Guidance

Decision making and problem solving: human and organisational factors (JDN 3/11)

Joint Doctrine Note (JDN) 3/11 aims to improve our decision making in all areas of complex solving by better understanding the factors that …

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This publication was replaced by: Understanding and decision making (JDP 04) published by DCDC in December 2016.

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Joint Doctrine Note (JDN) 3/11 aims to improve our decision making in all areas of complex solving by better understanding the factors that influence the way that we think and behave: as individuals; in groups and as organisations.

The purpose to re-balance the weight that we attribute to people and how their thinking influences the conceptual component of fighting power, which provides the foundation for creativity, ingenuity and initiative.

We declare high importance for the human input to all aspects of operations and our documented processes may help, but some problems cannot be managed by process alone. Strategic planning, complex operations and ultimately warfare are intensely human endeavours.

Therefore, human and organisational factors inevitably influence decision making, problem solving and the success or failure of planning and operations and, as Albert Einstein said:

“The significant problems that we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them”

The note addresses how individuals, teams and organisations contribute to (or detract from) high quality thinking. It outlines the nature of complex problems and considers how humans think, introducing an awareness of cognitive vulnerabilities.

It describes how teams function and offers advice on forming teams to address complex problems. Finally it considers how organisational rationality, politics and culture influence military thinking.

Published 18 January 2013
Last updated 14 December 2016 + show all updates
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