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slide1
Establishing Doctrine

The Purpose and Intent

Of

Principles-Driven Decision Making

end state
End State

To create an organization guided by well stated doctrinal principles, which represent the reality of the work, the environment, and the mission. They are understood and meaningful to every employee and the public at large, and are the heart of safe and effective mission accomplishment

“I am therefore committing us to move toward a point where we anchor our actions and decisions to a well-understood doctrine.”

Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth, January 26, 2006

why establish doctrine
Why Establish Doctrine?
  • Organizational decisions, responses, and contributions must be consistent and responsive to the time, the environment, and the mission
    • When anchored to foundational and operational principles:
      • they are freed of the burden of individual bias
      • impervious to the dominant personality
      • resistant to the quick fix
why establish doctrine1
Why Establish Doctrine?
  • Without the solid anchor provided by doctrine:
    • performance expectations and accountability are rule-defined
    • “success” and “failure” are measured by the absence or occurrence of bad outcomes
    • personal performance is gauged by one’s adherence to or deviation from rules rather than by the appropriateness of the behaviors and judgment used to accomplish the task
    • improper behaviors, poor judgment, or the lack of critical decision-making skills are seldom evaluated, and may go unnoticed until they result in a bad outcome
what is doctrine what does it do
What is Doctrine? What does it do?
  • Doctrine Guides How we Think
    • Doctrine is a body of fundamental principles evolved from laws, culture, history, and precedence that guides the actions of an organization
    • It is authoritative but requires judgment in application
what is doctrine what does it do1
What is Doctrine? What does it do?
  • Doctrine is taught as “right” behavior… it is mandatory behavior rather than method
  • It smoothes the path from idea to action
how is doctrine different from rules
How is Doctrine Different From Rules?
  • Rules Tell Us What To Do
    • They cover those things that senior leadership identifies as too important to leave to judgment
    • Rules neither require, nor do they benefit from interpretation or discretion
what about policy
What about Policy?
  • Policy can be viewed as that combination of principles (doctrine) and rules that guides the fundamental practices and behaviors of the organization and it’s members
how is doctrine applied
How is Doctrine Applied?
  • Organization Wide – Principles that necessarily apply to all employees and activities
  • Staff Area – Principles applying to the staff area and program in general
  • Mission Area – Principles specific to the mission within the staff area
are there different kinds of doctrine
Are there Different Kinds of Doctrine?
  • Foundational Doctrine - applies to the overall mission of the organization. It is dynamic and responsive to the mandate of the organization and the times in which it is carried out
  • Operational Doctrine – is built upon Foundational Doctrine. It provides guidance for dealing with the dynamic parts of the mission that rely on interpretation, judgment, and agility, and is specifically responsive to the requirements of the mission and the environment in which it is performed. A component of “Joint Doctrine”, which guides inter-organizational actions toward accomplishment of the same mission
are there different areas of doctrine
Are there Different Areas of Doctrine?
  • The Operational Environment – The realities of the world in which the mission is to be accomplished
  • The Mission – The purpose and need for the organization and the activity
  • Roles and Relationships – Performance expectations and behavioral principles
  • Leadership and Accountability – Expectations and measures of performance for leaders at all levels
  • Operations – Principles that guide actions taken to accomplish the mission
  • Risk Management – The purpose, need, and emphasis to manage risks associated with the mission environment

… and other areas as needed

how will doctrine help us accomplish our mission
How will Doctrine Help us Accomplish our Mission?
  • Doctrine relies upon, and requires initiative that is concentric with the fundamental purpose of the organization. “…it’s not a code of standardized procedures but a creative process”

Doctrine is authoritative, but not overly restrictive…

how will doctrine help us accomplish our mission1
How will Doctrine Help us Accomplish our Mission?
  • Doctrine serves to focus the friction (and related decisions) between theory and practice, between real and idealized mechanical processes. “This [doctrine] will serve both as support to their judgment and a barrier against those extravagant and erroneous views which are so especially to be dreaded in a sphere where experience is so costly”

