Military organizations today must be able to process increasingly complex and voluminous information and quickly adapt to changes in the operating environment and tasking. They must do this within budget constraints, increasing congressional oversight and influence, and changing workforce demographics—all while maintaining trust with and accountability to the nation they serve. Military organizations are also increasingly interested in adopting successful practices developed in the private sector and leveraging the speed and innovation of the tech industry, though distinct differences between the motivations and constraints of the business world and those of the military can challenge this adoption.
Given these ambitions and constraints, military organizations must sometimes adapt their organizational structures and processes in order to continue to meet mission requirements. As a federally funded research and development center operating in the space of ill-defined and complex problems, we employ a tailored approach to each organizational transition. Based on the contingency theory of organizational design, our analyses are shaped to the particular circumstances and requirements of each organization. We also empower leaders with the tools and data they need to undertake subsequent organizational change on their own. In contrast, commercial vendors addressing organizational change typically apply proprietary models or templates with routine measures—yielding “black box” results without the underpinning of analytical insights about the organization.
We understand the mission and the conditions under which our military sponsors operate; CNA analysts have deployed alongside staffs and operational units and have embedded in support roles at commands throughout the globe. Through our analysis of numerous commands at multiple echelons and in a variety of roles, we have gained experience in common military organizational pitfalls and where and when business practices are appropriately applied.
Organizational redesigns to improve efficiency, effectiveness, or address changing responsibilities
Organizational redesigns to increase adaptability
Creation of new organizations
Right-sizing and aligning staff
Business process development and assessment
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- Publication Date: 7/1/2019