APL Colloquium

April 22, 2011

Colloquium Topic: The Agility Imperative

Agility, a long-recognized virtue has, in the 21st Century, become an existential capability. This presentation explains why Agility is a ‘must have’ capability. It also provides a conceptual and analytic point of departure for a scientific exploration of Agility, including a working definition and a set of agility-related measures. The difference between Manifest and Potential Agility is explained, in terms of their respective measurement challenges. The concept of agility is illustrated by applying it to an analysis of different approaches to command and control (management or governance) that could be employed by coalitions or collectives in the context of complex, civil-military endeavors. Analysis results, based on a series of both human and agent-based experiments, are presented and discussed. This presentation concludes with the initial steps to be taken by individuals and organizations interested in embarking on a journey to improve their agility.

Colloquium Speaker: David Alberts

Dr. David S. Alberts is currently the Director of Research for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Networks and Information Integration). One of his principal responsibilities is DoD’s Command and Control Research Program, a program whose mission is to develop a better understanding of the implications of the Information Age for national security and command and control. Prior to this he was the Director, Advanced Concepts, Technologies, and Information Strategies (ACTIS) and Deputy Director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. Dr. Alberts was also responsible for managing the Center for Advanced Concepts and Technology (ACT) and the School of Information Warfare and Strategy (SIWS). Dr. Alberts is credited with significant contributions to our understanding of the Information Age and its implications for national security, military command and control, and organization. These include the tenets of Network Centric Warfare, the coevolution of mission capability packages, new approaches to command and control, evolutionary acquisition of command and control systems, the nature and conduct of Information Warfare, and most recently the “Power to the Edge” principles that currently guide efforts to provide the enabling “infostructure” of DoD Transformation, and efforts to better understand edge organizations and the nature of command and control in a networked environment. These works have developed a following that extends well beyond the DoD and the defense industry. His contributions to the conceptual foundations of defense transformation are complemented by more than 25 years of pragmatic experience developing and introducing leading edge technology into private and public sector organizations. This extensive applied experience is augmented by a distinguished academic career in Computer Science and Operations Research and by Government service in senior policy and management positions.