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Department of Command, Leadership and Management
Strategic Leadership Workshop

Strategic Decision-making in the Information Age

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen A. Shambach, U.S. Army

Report on the Strategic Leadership Workshop: "Strategic Decision-making in the Information Age," held at the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania October 1-2, 1996












Participants in the April 1996 Cantigny Leadership Conference identified "Decision-making" as a critical leadership competency. The purpose of this workshop was to explore decision-making models optimized for information-age strategic leaders with a view toward the future 21st century environment. The strategic decision-making landscape has changed with the maturation of the information age (paradigm shift). This workshop brought together 35 participants from academia, businesses and corporations as well as military practitioners to conduct an intense, two days discussion of decision-making at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

The future 21st Century environment for strategic decision-makers will be quite different from the past. This conference did not result in deriving any "new" decision-making model. It was generally felt that the rationalist decision-making model will continue to be useful in the future. However, future leaders will need to augment this model with other "naturalistic" decision-making approaches to be successful. No single alternative model was decided upon by the group. Rather, the framework that describes how decision-makers must operate in the future was discussed at length.

The three groups approached the problem from different directions.

The three groups approached the problem from different perspectives, but there are a few common areas of agreement. Any future model must take into account that decision-making will be more decentralized or "distributed" as one group acknowledged. Experience alone will not adequately equip leaders to be effective deciders in the future. Situational awareness and cross cultural considerations will be increasingly important. Accountability to the organization and environment will constrain the decider and trustworthiness will be an important determiner of the quality and acceptance of the decision. Rational decision-making will continue to be appropriate in the few situations where the future is highly predictable. For the vast majority of future situations, other ideas and models will be more appropriate. This is particularly true when the problem involves:


Participants in the April 1996 Cantigny Leadership Conference identified "Decision-making" as a critical leadership competency. The purpose of this workshop was to explore decision-making models optimized for information-age strategic leaders with a view toward the future 21st century environment. The strategic decision-making landscape has changed with the maturation of the information age (paradigm shift). This workshop brought together 35 participants from academia, businesses and corporations as well as military practitioners to conduct an intense, two days discussion of decision-making at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (a list of participants is at Appendix A). The following is a report of their discussions.

If you think of what leads to performance, it is thought triggering action which results in performance. Strategic Thinking takes into account past experience, present critical/conceptual thinking and future looking creative/visionary thinking. The result of this process is strategic decision-making which then drives action, resulting in performance. Decision-making then is the critical link between thinking and action.

The Army War College decided to host a conference bringing together academicians, business people and military practitioners to examine decision-making for strategic leaders of the 21st Century. The objectives of the conference were:

  1. Analyze decision-making models and propose a conceptual framework for decision-making in the emerging information-age environment.

  2. Propose areas requiring further study and fix responsibility for developing a strategic decision-making model from the framework established. Refine and develop a decision-making tool useful to the US Army War College.

  3. Develop a network of critical thinkers on the subject of strategic decision-making in the information age to contribute to the body of knowledge for utilization by a broad spectrum of users.


The morning of the first day, a panel discussion was held to present four current decision-making models, so members would have a common understanding of representative existing models. Then, the group was divided into three smaller groups, color coded Red, Orange and Green. For the next day and a half, these small groups each answered the following four questions, and reported back to the entire group on the afternoon of the second day. The four questions were:

  1. What are the decision-making requirements for the 21st Century?

  2. How well do current decision-making models meet 21st Century requirements?

  3. What framework or model do you recommend for the 21st Century decision-making?

  4. What do we need to know or do to move toward this proposed model?

The expectation was to develop a framework to develop a decision-making model appropriate for 21st Cemetery strategic decision-makers. There was not adequate time to develop a model, but first steps were taken and a network of critical thinkers on the subject of strategic decision-making was established. At the conclusion of the conference, a web site was created on the US Army War College Home Page as a source of information and for member continuing dialogue on the subject. The Home Page is located at: and is under the Department of Command, Leadership and Management, listed as Strategic Leadership Workshop.


Workshop participants were asked to respond to this question during the course of the 2 day workshop. What are the decision-making requirements for 21st Century?The following is a synthesis of key elements the workshop members saw as characterizing the future.

