Army: Problems of Organizational Development

Organizational development challenges, faced by the new, brigade commander. Three things to be done in addressing these issues, and developing the brigade as a learning organization

Having served in the unit once, one expects to pick up from where he left but having been away for such a long period and in a different setting, it is not easy for any individual to continue handling any organization with ease as if nothing had happened. The first challenge is that the 56th Brigade Combat Team has new staff members. The new staffs are new to the team and some do not understand the rich history and legacy of the team.

They are not fully loyal to the team and do not abide by the traditions of the team to co-exist as a team. They are not acquainted with the new brigade commander and therefore lack substantial ground to fully abide by his decisions confide in him or speak their minds out. The team has just arrived from a war zone and still suffering from post-war trauma. The soldiers are difficult to manage and organize themselves having been in a place of chaos and anarchy.

Communication facilities have not been fully developed. This is even on the battlefield where officers have to carry multiple radios due to the ranging frequencies and some even went unused placing an extra load on the officers. This shows that the organization has difficulty in relaying information and as the new brigade commander it will not be easy conveying messages and directives. This will slow the developments and targeted goals.

Just before going to war the brigade commander and command sergeant major had been rotated. Each leader had a different way of executing the same task which in turn is understood by the co-workers. Having been accustomed to the leadership setting before the war, the new brigade commander is faced with the task of first learning the effects of the leadership rotation. The rotated leaders are not available to provide answers. Another major challenge is the abrupt death of Col Volar, who was the immediate former brigade commander. This prompts the new appointment. This was not planned and calls for rush decisions and adjustment to a post one was not even prepared for.

The transition period becomes rocky and one needs major coordination and working together of all departments. The Heavy Brigade Combat Team had been fully converted to the modular structure before going to war, and having only been 56th Infantry Brigade, the radical changes were witnessed. Though the infantry team had a positive mindset the time accorded before going to war was not sufficient for members to come into terms with their new roles. Having been accustomed to the old infantry system the new brigade commander will need a lot of time to get used to the new system. The drastic change could be cited as the major cause of the team performing dismally in Iraq.

The new modular lacks sufficient personnel to cope with the growing demand of the unit. This is presented in Iraq where there lacked the personnel to allow 24-hour operation. The roles of the Deputy Commanding Officer are not clearly defined which might confuse them as they did in Iraq. The information center is not well developed thereby different sources present varying information. There seems to be limited specialization to point officers are assigned duties beyond their scope. The modular structure has posed many challenges even in training. In the past, the team used to operate as a family where junior officers’ views were encouraged and respected. The new system is rigid and has no room for innovations.

The brigade should be developed as a learning institution to equip the officers with the essential knowledge to counter the war challenges they face. This learning institution should be different from the traditional military college that assumes formal learning has been instilled from somewhere else. It should be an institution that instills formal learning and skills needed for officers to be all-rounded. The different officers have studied in different institutions that are not military-oriented; this has created a division in the forces and made officers engage in activities that are not related. To counter the soldiers must undertake similar courses. The department must embracer IT services to store data and soldiers must participate in debates, so applications such as blogs and cloud computing must be embraced.

Effects of culture and climate on decision making and ways of handling stress in the organization

Every society has its own distinctive and authentic culture. To understand a society, culture and climate are pivotal factors to analyze and deduce from. To manage the new force properly and bring back sanity to the team reliable information must be gathered on the way the team members were living in Iraq, the culture of the Iraq people, and the culture of the team before leaving for the war of which that is already experienced. The difference in climatic conditions between the US and Iraq will also be exhaustively analyzed.

To have a well functioning team the past culture must be restored, however, change is gradual so policies and guidelines will be formulated to have a smooth transition. The details of every member will be documented and uploaded to the members’ website which will be launched immediately. Professions on culture and climate will be employed to assist in the process. The war surrounding tends to break people’s culture as the only culture known is violence and survival. The desert climate of Iraq tends to make people from other low temperate zones desperate and lose hope. To counter this, seminars will be organized so that members could share their experiences and face the problems facing them as a team.

