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Complexity in Action: Learning in the US Navy, 1905-1945 - Lean Agile Scotland 2016

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Organizational learning in the US Navy during the dreadnought era, as presented at Lean Agile Scotland 2016

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Complexity in Action: Learning in the US Navy, 1905-1945 - Lean Agile Scotland 2016

  1. 1. Complexity in Action: The U.S. Navy’s Learning System Trent Hone @Honer_CUT Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  2. 2. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco In the early years of the 20th century the U.S. Navy developed a sophisticated learning system that led to repeated doctrinal innovations How was this done? The U.S. Navy’s Learning System Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  3. 3. DOCTRINE What is doctrine anyway? Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  4. 4. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Doctrine “... universially applicable approaches regardless of context.” – Simon Wardley “… acts as an enabling constraint allowing… decisions under conditions of extreme uncertainty.” – Will Evans “… promotes effective coordinated action in battle through mutual understanding.” – U.S. Navy Manual, 1938 Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  5. 5. The Beginning: Initial Experiments with Doctrine Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  6. 6. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellacoTrent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Approaches to Strategy
  7. 7. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Alfred T. Mahan Naval Strategy as art Contextual interpretation Fundamental principles Collaborative Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  8. 8. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Contextual Learning Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  9. 9. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco New Opportunities Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  10. 10. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco William S. Sims Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco First real doctrine Emerged through collaborative “conference method”
  11. 11. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Doctrine Validated: 1917-1918 Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  12. 12. Interwar Structures for Learning Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  13. 13. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco The “Planning” System Chief of Naval Operations Fleet Command Naval War College General Board Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  14. 14. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Annual Cycles of Exercises Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  15. 15. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Fleet Problems Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  16. 16. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco New Doctrinal Approaches Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  17. 17. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco New Doctrinal Approaches Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  18. 18. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Tactical Heuristics Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Aggressive Action to Seize the Initiative Attack Effectively First (Long Range Gunnery, Carrier Strikes) Decentralized Decision-Making (and Doctrinal Development)
  19. 19. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco By 1941… Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Learning system is well-established Doctrine presents a diverse set of options
  20. 20. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco 1941 Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Pearl Harbor: Battle Fleet Crippled Doctrine is Fractal: Aggressive Action to Seize the Initiative Tactical Heuristic Employed Operationally
  21. 21. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco 1942-1943 Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Decentralized Doctrinal Development Fails
  22. 22. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco 1942-1943 Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Heuristics Prove Effective
  23. 23. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco 1942-1943 Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Safe-to-Fail Experimentation – New Approaches
  24. 24. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco November 1943 Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Central Pacific Offensive Begins Enabled by: Combat Information Center (CIC) PAC-10 Transition to Loosely Connected Collection of Mutually Reinforcing Carrier Task Forces
  25. 25. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco 1944: New Paradigm Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  26. 26. Summary Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  27. 27. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Constraints Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  28. 28. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Safe-to-Fail Experimentation Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  29. 29. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Psychological Safety Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco
  30. 30. Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco Thank You Trent Hone | @Honer_CUT excella.com | @excellaco

Editor's Notes

  • We tend to think this stuff is NEW.
    It's not...
    Cruiser HOUSTON
  • We’ve been offered several definitions…
    Mine is virtually identical to Will’s.
    Why is this important, because it promotes concerted action
  • Most influential early president of Naval War College
  • Learning in Conference
    Naval War College
    Experience-based learning
  • Flusser 1909
  • Sims becomes commander of the Flotilla in 1913
    Created “safe space” for collaboratively developing doctrine
    Repeatedly bested the larger ships in mock combat
  • Destroyers
  • No predominant role… our typical view of military hierarcy does not hold
    Community of Need
  • Nevada and Oklahoma
    Exercises within the Fleet
    CONSTRAINTS
  • Fleet Problems triggered problem solving
    Feedback loops – Conferences shared lessons
  • New ways to formulate and conceptualize doctrine
    Principles are gone… Hueristics in their place
    Shared framework for decision-making...
  • New ways to formulate and conceptualize doctrine
    Principles are gone… Hueristics in their place
    Shared framework for decision-making...
  • New ways to formulate and conceptualize doctrine
    Principles are gone… Hueristics in their place
    Shared framework for decision-making...
  • First offensive raids are in January (Wake) but aborted
    February strike in the Marshalls and attempt on Rabaul
    March – Wake and New Guinea
    April – Japanese Mainland
    May – Coral Sea
    June – Midway
  • Fleet is reconfigured
    New doctrinal methods in place
  • The cycle of Fleet Problems acted as a constraint
    Fostered self-organization within the Fleet
    Leading to new approaches
  • Every ship was different
    These experiments were safe-to-fail
    Conducted at low levels, parallel,
    Exploited from above when they worked out
    DD FARENHOLT
  • Nimitz… cite his willingness to share details with more junior commanders (like Wylie)
  • ENTERPRISE
  • ×