Though the title of this article may lead one to believe that I am going to write a critique of the subject document, alas, I am not. What I do hope to do is to emphasize the importance of such a plan, summarize its contents, and then pose the question: “How are we doing?” Though formal progress reviews will be conducted by the staff, this forum allows a more candid, open dialogue for assessing where we are and where we need to go — by those who are affected most (read: our readers).
The purpose of plans and goals and direction is to prevent the futility of wandering aimlessly toward an unknown or unclear destination. This is the very premise behind the concept of Commander’s Guidance. Without guidance, a commander’s staff would just continue walking long enough until they arrive somewhere – and they will — though that somewhere may not be where the commander intended. With guidance, a staff is given direction and purpose. They know the destination or desired end-state and in some cases are given parameters in which to navigate towards that destination. In nautical parlance, we commonly refer to this as “rudder orders” — and sometimes, if required, “course correction.”
Commander’s guidance may be verbal or written and can come in many forms: orders, plans, roadmaps, goals, guiding principles, etc. Last year, VADM Tighe, Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. TENTH Fleet published her commander’s guidance in the form of FCC/TENTH Fleet’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020. This document outlines strategic goals designed to achieve a specific end-state. That end-state, as deduced from the community’s vision, is two-fold: (1) freedom of action and decision superiority while denying the same to our adversaries and (2) winning in the domains of cyberspace, the electromagnetic spectrum, and space.
How will we get there?
Recognizing that “many organizations struggle with executing their strategic plans” — and FCC/TENTH Fleet intending not to be one of them – the document concludes with a pointed, and very necessary, discussion of execution management. This discussion directs: (1) the development of a detailed execution plan, (2) the conduct of regular progress reviews, and (3) the fostering of productive partnerships. This direction serves to translate the five strategic goals “into measurable, focused results;” ensure we are able to “adjust to the evolving environment;” and recognizes that we cannot go it alone.
How are we doing?
Since its publication, commands throughout the FCC/TENTH Fleet domain have turned to. All over the world, TENTH Fleet task forces have developed detailed execution plans consisting of subordinate goals that support the five strategic goals — all in an effort to collectively arrive at our desired end-state. Our guidance is clear. Unlike Alice, we know where we must go and the goals necessary to get there have been set.
So… how are we doing?
The Strategic Plan can be read in full here: http://www.public.navy.mil/fcc-c10f/documents/fcc-c10f_strategic_plan_2015-2020.pdf