Collective Appreciation of Strategy

Collective Appreciation of Strategy (CAOS) is a process used in both military and corporate settings to analyze the situation and environment, identify potential challenges and opportunities, and develop novel strategies and tactics to achieve a mission or end goal. The process involves bringing together leaders and specialists from different areas to share diverse perspectives and expertise, to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the situation and environment, promote collaboration and alignment among stakeholders, and making more informed and effective decisions. By bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise, organizations can develop plans that are novel and effective, and that are sequenced and aligned with the organization’s vision, mission and values. The CAOS process also promote a sense of ownership and buy-in among stakeholders, and help organizations collectively stay agile and responsive to changes in their environment.

collective appreciation of strategy
collective appreciation of strategy

Why is Collective Appreciation of Strategy Important?

There are several benefits to conducting collective appreciation of the Strategy in both military and corporate settings. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Comprehensive understanding: Conducting collective appreciation of the Strategy allows organizations to develop a comprehensive understanding of their internal and external environment. By bringing together leaders and specialists from different areas, organizations can gain a more complete and nuanced view of the challenges and opportunities that they face. The is the same reason why Moltke the Elder personally train the German General staff. It was ensure that the Staff Officer embedded in the Divisions, knew exactly how he thinks and will therefore be perfect ambassadors guiding the operations without a need to check back.
  • Diverse perspectives: Bringing together specialists from different areas promotes the sharing of diverse perspectives and expertise. This can help organizations identify novel solutions to complex problems and develop innovative strategies and tactics.
  • Collaboration and alignment: Conducting collective appreciation of the Strategy promotes collaboration and alignment among leaders and specialist staff. By involving multiple stakeholders in the planning process, leaders can ensure that everyone has a shared understanding of the organization’s goals and situation and that they can intuitively respond to the challenges and opportunities.
  • Ownership and buy-in: Involving specialists from different areas in the planning process can help promote a sense of ownership and buy-in for the resulting strategies and tactics. When individuals from different areas of the organization are involved in the planning process and their perspectives and ideas are considered, they are more likely to feel invested in the resulting strategies and tactics and more willing to work together to achieve the organization’s goals.
  • More effective decision-making: Conducting collective appreciation of the Strategy helps organizations make more informed and effective decisions. By analyzing the organization’s situation and environment, identifying potential challenges and opportunities, and developing strategies and tactics to address them, organizations can make decisions that are more likely to be successful and that are aligned with the organization’s vision, mission and values.
  • Increased agility: Conducting collective appreciation of the Strategy on an ongoing basis can further help organizations stay agile and responsive to changes in their environment. By regularly analyzing their situation and environment, organizations can identify emerging challenges and opportunities and adjust their strategies and tactics accordingly.

Collective Appreciation of Strategy Process

There are several key steps involved in the CAOS process as follows:

  • Background: The first step in the process of conducting collective appreciation of the Strategy is to gather background information on the organization’s situation and environment. This may involve reviewing past performance data, analyzing market trends, and assessing the competitive landscape.
  • Mission Analysis: Once background information has been gathered, the next step is to conduct a detailed analysis of the mission or end goal that the organization is seeking to achieve. This may involve defining the scope of the mission and identifying key limitations, and information gaps.
  • Strategic Initiatives: Based on the analysis of the mission, the next step is to develop a set of strategic initiatives or approaches that could be used to achieve the mission. These initiatives may be drawn from a range of sources, including internal brainstorming sessions, market research, or competitive analysis.
  • Strategic Courses of Action: Once strategic initiatives have been identified, the next step is to develop a set of specific courses of action that could be used to implement the initiatives. These courses of action should be designed to address potential challenges and opportunities that have been identified through the analysis of the organization’s situation and environment.
  • Selection: After developing a set of courses of action, the next step is to evaluate and select the best course of action to pursue. This evaluation may involve the use of guiding principles, benchmarks, analytical tools such as game theory or cost-benefit analysis to assess the potential risks and benefits of each course of action.
  • Evaluation through Wargaming: Once a course of action has been selected, it is important to evaluate the plan to ensure that it is effective and feasible. This may involve using wargaming techniques to simulate different scenarios and test the plan under various conditions. This can help identify potential weaknesses or areas for improvement in the plan before it is implemented.

Military Example of CAOS

During World War II, the British Royal Air Force (RAF) was facing significant losses due to German radar systems that could detect and track incoming aircraft. To address this challenge, the RAF assembled a team of specialists from diverse fields, including physicists, engineers, and mathematicians, to develop a new approach to radar jamming. This team ultimately developed a novel technique called “Window” that involved dropping clouds of metallic strips to confuse the German radar systems. This approach, which came from a collaboration of specialists with diverse perspectives, proved highly effective and helped turn the tide of the war in the Allies’ favour.

The “Window” technique was first used on July 24, 1943, during a bombing raid on Hamburg. The Germans were caught off guard by the sudden appearance of hundreds of false targets on their radar screens. The Window technique was so successful that it was used throughout the rest of the war. The success of the “Window technique” is a testament to the power of collaboration and diversity in problem-solving. By bringing together specialists from different fields and perspectives, the RAF was able to develop a solution that was both innovative and effective.

Conclusion

In summary, conducting collective appreciation of the Strategy is critical for effective planning and decision-making in both military and corporate settings. By bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise, organizations can develop a comprehensive understanding of their situation and environment, identify potential challenges and opportunities, and develop novel strategies and tactics to address them. This promotes collaboration, alignment, ownership, and buy-in among stakeholders, and ultimately leads to more effective decision-making and greater agility.

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