Environment. The environment a strategic leader will be operating in will be characterized by a number of features. Uncertainty and paralysis due to information overload will be a concern. Technological complexity, both structural and interactively, will characterize organizations. There will be greater ambiguity and uncertainty, less predictability as the future bears less resemblance to the past.

"The future portrays a world in which rationality might be dysfunctional."

Decisions will cut across a wide range of social/society/cultures/politics. Leaders will have to deal with different values as they confront more global situations. The private and public sectors will merge more closely. Coalition military operations will take place, requiring leaders to face different cultural values in those they lead. Organizations will be characterized by cross functional decisions and product teams. There will be closer scrutiny of decisions--media focus and accountability will increase. Ad hoc organizations that come together then split after their useful association ends will result in split based, dispersed, modular organizations.

For the leader, decisions will be confronted with decisions that have to be made at a much higher rate. Cognitive flexibility will be important as leaders learn to decide "on the fly".

"Perhaps it is not an issue of a binary decision vs. maybe, but that you can delay your final decision and commitment much longer. The point where you must say yes or no can now be closer to the point of desired effect both in terms of time and space." -----Rod Magee

Continuous learning will be key to keeping informed as the world gets more complex. Boldness and creativity will be required to deal with an uncertain future. Creativity must be trained, framed, mentored and developed. The stress level on the decider will increase. Leaders will have to be adept at discerning what is driving a decision: money, budget, values, national interests, desired end state? There will be a tendency to hypersensitivity-leaders must resist the temptation to respond to short term criticism and every little thing that comes to their attention. Learning organizations will be the order of the day and leaders will have to grow accordingly. Models will be temporary, and a "one solution fits all" approach will not be successful. Leaders may have to create decision-making models as they go, to fit the uncertainty of the future.



Workshop participants were provided with four decision-making models or theories to provide a common knowledge base from which to operate in their small group discussions. The first model was Rational Decision-making Model presented by COL Chuck Ware, US Army War College.


The rationalist decision-making model is based on several assumptions. First, a set of possible outcomes is known and their expected optimal outcome can be known to a high degree of confidence. Next, calculations are based on similar past actions, assuming what affected past performance will similarly affect future performance. Traditional models are based on history. Feedback causes corrections within the model for deviations to the plan. It is assumed that proliferation of information (input data) will lead to greater convergence. In other words, greater information lowers ambiguity and uncertainty can be reduced by gathering necessary information. This model relies greatly on the reliability of information gathered. Rationality also assumes a common experience base among those participating in the decision-making process. Finally, this model presumes to be objective. Criteria are established and weighted mathematically, and the factors are added up, thus reducing the chance for subjectivity to drive the decision.


The Army's Crisis Action Planning Model (Appendix B) was presented as an example of Rational Decision-making. It is a linear decision-making model containing the following steps:

  1. Set Organizational Goals and Objectives

  2. Develop Alternatives

  3. Compare/evaluate alternatives using objective criteria and weights based on the leader's guidance

  4. Choose among alternatives the one that best matches the criteria

  5. Implement the decision

  6. Command, lead and manage

  7. Feedback loop-observe results and begin process again as required


This is a great process under certain conditions. It is a well established and recognized method that has been used for classical decision-making since the Industrial is tried and proven. It reduces subjectivity by establishing the desired criteria, assigning weights and then totaling up the scores, so the greatest score is the recommended decision. Once you know what is important in the decision process, you can focus your data collection on only the relevant factors, so it is efficient. This model lends itself to technological decision-making and leverages the use of the high tech tools available to assist decision-makers today.


The model assumes you have clear guidance when you start and that there is a known, defined end state or goal or outcome. It is a linear model that is not dynamic. It appears objective but is not because humans decide what information to consider and how to weight the factors.

"Lots of data does not imply lots of information and therefore lots of knowledge. Necessary but not sufficient condition."

It is relevant under certain situations, but not others. It focuses on avoiding mistakes, is risk aversive and therefore suboptimal. Boldness and intuition are restricted. It limits creativity by setting parameters. This model does not match what people do in "real life". In the future, past experience may be less relevant as a basis for making decisions. This model involves "equivocality" in which the same thing may mean 2 or more different things to different people. It confuses technological information with truth. What do you do when 2 sources of information present contradictory or opposite data? Finally, this model tends to be top down driven and may be too rigid for future environment.


