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Chapter Four : Paul Van Riper’s Big Victory: Creating Structure for Spontaneity. Paul K. Van Riper Born July 5, 1938 ( age  71) LtGen Paul Van Riper Place  of birth Brownsville, Pennsylvania Allegiance United States of America Service/branch United States Marine Corps

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chapter four paul van riper s big victory creating structure for spontaneity
Chapter Four:

Paul Van Riper’s Big Victory: Creating Structure for Spontaneity

slide2

Paul K. Van Riper

Born July 5, 1938 (age 71)

LtGenPaul Van Riper

Place of birth Brownsville, Pennsylvania

Allegiance United States of America

Service/branch United States Marine Corps

Years of service 1956-1997

Rank Lieutenant General

Commands held

2nd Battalion, 7th Marines4th Marine RegimentMarine Corps University, President2nd Marine DivisionDirector of Intelligence MCCDC

Battles/wars

Vietnam WarOperation Desert Storm

Awards

Silver Star (2)Legion of MeritBronze Star with Combat "V"Purple Heart Other work Marine Corps Heritage Foundation

slide3

Formidable opponent in Vietnam

  • Physical training in the bush
  • 120 people vs. 9
  • Millenium Challenge ‘02-blue vs red (Wall Street vs Marines)
  • War-take apart adversary’s system: war making capability, economic system, cultural system, personalrelationships and the links between the systems.
  • War used to be “shrouded in fog—point of Millennium Challenge to show with high powered sattellites and sensors and super computers, the fog can be lifted.
slide4

Paul Van Riper-heads Red team believing you cannot lift fog of war.

  • Wall St vs Marines-Why Wall Street did so well?
  • Blue team-knocked out microwave towers, cut fiber-optics lines
  • Red did not use cell phones and satellite, they used couriers on motorcycles, messages in prayers, fleet small boats knocked out 16 American ships (rogue commander did what rogue commanders do)
structure of spontaneity
Structure of spontaneity
  • Performing a “Harold”/Improv from an audience “shout out”.
  • Sophisticated decisions on the spur of the moment w/o a script or plot
  • Practice for improv in general, it is not random
  • Bad improvisers block action, good ones develop action.
  • Allowing people to operate without having to explain themselves constantly enables rapid cognition
  • Recognize faces in a police line-up; describe with pen/no
  • Man and son in serious car accident-who is the doctor?
  • Fireman/ESP?
  • Heart attack decision tree/Cook County Hospital? Need ECG, blood pressure, fluid in the lungs and unstable angina (more info is not always the best determining factor and can even be harmful)
two important lessons
Two important lessons:
  • Successful decision making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.
  • In good decision making, frugality matters, less is more (overload of information not good) making rapid cognition possible.
  • You can never know everything (paralysis by analysis)
summary
Summary:
  • Chapter 4: Paul Van Riper’s Big Victory: Creating Structure for Spontaneity
  • “In this chapter, Gladwell outlines another type of problem that can hamper our ability to make accurate decisions -- too much information. In each of the examples that he discusses -- including emergency room triage, improvisational comedy performances, and military war games -- the consideration of too much data can sidetrack decision makers and mire them in a state of confusion.
  • In the case of Paul Van Riper, Gladwell recounts the unorthodox military philosophy of one the country’s most decorated Marine officers. In retirement, Van Riper was asked to play the role of a rogue Middle Eastern leader in a military exercise that served as part of the preparations for the 2003 invasion of the Persian Gulf. The opposing team -- representing the U.S. forces -- came to the exercise with a plethora of data, often interrupting the fighting to engage in long sessions of analysis.
  • Van Riper’s team took the opposite approach, making snap decisions to take bold chances when the opportunity presented itself. In a short time, Van Riper’s team had used this approach to achieve a position of strategic advantage over the U.S. team. Similarly, an emergency room doctor pioneered a way to diagnose heart attacks quickly and with great accuracy -- by using far less information than was standard. Often, Gladwell contends, the best decisions are made by relying on only a few pieces of high-quality information.”