in collectives • Command by intent – US Department of Defense “a clear and concise expression of the purpose of the operation and the desired military end state that supports mission command, provides focus to the staff and helps subordinate and supporting commanders act to achieve the commander’s desired results without further orders, even when the operation does not unfold as planned”
    6. 6. Command by intent • “What to do” not “How to do it” • Requires a structure of intent • Allows for improvisation and novel behaviour • Learning is needed – Individually and collectively
    7. 7. Intent • To watch a film….. – “I intend for you to watch film” – “I intend to take you to the cinema to see that film” – If that film is borrowed from a friend and given to you then one intention was satisfied but not the other.
    8. 8. Command in collectives • How to achieve successful command during coalition situations • Case studies – Hurricane Katrina • These elements must be present – Human bias – An understanding of the interplay between • Different commands • Different elements of different commands – Flexibility – An understanding of organisational doctrine, organisational and individual culture
    9. 9. Hurricane Katrina • Failures in the command system – Rigid allocation of roles – Inflexibility in command approach • Human bias – High level intent blocked by intent to keep the peace
    10. 10. • An understanding of the interplay between – Different commands – Different elements of different commands – E.g. Marine rescue
    11. 11. • Flexibility – Evacuations from hospital vs. sheltered housing • An understanding of organisational doctrine, organisational and individual culture
    12. 12. Summary • Different approaches to command are required in different situations – Even when the same organisations are involved – Organisations need high degree of flexibility when cooperating with other stakeholders • New technology and evolution in human nature means that this list will never be truly comprehensive – Social media

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