The second decision-making model was presented by Dr. D.T. Ogilvie, Rutgers University.


This model assumes that classical methods do not apply in naturalistic settings. There are many decisions which must be made about a future that does not resemble the ``past, and therefore rationalistic decision-making is inappropriate. This model assumes that bold decisions that result in minor mistakes can be corrected and refined in the future. Decisions do not have to be perfect or error free. It assumes that time may be critically short and may not lend itself to the linear, detailed rationalistic decision-making model. There is the assumption that information may not reduce ambiguity, but often increases it, leading to divergence rather than convergence upon the best course of action. It assumes that there may be multiple right decisions, and not just one best decision. Naturalistic decision-making assumes that chaos is not bad, and leads to opportunity and creativity. It assumes a great degree of freedom of action for the decider to operate relatively free of organizational constraints and historical boundaries. Finally, this model assumes that you cannot quantify and collect data reliably on the alternative courses of action being considered...there is no mathematical solution to the problem.


In this model, the decision-maker imposes interpretation on an ambiguous situation. The decider actually creates knowledge by creating and communicating meanings in ambiguous situations. Action based models can aid but do not replace rational decision making models. The belief is that knowledge follows from action. Knowledge and action are inextricably linked. Action is intentional and purposeful, with the goal of knowing and understanding more about complex military situations. This model encourages creativity to surmount theoretical barriers. Fresh perspectives and novel approaches to decision-making expand the set of possibilities beyond what rational models address. It allows for boldness with novel, innovative solutions. This will be most helpful in a future that does not resemble the past very much. A copy of presentation slides is at Appendix C.


Rationalism does not describe the "real world" and is rigid and inflexible. Rational model focuses on estimating probabilities, selects cost/benefit criteria and then picks the safest/best/highest scoring option. Rationalism may not even consider optimal solutions. This model is proactive, rather then reactive. It is not tied to history. This model seeks to understand the world rather than collect information about it. It avoids the pitfalls of data overload, etc. Interpretation is discretionary and is encouraged. The leader acts to manage impressions. Information selection is a form of action. It avoids the equivocality common in the rationalist model, leading to an illusion of certainty. Most importantly, it adapts action to the situations of volatility, ambiguity and complexity facing leaders of the 21st Century.


It is not clear how you can separate gathering information from action…action is the result of the decision-making process. What is the role of predictability in the action model? You can't always afford to learn by mistakes, which this model encourages. How do we differentiate prudent from foolish risk? This process is not widely understood or accepted, across organizations or cultures. It is difficult to model and teach. This model does not take advantage of technological tools available to help with decision-making. Acceptance of decisions that result from using this model would be difficult. If it does not closely resemble the past and does not fit into the organizational culture or follow accepted rules, it is likely to be rejected.


The third decision-making model is:presented by John Schmitt, representing Klein Associates.


This model assumes that experience is the source of all wisdom in decision-making, as it is done in practice.

"Everything we know comes from experience or our thoughts."

This model assumes that how decisions actually are made in crisis situations is the way decisions should be made. In other words, if we observe how deciders decide, then that is how deciders in the future should decide. It assumes that a "good enough" solution is generally acceptable, or that there is no requirement for a perfect or error-free decision. This model focuses on crisis situations where the requirement is for quick, correct action and assumes that there is not sufficient time for the laborious process of rationalistic decision-making.


This model focuses on how the decider uses experience to make decisions. Perceiver recognizes the situation in terms of four features:

  1. Expectancies

  2. Plausible goals

  3. Relevant cues

  4. Typical action

When a decision-maker confronts a decision, there are 3 possible scenarios. Depending on the scenario, the decision-maker will behave in one of three ways:

  1. If the situation is perceived as typical, the decision-maker will act traditionally and decide as in the past

  2. If the situation is not typical, the decider gets more information. If it is similar to previous experience, the decider modifies a past decision accordingly.

  3. If the situation is novel, the decider picks the best action based on experience and goes with it. If it does not work, the decider tries the next best action, and so on until a satisfactory solution is implemented.

