On Learning: Metrics Based Systems for Countering Asymmetric Threats   [open pdf - 569KB]

"The author primarily seeks to identify why a learning organization is critical to defeating asymmetric threats. Secondly, the author will provide evidence supporting that metrics rather than doctrine serves as the cornerstone for learning in the transformational processes currently underway in the U.S. Army. Lastly, the author will offer theoretical metrics for gauging the key indicators of progress in transformation. The intent is to foster discussion. If an organization is going to learn in a complex environment, it must give great thought as to what it measures, but it must capture and measure performance by some form of metric. The metric must be open ended and qualitative, or seek to measure trends from an assortment of indicators. An organization must be aware of the second order effects of its actions and understand that any intervention in a complex system creates positive and negative aftershocks. Finally, an organization must expect to change actions and strategies regularly without associating failure with the change. The system itself is changing so no strategy can sustain success indefinitely, and in attempting to find a working strategy, modifications are inevitable."

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