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Spokane Air Defense Sector

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spokane Air Defense Sector
Air Defense Command.png
Spokane Air Defense Sector.jpg
Emblem of the Spokane Air Defense Sector
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
TypeFighter Interceptor and Radar
RoleAir Defense
Part ofAir Defense Command
Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX
Map of Spokane ADS
Map of Spokane ADS

The Spokane Air Defense Sector (SPADS) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with the Air Defense Command 25th Air Division (25th AD) at Larson Air Force Base, Washington.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Wicked Problems - with Prof. Keith Grint / Problèmes pernicieux - avec Pr. Keith Grint


My name is Steve McLaughlin. I'm the acting vice-president of the learning programs at the School, and I would like to say, thanks for being with us today. It's very nice of you, since this is a Friday. Today we have a NEW format in the sense that we have a speaker who I'll introduce you to in a minute that actually spoke to your deputies, uh, to many of your deputies this afternoon. And there's been some, some thought that we should follow along with the Deputy Ministers' series with an ADM series in that you should have the benefit of the same speakers that come to you. And, if I could, I'd like to talk a little about the school and the adjustments that are going through the Public Service right now. I'm sure, as many of you are aware, we've had the cascading events to respond to DRAP on workforce adjustment, etcetera. The school actually trained more than seventeen thousand people on courses related to workforce adjustment, change management, and we view DRAP, or the schools' response to DRAP really in three phases. The first one being pre-budget, when we were talking about workforce adjustment, having difficult conversations, HR planning. Since the budget, we've been concentrating a lot of training on supporting the people who have been affected--CV training, preparing for interviews, still change management and having difficult conversations, as we progressed through the transition that the school's going on. And today actually launches what we consider to be the third phase in training that will subsequently come out on innovation and transformation, because as we all now have to adjust to our budgets, that there's work to be done. And Professor Grint, who is actually our speaker today, is here to give us some insights into leadership, and leadership as it goes to difficult problems. So, Doctor Grint is a professor of public leadership at the Warwick University Business School, and the topic of our seminar today is "Wicked Problems and Clumsy Solutions". And I know what it's like to have a wicked problem because I had a wicked problem when the school president found out we were having this event from four to six this week and told me that I had to move it to three to five. So I actually greatly appreciate those of you who switched your agendas to be here from three to five and I would say that we all had times when we had to admit the error of our ways, so I think that the four to six format will never be repeated, although I would hope that the format of the ADM series will be repeated. So, Professor Grint will explore with us the nature of change. He'll share his ideas on the topics of innovation in the public service-- innovation in leadership. He's worked in a number of universities, Cranfeld University, Lancaster University Management School, and the University of Oxford. He's the founding co-editor of the journal Leadership, and the founding co-organizer of the International Conference in Researching Leadership. He's the author of numerous books, and I can tell you, he's a very engaging speaker. So, without further ado, would you please join me in welcoming Professor Grint this afternoon. Thank you very much. So, I'm not going to repeat what I said this morning because it's really boring. I'm going to do something different at the beginning. What I'm going to do is work out which of you in the room is most likely to be most successful five years from now. This is an objective test, and this will save us a lot of effort and problems. So, by the end of this test, you will know who you have to be nice to and who you don't. So, for this test to work, you need to stand up, and then when I read out this list of characteristics or competences, if you don't have them, you can sit down again. And, the last person standing--there may be a couple of people-- are the people most likely to be most successful five years from now. So, you need to stand up first of all. This won't take long for some of you, trust me. So, I shall remain standing, otherwise, we're never going to get through this, but, if you are smaller than the average person in the room, will you please sit down. Smaller than the average person. We don't want small people in charge of us in the future, we want ordinary people. O.K., second, if you are heavier than the average person still standing up, can you please sit down. We don't want small ones and we don't want big ones. We want ordinary people. Third... You need a course in decision making. Third, if you have no leadership experience in your young life, i.e., you were never captain of the school team, or prefect, or head girl, or head boy, if you've got none of that in your background, sit down. Next, if you think you're less intelligent than the average person still standing up, can you please sit down. O.K., if you think you're less confident than the average person still standing up, can you please sit down. Next, if you think you are not as good-looking as the average person still standing up, can you please sit down. O.K. Next, if you are prone to emotional outbursts, can you please sit down. Good. Next, if you're wearing glasses, or you have worn glasses, can you please sit down. Well, we're getting quite thin now. Next, if you've got blonde hair or you used to have blonde hair, can you please sit down? Blondes have more fun but they don't make good leaders. Next, and finally, if you're a woman, can you please sit down. This is our great leader from the future.Right. So, what do you think about my list? This is objective. This is scientifically proven to be true. So what do you think about my list? You think it's perfect, you did, obviously, it's perfect for you. What about anybody else? Old-fashioned? Alright, let's just pick up on that question. When do you think