"Just because a situation is changing doesn't mean it is changing into patterns you don't recognize." ---John Schmitt

Recognition-Primed Decision-making differs from Rational Decision-making in several regards. In RPD, the first decision is usually workable and is usually selected without considering all possible solutions. Serial generation evaluation of options is done rather than comparing each course of action. Courses of action are compared against the situation, not against each other. A satisficing solution (e.g. "good enough") is the goal, rather than a best or optimal solution. Evaluation is done mentally, not by physical decision analysis, weighting and analytic computation. Focus is on elaborating and improving options, not choosing between options. Focus is on situational awareness, not Courses of Action. Decision-maker is primed to act, not wait for complete analysis. A copy of presentation slides is at Appendix D.


Focuses on prior experience. This can be trained or taught. It also helps identify Criticisms

The future may differ greatly from the past, limiting the utility of individual experience. This model values experience over education which is only good if the future is like the past. This approach is still sequential and linear. This model may be better at the tactical than the strategic level. Why settle for suboptimal decision (satisficing) especially at the strategic level? Shouldn't we seek an optimal decision? This is reactive rather than proactive...assumes a decision faces the decider and must be chosen imminently. Creativity is lost. Relying on personal experience does not give you fresh perspectives. Those with little experience, how do they decide? Don't they bring a novel approach to decision-making? Complexity in the future may restrict how well one person can mentally simulate..need collective/group usually to make decisions in the future. How do we teach tacit knowledge? Viewing each potential action serially without comparison fuels "seat of the pants, ego driven" solutions.


The fourth decision-making model presented was presented by LTC Rod Magee, U. S. Army War College faculty.


This model assumes that the future largely resembles the past. The strategic manager adapts and coaligns organizations to the environment. Top management decides on a mission/strategy. Good strategies can control organizational outcomes. Assumes the environment cannot be understood or predicted. Change proceeds much faster and more radically that the organization can change its form. Diverse strategies intensify turbulence, which suboptimizes the larger system. Control over future outcomes is impossible. Myths of control are frustrated by realities of change.


Basically encourages taking the present, projecting the future and taking "logically incremental" decision steps to achieve the vision. Events in environment lead to diagnosis (decision) and action (decision) resulting in implementation decisions. Large radical shifts are bad for the organization. Need to adapt gradually to optimize productivity. A copy of presentation slides is at Appendix E.


Promotes stability and limits turbulence


Some leaders will protect and defend strategies of the past. No breakthrough changes. May not be creative enough to keep competitive in the 21st Century. Why does rapid change cause us to change decision making? Just harness information and feed the rational model. This won't lead to discovering new markets.


Participants were divided into three teams, color coded red, orange and green. Each team was asked to address two questions:

  1. How well do current decision-making models meet 21st Century requirements?

  2. What framework or model do you recommend for 21st Century decision-making?

Each team's response is summarized on the following pages.




Experience-gives you specific skills

Education-gives you general skills

These two components develop strategic leader's ability to make decisions.

Innovation-Need to understand and think in terms of systems

Environmental Scanning-Identify potential adversaries or potential influence point on the decision.

Assessment- How well did I do in the decision I made? Testing assumptions. Strategic decisions must be continuously assessed.

Run this along the axes of Analytical Systems and Accountability System

Analytics- Need a way to assess the quality of a decision or options

Accountability-Leaders are accountable/responsible for their decisions and influence decisions made

"Acceptance of ideas and decisions by a culture is extremely important."

The organization and your environment then influences your decisions and may influence how you decide as well as what you decide. Any "new" decision system has to take into account the culture it interfaces with.

"Rational decision-making model is not bad, but needs to be adjusted to realities of 21st Century environment. "


Does an analytical system help us in decision making? Or is it necessary more to justify our decisions to others because of our accountability? Aren't there decisions that are sound judgments no matter how they are arrived at or what system they operate in? Where does moral reasoning fit in? It's basically doing the right thing, ties in with trustworthiness and acceptance of the decision by the system...accountability.

Not sure this veers from the rational model. Seems incomplete. Not enough on situational relevancy. Need to separate process and outcome . Good processes should be taught but do not guarantee good outcomes. This might develop good decision makers without being tied to a specific model. Need to keep individual and institutional decision-making separate. We need to evaluate both process and outcome, not just the outcome, using your dimensions. Should add creativity/innovations on a hi-low axis.

Where does training fit in? (Between education and experience).

A copy of this group's slide presentation is at Appendix F.



