Title: The Rise of the Strategic Private – Technology, Control and Change in a Network Enabled Military
Author: Schmidtchen, David
Condition: Near Mint
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2006
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 333 pages
Comments: The Rise of the Strategic Private introduces a more substantial metaphor for the practice of change in the Australian department of Defence-a metaphor better suited to the character and ideology of Network-centric Warfare (NCW). NCW is a social rather than a technological phenomenon. NCW isn’t a new weapons system-it’s an organisational philosophy that will have profound and far-reaching effects on the institution. Defence’s ability to transition from a platoon-centric to a network-centric force is dependent upon its capacity to manage organisational, social and cultural change.
This book fills a gap in Defence’s approach to force transformation. It suggests that traditional ‘top-down’ change strategies and ideologies are inadequate. This study offers an alternative theory rooted in a deeper understanding of four interdependent factors: technology, ideas, people and organisation. The first part highlights the social dynamics of network-enabling technology. It shows how increased connectivity is creating social and cultural paradoxes that leaders can only resolve by addressing the underlying principles of organisational philosophy. The second part challenges he current practice of large-scale organisational change and outlines a method that focuses on building the institution’s capacity to change and its ability to cultivate a culture of innovation.
Schmidtchen argues that the Department’s approach to transformation should reflect the organising principles of the emerging network. Transformation must balance the persistent drive for change against the inherent conservatism of the institution.
While the focus is on the Australian Defence Organisation, the author hopes that it might also prove useful to other military institutions.