this research was published? Which decade do you think we're looking at? "Nineties." No. "Sixties." No. "Forties." It's late-1940s this research comes out. Which country do you think it comes from? "The United States." Alright, which professional group do you think we're looking at? Who? Lawyers? No. "Engineers." No! "Doctors." No. "Accountants." No! "Politicians." NOOOOOOOOOOO! "Financiers." Nooooooo! "Public servants." Wellllllll, possibly. Which part of the public service do you think we're looking at? It's late 1940s. Come on, kids, wake up! "The American military." The military, thank you. Right, this is what happens; someone decides it's important that we do some professional research, in theory. So let's find a group which has been very successful and try to copy what they've got that makes them successful. So, the most successful group then is the American army that has just won the Second World War single-handed. What we'll do is we'll look at the American military and we'll see what characteristics they've got, and then we'll replicate them. And that's what they do. So, all the things that I've read out, are replications of characteristics of the senior American army--the senior groups of the American army--in the late 1940s. So, now what? "Now what" is your response to this. Now we know where it comes from. What have we just looked at? What have we just got? "Irrelevance." Quite possibly irrelevance, quite possibly. All we've looked at is a correlation between what these people looked like or seemed to have and they happened to be at the top of the organization. There's no causal connection in here. There's no causal relationship between what they may have and what makes them successful. It may be entirely co-incidental, there may be hundreds of people who've got those characteristics that are not successful. We don't know. We still do this kind of leadership research, this is exactly what we still do. We find people who are successful and we try to mirror them. Let's see what characteristics they've got, and we'll just copy them, and somehow we'll be successful. What we should be doing, of course, is taking a group of people that are not successful to see whether the characteristics translate across. So, this is what happens in my research, I ring up people and I say, "I'm doing some research on successful leadership. I've been given your name because you're completely unsuccessful. Could you please explain to me why you're such a failure?" And then the phone goes dead. But we almost have no comparative research here. So, my assumption is probably 85, 90 percent of the leadership research is just made up, because there's no causal connection involved in this. That's the first worrying thing. The second worrying thing is our image of what we think leadership is all about. This is what I'm going to talk about. Whether we have a kind of strange image of leadership. So I'm going to look at wicked problems. I want you to think about this question as we're going through this; which work problem is driving you nuts? We don't do domestics, we just do work problems. If you want miracles, that's a more expensive course. So, this is a graph from one of Richard Pascale's books that looks at change programs across time. This is from 1950 to 1995. What you have here is a list of change programs as they come in. So, between 1950 and 1960, there were just three ways to help you change, which is why change is so difficult in the 1950s. Some of you will remember this. Once you get past 1960, there's a new change program every year. So change gets easier, and easier, and easier, which is why change is really easy now. I don't quite know why you're still sitting here. Hiven how much work we've put into this, all you have to do is read it and execute it. Can't be that difficult, surely. There are several things that fall out of this. Assumption about change. Now this is the first one. A niche market for books like this: The First 90 Days or The First 100 Days or the assumption is you've just been appointed, so you obviously know all the answers. Your job, therefore, is to be decisive and just tell people what to do. You don't have to go and ask people or meet them. Just tell them what to do. You must know the answers. When you get these kinds of things, what happens is you've probably gotten an appointment for about two years at most, so you won't have more than two years to make an impression. You have to be decisive and do something. What you don't want to do is to leave the department, and someone say, "Well, they were here for a couple of years, but they didn't do very much". What you want is to be is remembered as the person that ruined the organization, because your memory will live forever. Now, you see this kind of approach in when animals move into new territories, they mark it. They scent the new territory. They wee all over the furniture. This is what bosses do-- they wee all over furniture. "I'm in town and you will know about this". Let's see if I can find it. We had a new boss last year, and the first thing he did was this: he changed the colour of the logo from red to blue. It's the first thing he did. I'm enthused by the blueness of my organization. I'd wake up in the morning and think, "Thank God I'm blue." I can't tell you how happy I am to be blue. Second thing that happens is this. This is the annual restructuring of the English part of the National Health Service. This is the fifth-largest organization in the world, and we restructure it every year. Nobody knows why. But since you're in charge for not very long, the important thing is to be seen to be doing something. So the restructuring is actually quite an easy thing to do, because the uniforms change and the logo colour changes, but the people on the ground floor, don't really care. They just continue to come in, do their work and go home again. So, normally, restructuring doesn't damage an organization. You won't need to know much about this, but let me persuade you that the 2006 structure at the bottom is the same as the '82 structure at the top. So, presumably we got to this important 2006 structure by going through all this important work, but we have no idea what we're doing. So, the important thing is to be seen to be doing something. It doesn't actually matter what you do, just do something. This is the "Being Busy" phenomena. Or this. These are changes in the legislation that affect the police in England and Wales. Again, you don't need to know much about this to recognize that this is what happens to