No one model is inherently good and bad in all situations. This group developed a metamodel, range from intuitive DM to analytical DM. In practice, you will never have purely intuitive or analytical DM. Method you actually use is some combination of both. How you mix the two is a critical requirement to being a good decision-maker


In any situation, you go through a cycle of:

Strategic decision-making pushes you toward: Analytic, Deliberate, systemic and rational approach because time is available.

Situational Factors.

Temperament/Capabilities of decision-maker


"If it's not the most important, there's probably none more important or most of the time none more important and that is how much time you've got available." ---John Schmitt

Freedom of action/latitude

Scope of problem

Novelty of situation



Design a system.

Start with environment

Then , decide what attributes you want

Most strategic decision-making in the future will be distributive (team rather than individual decisions). Acceptance and accountability are both critical aspects of decisions. Getting the right people with the right skills and the right temperament is a key challenge. Technology and ability to manage information should help. Shared vision and situation awareness are particularly important in the military.


Intuitive is not necessarily individual and analytic more team, nor is intuitive more artistic and analytic more team. You have not defined what intuitive decision-making is. What are its characteristics? What are the characteristics of people who do it? Under what circumstances?

In a fluid situation, you will tend to be more analytical because of uncertainty, than intuitive. Intuitive may be a fast way to decide, but with an analytic base. These need not be extremes. Need to add a factor of risk or the stakes involved as a situational factor.

Is pattern recognition a prerequisite for intuitive decision-making? If so, does that mean that you can't use intuitive decision-making if you don't recognize a pattern?

"All of the comments so far have seemingly reflected an unstated assumption. Experience is useful and good for decision-making. This assumption is becoming increasingly controversial, because experience in what is becoming a very salient question."

Instead of OODA loop sequence (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act), Ogilvie proposes a DAOO loop sequence (Decision, Act, Observe, Orient). Are these the same thing? What are the implications?

Drop the left & right brain stuff. Definitions of time (long vs. short) are cultural.

Consider using "rational" and "non-rational", rather than "intuitive".

A copy of this group's presentation slides is at Appendix G.



Problem solving and decision-making are two different things, requiring different cognitive processes. Essentially, problem solving has one right answer that can be known. Not so with decision-making Underlying problem solving is a rational so with decision-making.

"The difference between problem solving and decision making in simple Cavalry terms is:

A bale of hay between two horses requires problem solving.

A horse between two bales of hay requires decision-making."

Decision-making is a learned behavior and therefore can be taught. We need a DM model that is not restrictive to our culture, because that will limit its usefulness in the more connected future world. Decision-making for the future needs to build in more tolerance for ambiguity, more complexity

Curriculum changes.

"Do we really need a model?, we don't really need a model. We need to train people to be able to think and to make decisions using a variety of models or create the models as they need them so it becomes contextual."

Top down & bottom up initiatives.

-Change the attitude of senior leaders toward changing current systems/cultures

-Grow better decision-makers through better educational and developmental experiences

-Insure operational assignments reinforce and continue to develop needed cognitive skills in an intentional manner--not only tacitly

Enhance Risk taking.

-Reward risk taking behavior

-Create learning organizations, e.g. Peter Senge

-Create organizational structures that reward /promote creative, reflective thinkers

-Develop an institutional process that identifies, selects and promotes what we need in terms of cognitive and behavioral skills associated with the type of decision-makers we need.

-Promotion not based on a single track notion

-Testing and measuring cognitive abilities throughout the professional life course

-Nothing will happen unless your resources are applied to make changes in how we decide.


Can't focus only on the decision-maker without the systems that support, feed information, integrate and link decision-makers. Need to get smarter on distributed systems decision-making. How do you develop "tolerance for ambiguity"? Sounds good, but how to do it is tough. Tolerance for ambiguity is not desirable in and of itself. Too much focus on the individual, did not consider groups. Need to add the affective dimension to go with the metacognitive issues. Little explicit attention has been paid to the emotional, intuitive processes that support or distort the DM process.

What are the "values celebrated by culture"? How do you identify them?

A copy of this group's presentation slides is at Appendix H.


Finally, each group was asked to identify "What do we need to know or do to move toward a 21st Century decision-making model?" What follows is a compilation and summary of group responses and comments to this question.

