Saturday, December 29, 2012

Efforts at self-synchronization - trust is essential

“Self-synchronization is the ability of a well-informed force to organize and synchronize complex activities from the bottom up. Self-synchronization is achieving the goals of the organization without or with less leaders than in a hierarchical organization. 'A priori knowledge' enables individuals to self-synchronize because they have a shared understanding of the situation."

The creation of self-synchronization through unity of effort, commander's intent, rules of engagement, and battlespace knowledge is discussed as a starting point to create self-synchronization. The next steps in achieving self-synchronization are to empower individuals by releasing them from the multitude of requirements currently in place and the expectation and acceptance of the military as an adaptive learning organization.

Trust appears to be an important factor for self-synchronization to be successful. Trust in information, people, and equipment is needed for self-synchronization to work effectively. Trust is needed for commanders to give up some personal control and rely more on the staff.

Trust is important for self-synchronization because teams function dispersed and therefore relatively autonomous. Members of military teams have to know each other well and need trust each other. The team also needs to trust other units and other personnel that are located elsewhere. According to the interviewees, trust is closely related to the situational awareness. Knowledge about the capabilities and expertise of other units is essential for self-synchronizing the efforts of the team.

The Information Dominance Corps Self-Synchronization efforts grew from an understanding among the IDC officer corps that they would have to take the initiative to share information across the Corps.  They are doing this every day.  Every member of the IDC has the opportunity to participate in this process and elevate the level of self-synchronization across the Corps.  You can check it out HERE.

More on Self-Synchronization: What is it, how is it created and is it needed?  written by Lieutenant Commander Layne M.K. Araki, USN, Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.


former naval officer and current rhetorician said...

"Self-synchronization is achieving the goals of the organization without or with less leaders than in a hierarchical organization."

Seriously...I'd love to see this written in many fewer words and in plain english.

Sentences like this --especially when accompanied by management textbook block-and-arrow chart-- really make my head hurt. Bad.

Anonymous said...

A self-synchronized organization knows what to do without waiting to be told what to do. Personal initiative is a shared value and a commitment to collective ownership is the standard.