The following four case studies look in depth at the challenges faced by knowledge management officers (KMOs) across various headquarters. In each case, the KMOs exercised exceptional staff officer qualities to meet the commander’s intent for optimized information and knowledge flow to enable decision-making.
In case study one, LTC Andrew Dugger exercised exceptional staff competency as the point man for the merger of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve with the Combined Joint Force Land Component Command. LTC Dugger used his knowledge management (KM) training to assess quickly the knowledge and performance gaps that had to be addressed to achieve mission success. LTC Dugger’s ability to integrate the battle rhythm of two large headquarters illustrated applied critical thinking, coupled with self-confidence and the ability to work as a team player.
Case study two shows an excellent example of KMO Ms. Cynthia Hilsinger exercising creative thinking to overcome obstacles in creating and integrating a common operational picture (COP). In this case study, Ms. Hilsinger realized that the command post processes and information flow was not providing her commander with enough shared understanding of the devastation that occurred during the 2017 hurricanes in Puerto Rico. A creative thinker, Ms. Hilsinger looked at innovative options to solve the problem of information latency, and provided her commander with a COP with real time live data streaming. She refused to be overwhelmed or frustrated by the bureaucratic requirements, and reached across the federal and Department of Defense (DOD) domains to provide a solution.
Case study three is an example of a predominately civilian organization, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), embarking on a deliberate change management process to raise the KM maturity level of their headquarters. Because of LTG Tom Bostick’s vision, and their chief knowledge officer Ian Pfaff’s forward thinking abilities, USACE engaged with the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) to embark on a multi-year KM strategy execution to raise the level of their headquarters’ performance.
In case study four, a newly trained KMO, MAJ Jason Balgos, exercised exceptional candor and competency as he worked his way up from the “Sharepoint basement” in the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC) to establish a KM section and become a critical part of the USARC staff.
The common attribute in all of these case studies is hard work, competence, and effective communication to collaborate across the staff and provide solutions for each of the respective headquarters.
David M. Van Laar
U.S. Army Knowledge Management Proponent
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