  1. Is there value in determining classes of decisions?

  2. How do we train?

  3. How to integrate thinking processes at various levels

  4. Does current school model/personnel management system support requirements for decision-making development?

  5. How do we optimize the value of experience?

  6. How do we account for individuality in DM style in our career development model?

  7. Can we expect all to operate effectively across the continuum (of DM models)?

  8. Can we improve DM with new/different models?

  9. What are the implications of specialization vs. generalization?

  10. Relationship of DM process to cultural requirements (decision typology)

  11. Know more about developing wisdom, how folks deal with high velocity and volatile environments, ambiguity, etc.?

  12. How to develop cognitive competencies to help decision-makers to adapt to repaid changes and VUCA?

  13. Study how decisions are actually made in the Army. Real vs. model. Interview best/worst decision-makers. Do a study. See what is different/better/worse.

  14. Study how people think in decision-making and how skills develop over time.

  15. What is the media affect going to be on decision-making in the 21st Century (CNN etc.)?

  16. How different is the 21st Century going to be from today? Mildly or wildly different?

  17. Need to develop some measures for what a "good" decision maker is. Without outcome measures, we will never really know what make one better than another in decision-making.

  18. Need experiments to see whether rational or naturalistic decision-making are better, in what situations or contexts?

  19. Can distinct learning and virtual learning build the experience and skills necessary to be a better/good decision-maker? How?

  20. Are there characteristics that make one a better decision-maker? What are they and how do we train/develop those desirable characteristics?

  21. What is the relationship between the decision-maker, the environment and the "thing" being decided? How do these affect the decision-making processes and how will that change with our view of the environment of the 21st Century?


Over the course of the workshop, a number of salient issues were raised. These are summarized below:

  1. Future-Is technology going to increase complexity and ambiguity or reduce it?

  2. Are the questions the right ones? Should we be focusing on a model (product) or process?

  3. Is this whole exercise an error of the 3rd kind? (asking the wrong question and solving he wrong problem)?

  4. Decision-making vs. problem solving-different? How different?

  5. Sharing information does not equal communication.

  6. Do we need different models depending on whether decisions are trivial or important-- quality of decision? Get at Vroom-Yetton-quality of decision and importance of acceptance.

  7. Can we use technology to collapse or truncate the time required to develop wisdom?

  8. Decisions with strategic consequences are being made at lower levels in the organization where experience and wisdom are not as great..what are the implications?

  9. Separate individual and institutional DM. Figure out the persons role in the organization. Then, design the org and org DM process to be functional and adaptive to the individuals within the organization.

  10. Notion of the distinction between education and experience and how they develop specific vs. general skills is powerful and needs elaboration.

  11. The ability to manage information so you are not overloaded but you have access to info that matters, in a timely fashion, is key.

  12. How do we void decisions that don't have to be made and not make decisions simply because you have the ability? How to decide when to decide?

  13. In a fluid or unknown situation do you tend to be more analytical or intuitive in DM?

  14. What is the relationship between experience and intuitiveness?

  15. Are intuitive and analytical spectral extremes?

  16. What is the role of shared vision, both horizontally and vertically, in decision-making?

  17. How do we reconcile the need for limiting information (to prevent overload) with the possibility of reducing creativity because we don't see enough disconnected data that could fuse into a great creative decision?

  18. What is the difference between learned and trained?

  19. OODA and DAOO=-are they the same process?

  20. What part does role clarity and role ambiguity play in DM? Maybe we want to use role ambiguity to our advantage for creative decision-making?

  21. Is decision-making really different for the 2nd LT than it is for the one star general?

  22. How are problem solving and decision-making different and do they require different cognitive processes to solve?

  23. What is the role of affect in the rational or naturalistic decision making processes?

  24. Is tolerance for ambiguity a good thing? Maybe less tolerance would prompt one to be uncomfortable and think deeply and try to develop a more critical and creative thinking?


Workshop participants were finally asked to predict the future of decision-making for 21st Century strategic leaders. Their thoughts are summarized below.

Decision-makers in the 21st Century will not be able to rely exclusively on experience and rationalist decision-making models.

" the more complex levels of the current Army or the more complex situation that larger parts of the Army will face in the future, there will be many situations for which there is no answer. Its not just that there are multiple or different solutions; there will be no solutions."