Members of the team have been observed to exhibit post-war stress and ethical erosion. It was observed that some members engaged in unruly and unethical behaviors like the killing of innocent people back in Iraq. To ensure this never happens again, a disciplinary committee will be formed to investigate the conduct of members back in Iraq and those found violating any human rights or going against the rules of engagement will be severely punished. Mandatory counseling sessions for all members from Iraq will organize. This will help the department to identify members suffering from stress and trauma according to the special treatment to contain the situation and deter members from engaging in harmful activities. Members who wish to visit their families will be granted permission and helped in whichever way that will be possible.

Culture and climatic experiences shape an individual’s conduct. To see to it that the decisions made are abided to and look objectively to the other members as is to the commander. The problems of culture and climate experienced in Iraq will be tackled first. The grievances of the members will be heard and efforts made to revert to the old system of the battalion. Since most of the members are willing to see positive change then they must be actively involved in the effective administration of the team. The importance of the culture that existed in the past where individuals made decisions and solved problems on their own, rarely troubling the leaders must be emphasized and encouraged.

This will promote accountability and self-drive. Members will view themselves as leaders instead of subordinates. Having been away from home for such a long period members will be encouraged to spend ample time with their loved ones as these are the people who understand them best thus will be the first to identify any behavioral change. The commander will work in collaboration with the family members to assist the affected members and have reliable sources to get information on the members’ history and family background.

Influencing Change within the Organization and projected vision

To have an effective, 56th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, members from all ranks must combine efforts in the realization of the commander’s vision of having the best team in the forces, integrated and compact team that shall be envied by the other members of the armed forces consequently attracting the best professionals across the board. To accomplish this knowledge acquisition and management will be reinforced especially with the emphasis on IT. To ensure this, members will be assigned to posts on merit and taking into account their professional qualifications. Forums and seminars will be regularly arranged with the participation of all members on the various challenges facing the organization and propose possible solutions.

Leaders who do not listen to the views of their subordinates will not be tolerated, as teamwork will be the driving force of the organizations. The Introduction of IT services like wikis, blogs, and cloud computing will be the main agenda of change and reforms. The interactive nature of these services will enable members to share information freely and comfortably. Embracing IT services will enable subordinates to report uncooperative leaders. Social networks for the members of the public to present their views will also be established. This will enable people all over the world to express their thoughts on the combat team’s activities around the world; even people in Iraq will be able to recount their ordeals enabling reforms to take place faster and efficiently on the specific topics raised.

To give depth and diversity to the department, some recruits in the future will be taken straight from high school to complement the college recruits. A military university will be recommended so as members to have a binding common unifying factor. This will reduce the indiscipline observed by members who instead of having a passion for the activities of the military are engaged in their passions like poetry. This has been observed even with high-ranked officers.

The recruits from high school will then specialize in various disciplines like medicine, engineering, psychology, and others. This will equip the department with qualified personnel in the various fields and hence will in the future avoid the inconveniencing events witnessed in Iraq where officers were assigned tasks beyond their jurisdiction. IT will also be introduced into the communication system to avoid the carrying of many radios on battlefields due to the varying frequencies.

For there to be institutionalized change, specialization and division of labor will be a must (Cacutt 34). This will present accountability and thus avoid misuse and mismanagement of the properties of the department.

Change as pointed out is gradual thus, time is required to institute these changes and help the staff to participate in the transition period. The soldiers from war should be treated with care, humanely and their grievances heard out instead of being branded as nagging officers. Psychology of the human mind will also be introduced as a compulsory core course in all colleges that cater to the education of the officers. This will create awareness and preparedness before the battle. Officers will be ready on what to expect and thus care for one another, improving accountability in the group.

Work cited

Cacutt Len. Combat. Pennsylvania: Book sales, 1988.

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DemoEssays. "Army: Problems of Organizational Development." December 21, 2022.