Doctrine guides proper action and decision making...

how will doctrine help us accomplish our mission2
How will Doctrine Help us Accomplish our Mission?
  • Because of the difference between what was anticipated and what turns out to be the on-the-ground reality, we can only hope to create the “70% solution”. To invest more time trying to develop a perfect plan causes a loss of momentum and opportunity. Operating in an environment guided by clear and understood doctrine, the last 30% of the plan is placed into the hands of the subordinates, who are expected to exercise initiative to achieve the leader’s intent

Doctrine bridges the gap between the plan and the execution of the plan in a dynamic environment...

how will doctrine help us accomplish our mission3
How will Doctrine Help us Accomplish our Mission?
  • An organization guided by well understood and shared doctrine exhibits a workforce with well developed character and initiative, a workforce that has good understanding of the mission of the organization and the intent of its leadership. It relies on sharply honed judgment and decision-making skills

Doctrine requires workforce attributes that make the organization error resistant and efficient…

how will doctrine affect employees
How will Doctrine Affect Employees?
  • Doctrinal principles guide decisions and behaviors regardless of the task or the environment, yet require discretion in their application. Every employee will therefore be required to think
  • In order to realize the benefits of principles-based performance, the organization will need to retool its training and education of employees. An escalated focus on leadership and decision-making, equal to or exceeding the emphasis on skills training, is paramount
how will doctrine affect employees1
How will Doctrine Affect Employees?
  • A more visible and objective system of evaluation and certification will be required. Real time evaluation of performance and decision making will replace the current tendency to review performance after bad outcomes
  • Performance evaluation will be based on the quality of decisions in context with principles, the mission, leader intent, and environment, and not solely on adherence to the letter of rules
how will doctrine affect employees2
How will Doctrine Affect Employees?
  • Personnel will be certified as having demonstrated clear leadership qualities prior to being placed in leadership positions
  • Discretion will be given to the level the employee is capable to exercise it within doctrine-define boundaries
  • Rules will be limited to those things that senior leadership believes are too important to leave to discretion. There will be a sliding scale of discretion vs. rules in view of experience and capability
how will doctrine affect employees3
How will Doctrine Affect Employees?
  • Decisions can be made in context with the reality of the situation, leader’s intent, and guiding principles. There will be no cookie-cutter approach to decision-making
  • Decisions are constrained by doctrinal principles and leader intent, in combination with rules that require no discretion
  • All actions, decisions, allocations, priorities, plans, and communications are based upon fundamental principles tied directly to the organization’s purpose
how will doctrine affect employees4
How will Doctrine Affect Employees?
  • Ambiguities in decision-making are eliminated as the work environment and the job are seen in a clearer context
  • Personal character, heart, will, integrity, and honor are all important within a principles-based culture
how will doctrine affect employees5
How will Doctrine Affect Employees?
  • Reward is directly related to actions and behaviors, and not solely to outcomes
  • Consequences accrue to behaviors and actions, and not solely to outcomes
  • Good and bad outcomes are evaluated against actions and behaviors, and individual adherence to a clearer and more meaningful set of rules
in summary
In Summary
  • Through the illumination of clear, shared, and unambiguous doctrine:
    • decisions and actions will be connected with the overall mission, and will contribute to organizational integration and coordination
    • communication will be consistent and comprehensive, and multiple interpretations of purposes, needs, and desired outcomes will be eliminated
    • the value of policy to accomplish the mission will be enhanced. Policy, when developed as a combination of guiding principles and critical rules, will serve to define the context of decision-making rather than confine the decision-maker
in summary1
In Summary
  • Through the illumination of clear, shared, and unambiguous doctrine:
    • decision authority, responsibility, and freedom to act will be precisely defined
    • the foundation upon which the organization establishes consistency in its response to criticism, arbitration, and litigation will be well established
    • employees and leaders alike will be provided with an unambiguous means to evaluate risk vs. gain; to avoid both risk aversion and recklessness