The distributive nature of future decisions, across the organization, across various cultures and technologies, will require a decision-maker who has the capability to make rapid decisions in a constantly changing environment. It appears that the most productive use of time and resources to prepare leaders for the future will be spent less on developing an optimal decision-making model than on developing optimal decision-makers. Education, training and operational assignments must work together to equip future leaders with the critical and creative metacognitive skills necessary for the future. Information technology itself will not simplify decision-making, and in many cases may make decision-making more confused and difficult. The challenge is to harness technology to provide the pertinent information needed to make these decisions. More information will not reduce uncertainty and ambiguity sufficiently to simplify decision-making. Focused information will move us in that direction.

"Use technology to reduce information overload (seems paradoxical). Set up filters, adaptive technology to learn the info you like (or info you need but don't like). The danger is that you can preclude the opportunity for serendipity and creative leaps of inference based on seeing relationships among seemingly disparate info items. There's a role for info brokers." ---Response to Orange Team presentation

Accountability, situational awareness, organizational constraints, trustworthiness and acceptability of decisions are all factors that the strategic leader must take into account when looking to the future. The ability to see into the future and anticipate the second and third order consequences of decisions made now will require us to go beyond simply relying on past experience. Leaders must free themselves from lock step procedures and purely analytical tools to accommodate the rapid rate of change and uncertainty that will accelerate in the future. In the last analysis, it will be the flexible, aware, informed, collaborative decision-maker who will best characterize the strategic leader of the 21st century in the realm of decision-making.



Dr. James D. Baker

Principal Scientist

Rehill Associates

Dr. Herb Barber

Professor of Behaviorial Science

USAWC Faculty

COL Donna Barbisch

Director of Reserve Leadership Integration Studies

USAWC Faculty

COL James W. Beauchamp

Chief, Leader Development/Training Div

OPMS XXI Task Force

LTC Jerry R. Bolzak

Professor of Military Science

Princeton University Army ROTC

CH (COL) John Brinsfield, Jr.

Director, Ethical Program Development

USAWC Faculty

LTC James W. Church

Chief, Strategic Concepts Office

ODCSPER, Army Staff

Mr. William J. Doherty

Associate Dean

Georgetown University

Dr. Jon J. Fallesen

Principal Scientist

U.S. Army Research Institute

COL Betsy Gibson

Director of Command, Leadership & Management Studies

USAWC Faculty

Kazimierz Gozdz

Project Manager Leadership Program

MIT Organizational Learning Center

Dr. Stanley M. Halpin

Chief, Army Research Unit-Leavenworth

Army Research Unit-Leavenworth

COL Herb Harback

Chairman, Department of Command, Leadership & Management

USAWC Faculty

Ms. Frances Hauge

Asst. Instructor, Ph.D. Candidate

University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Michael A. Hitt


Texas A&M University

Dr. Michael J. Hostetler

Associate Dean for Executive Education

Cornell University

Mr. Clyde Kesling

Transformation Agent


LTC Tom Kolditz

Systems Integration Team

ODCSPER (Army Personnel)

LTC Joe LeBoeuf

USAWC Resident Student

Dr. Rod Magee

Professor, Organizational Change & Strategic Leadership

USAWC Faculty

Mr. James F. Marrin

Director Exec. Development


Mr. Stephen R. Mercer

Mgr, Executive Education

General Electric Company

Mr. Harsh Muthal

Director & Program Manager

Motorola University

Dr. D. T. Ogilvie

Assistant Professor

Rutgers University

LTC Don Osterberg

USAWC Resident Student

Mr. William M. Russo


Process Management & Continuous Improvement

Chrysler Corp

Major John Schmitt

Klein Associates

Mr. Michael D. Shaler


Steamboat Leadership Institute

LTC Douglas F. Slater

Cdr, 2d Sqdn, 16th Cavalry

U.S. Army-Ft. Knox

Dr. August W. Smith



University of Texas

COL John A. Spears

Director, Center for Army Leadership

Command and General Staff College-Ft. Leavenworth

Dr. John E. Stevens

Professor of Management

Lehigh University

Dr. Siegfried Streufert


Penn State University- College of Medicine

LTC Gayle Watkins

Assoc Professor & Assoc Dean for Resources

Office of the Dean-West Point

Accessibility/Section 508