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OPTIMIZING LEADER DEVELOPMENT

Background

The pace of modern-day life has increased dramatically in recent years. Persistent connection to the internet, plus the amount of data and speed of processing enabled by new technologies have created information overload and a tempo of operations that has never been seen before. New technologies are also impacting societies and human behavior, making any crisis or conflict even more complex. This has led to a slowing down of decisions due to the amount of information to be considered, plus increased physical and mental fatigue from cognitive overload.

In the case of first responders in crisis response and military operations, these issues are compounded by the appearance of technologies that: operate autonomously - taking humans out of the decision loop; process and gain insight from vast quantities of data; and change the way that materiel is developed and produced. These capabilities, along with others, will enable new strategies and tactics that have yet to be discovered.

While technologies continue to develop at an increasing rate, the ability of humans to operate in this new environment is a topic that deserves more attention. Addressing this situation and preparing leaders to thrive in this “brave new world” is the subject of this challenge.

The Challenge

You are a member of the elite group of problem solvers, technologists, and experts in human capability development. We are looking for your help in preparing our first responders and leaders at all levels to operate in a fast-paced environment, understand and decide in unpredicted and complex crises, and manage a very dynamic technology and information environment.

What we are looking for:

 

LEADERSHIP SKILLS 

Modern technology enables and calls for a better way to manage responsibilities, tasking and interactions during operations.

This future leadership paradigm should transform decision-making into a collaborative and agile process, and empower leaders at the top to delegate intent co-creation authorities to the lowest levels.

Junior leaders will take increased  and independent responsibility. They need to be agile, autonomous and creative.

  • We are looking for solutions to prepare leaders at all level for this mindset change and provide them with the needed skills to lead and operate within the new paradigm.
  • We are also looking for software and hardware solution to increase individual cognitive competency development; namely, learning to implement technologies that will augment a leader’s Situational Awareness and decision-making as well as enhance cognitive performance under extreme pressure with neuroscience technology solutions (including EEG based mental training, serious games re-wiring the neural network for decentralized collaborative operations, or special training and education solutions aiming to enhance the personal mental or team coherence
  • We need to teach the needed skills in ways that are faster, provide better retention, and are cost efficient when scaled.
  • We also need to continuously measure the impact of training solutions and encourage continuous improvement.

Combinations of advanced scientific solutions in neuroscience, psychology and technology is what we are looking for. Conceptual solutions are also welcome.

 

DECISION MAKING SOLUTIONS 

We are looking for solutions on how to prepare leaders at all levels to make decisions in complex environments by leveraging advanced technologies and learning to trust their capabilities and understand their limitations; and for solutions that assist in developing and evaluating decision making skills in the training and pre-deployment phase.

  • We want to optimize
    • decision making skills testing and evaluation
    • Understanding perspectives - Balance Military and Political objectives
    • Critical thinking - Understand/overcome decision making bias (including individual/team/organizational/technological) 
    • Innovative thinking – ability to see beyond our own horizons
    • Strategic thinking - understand the impact of local decisions in a wider space/time and societal context.
  • We need solutions to
    • Learn from failure and success
    • Experiment in a safe environment
    • Simulate courses of action
    • Provide support for change and adaptation
    • Recognize when change is needed or not

 

HUMAN-MACHINE OPTIMIZATION 

We are looking for solutions to optimize how human leverage and interact with novel technologies and machines, in particular Artificial Intelligence.

Issues of interest include:

  • What is the appropriate level of trust in machines and how to achieve it?
  • What mindset is needed and how to train it?
  • How to assess and manage information shortcomings
  • Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the human-machine team
  • Understanding the capabilities/limitations of the machine

 

MENTAL RESILIENCE 

We are looking for solutions on how to prepare individuals to be better able to maintain or even increase their effectiveness in critical situations (for example, through energy regulation, motivation and re-motivation, accelerated adaptation to a new stressful situation, optimized physical and mental recovery, and improved team cohesion).

We are seeking to develop a toolbox in which the NATO nations can find the elements that will constitute, or contribute to their national programs. This toolbox must be interoperable in order to allow deployment in operations of common capabilities, but also adaptable to the cultural and social particularities of the different Alliance nations.

All the tools and techniques that could increase the field of mental resiliency, including those using the latest technology, may potentially be included in this program

We are looking for solutions to:

  • Prepare individuals
  • Maintain and increase effectiveness in critical situations (energy regulation, motivation and Re-motivation, accelerate adaptation to new stressful situation)
  • Optimize physical and mental recovery
  • Improve team cohesion by fostering interpersonal relationships.

(More about Mental Resilience)