IO Journal - December 2010 - (Page 20)
simultaneously be the most technically simple and yet socially complex to carry out as it will require leaders, planners and practitioners alike to let go of old habits, cross an uncertain neutral zone, and embrace a new beginning that “…may involve developing new competencies, establishing new relationships, becoming comfortable with new policies and procedures, constructing new plans for the future, and learning to think in accordance with new purposes and priorities.”22 Public Affairs, Combat Camera, Information Operations, Psychological Operations/ Military Information Support Operations and Strategic Communication personnel will predictably resist change, but this is a matter of how they can successfully integrate into a single communication function not how they might preserve and protect their respective largely redundant fiefdoms. If necessary they must quite literally be stripped of their military occupation specialty designations and re-assigned to positions within the new
communication organization to positions for which they are best-suited based on previous training and experience.
Communication must be fully integrated into military operations and daily activities for the simple reason that every action communicates something to somebody somewhere.23 Unfortunately military success in the communication arena is hindered in four significant ways: First, the military’s current mindset is grounded in a monologic school of thought that approaches communication as a technical process of information control and delivery; Second, the military lacks a set of universal, prescriptive core communication principles; Third, the military lacks a formal process to guide deliberate communication planning; Fourth, the military’s communication-related functions are organized into five opaque stovepipes that foster parochialism and competition rather than coordination and cooperation. Future success will
require a significant change leadership effort to shift the military’s mindset toward social theory of communication as an interactive process, create core principles to guide the actions of all service members, establish a deliberate communication planning process and, last but not least, realign existing personnel and resources into a single communication structure. Cliff W. Gilmore is an active duty Marine Corps Major currently assigned as Special Assistant for Public Communication to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Cliff is a 2010-2011 Fellow with MIT’s Seminar XXI. He holds an MS in Organization and Management with a Leadership specialization and is a PhD Learner in the same field. The focus of his ongoing dissertation research is principle-based communication as a leadership practice and he is the author of “Principles, Credibility, and Trust,” Appendix P of the U.S. Joint Forces Command Handbook for Strategic Communication & Communication Strategy (Version 3).
1 Watzlawick, P., Beavin, J. H. & Jackson D. D. (1967). Pragmatics of human communication: A study of interactional patterns, pathologies, and paradoxes. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Co. 2 Doorley, J. and Garcia, H. F. (2007). Reputation management: The key to successful public relations and corporate communication. New York, NY: Routledge. 3 Shannon, C. E. A. (July and October 1948). Mathematical theory of communication. Bell System Technical Journal, vol. 27, pp. 379-423 and 623-656. 4 Joint Publication 3-13 (Doctrine for Information Opeations); Joint Publication 3-53 (Doctrine for Psychological Operations); JP 3-61 (Doctrine for Public Affairs); Commander’s Handbook for Strategic Communication and Communication Strategy, Version 3, 2010. 5 SecDev Group. (2009). Bullets & blogs: New media and the warfighter. U.S. Army War College: Center for Strategic Leadership. 6 Watzlawick et al., 1967. 7 Cutlip, S. M., Center A. H., & Broom, G. M. (2001). Effective public relations (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 8 Kouzes, J. M. and Posner, B. Z. (2003). Credibility: How leaders gain and lose it, why people demand it. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 9 JP 3-13, p. II-11. 10 Kotter, J. P., & Cohen, D. S. (2002). The heart of change. Boston: Harvard Business School. 11 Gates, R. M. (2008). U.S. global leadership campaign speech. Retrieved September 15, 2009, from http://www.defenselink. mil/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1262.
12 Mullen, M. G. (4th Quarter, 2009). Strategic communication: Getting back to the basics. Joint Forces Quarterly, 55. 2-4. National Defense University. 13 Defense Information School (DINFOS). (2010, p. 2). Public Affairs training resources: FA01 Fundamentals of PA, Unit 3 – PA and ethics. Retrieved July 14, 2010 from http://www.dinfos. osd.mil/Dinfosweb/adl/elearn/ContentModuleDisplay_public. asp?un=403&pon=2&cmID=408&courseTPI=PAOQC-ADL-NR 14 Kouzes & Posner, 2003. 15 Watzlawick et al., 1967. 16 JP 3-61, p. I-3, italics added. 17 Covey, S. R. (1990). Principle-centered leadership: Teaching timeless principles of effectiveness. Provo, UT: The Institute for Principle-Centered Leadership. Heifetz, R. A. (1994). Leadership without easy answers. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 18 Covey, S. R. M. (2006). The speed of Trust: The one thing that changes everything. New York, NY: Free Press. 19 A more extensive discussion of the principles model is provided as Appendix P of the Commander’s Handbook for Strategic Communication and Communication Strategy, Version 3, 2010. 20 Kouzes & Posner, 2003. 21 Kouzes & Posner, 2003. 22 Bridges, W. (1986, p. 26). Managing organizational transitions. Organizational Dynamics, 15(1), 24–34. 23 Watzlawick et al., 1967.
IO Journal | December 2010
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