organizations. Some very bright person introduces a new piece of legislation to make your life easier. So, every year the legislative base changes. So, in my case, in England, we have now got so much criminal legislation that crime is now banned. There is no crime left. You can walk naked in the street and no one will attack you. Because it's illegal. Or personnel changes. These are changes to the Ministry of Defense. So, between 1964 and 2009, we have had 19 secretaries of state for defense, we,ve had 20 chiefs of the defense staff, we have had 18 chiefs of the general's staff-- that's the army section-- 18 chiefs of naval staff, and only 15 chiefs of the Royal Air Force. So, three members of the Air Force have missed out on significant pension rights because the Air Force have not worked out what the game is. At ninety chiefs in 45 years, that's about one every six months. It takes about 20 years to get something like this aircraft carrier from somebody's head to the water. In our case, it takes a further 10 years to get the aeroplanes on the aircraft carrier, but we won't worry about that at the moment. Think how difficult it is to get these long-term changes in, given the amount of change we've just looked at, either in terms of legislation or restructuring or personnel--huge amounts of change. This is the government's own restructuring of its' own departments. Between 1980 and 2009, we had 25 new government departments created, and half of those don't exist anymore. Now that cost somewhere between 780 million and one billion pounds. As far as I know, there's been no attempt to assess the value for money for this. How would you compare it? What would you compare it to? There's nothing to compare it to. So, it's extraordinary that lots of governments requires to have evidence-based policy, and yet, at the heart of government, there isn't any evidence. So we end up doing this, drowning in the waves of change. BOHICA--bend over, here it comes again-- is the only rational response I've ever come across. So, if you got yourself lost in one of these: Let's say it's 1986 when, I think is when, "zero-based budgeting" comes in, and you can't quite get your head around zero-based budgeting, you know you have at most 12 months to put up with this, because, the person leading it and the program will have gone by the end of the 12 months. There'll be a new program and a new lead. So burying your head in the sand is not an irrational response. And so, a few years ago, I had a couple of my PHD students looking at change literature, and, independently, they came to the same conclusion. Most of it says something like this top ten list: a need to change, a viable alternative, change agents in place, sponsorship from above, realistic scale, integrated transition, symbolic end, plan for resistance, constant advocacy, and a locally owned benefits plan. Now, this looks like an intuitively obvious list. These look like the kinds of things that you should be doing. And most people seem to be saying the same thing. So, when people say the same thing, it seems to make sense. Which doesn't explain this: Why three-quarters of the change programs fail in their own terms. So, when you ask people what they were trying to do, and whether they achieved what they were trying to do, most people say no, most of the time, they failed. So, why might that be the reason? This is the reason, I stopped using this for undergraduates because they have no idea why you'd want to throw that monitor on the floor. There's a saying which goes with this, and the saying is, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks". This is a wrong saying. The more appropriate saying is, "You can't teach an old dog to forget the old tricks". It's a forgetting problem; it isn't a learning problem. Many of the ideas that you've got for your change organizations are actually really good ideas, but they sit on top of organizational "old tricks". They sit on top of organizational cultures that screw up your brilliant idea. So the first thing to think about is what kinds of problems are we looking at? So this is the heuristic. There are two health warnings with this heuristic, the first one is this is a sense-making activity. I'm trying to reduce complexity down to three because I recognize that there are probably a million kinds of problems and a million kinds of decision styles, but I can't cope with more than three. So, everything is reduced to three. That has a significant impact upon the notion of reality. The second health warning is that my definition of some of these words might not be the same as yours. So, my definition of command or management or leadership might be different from yours. You need to bear that in mind as I go through this. So, critical problems that I think are about how you command-- this is a decision style, it's not an individual; tame problems for management; and wicked problems for leadership. Now, we'll start with this first one, critical problems and the role of the commander. Portrayed as a self-evident crisis-- if people don't believe it's a crisis, then you can't command them. That's the connection between the situation as they believe it to be and what you can do with them. A general uncertainty. Now, the reason that we have a crisis is because most people don't know what to do. If they knew what to do, there wouldn't be a crisis. So, it's the absence of standard operating procedures that generates the crisis. No time for discussion or dissent-- we're not worrying here about heath and safety nonsense, or management procedures. If you don't do what I'm going to tell you, you're going to lose your life or lose your job when in those kinds of situations. And, because of the first three, you can coerce people, as long as they think there is a crisis and you're acting for the public good, not for your private gain. If people think you're acting for your private gain, they might well resist you. So, I'm associating these four with command, and many organizations are actually run by commanders, people who are very decisive. Quite often, decisively wrong, but at least they're decisive. You do know you're going in the wrong direction, but at least you're going in a direction. So some images of commanders: here is Russell Crowe in the top right, Master and Commander, and on the left-hand side is Mrs. Thatcher, a typical political commander. When she was in control, we were always in a crisis. Haven't quite worked out whether she was causing them or responding to them, but we were always in a crisis. Right-hand side is Mr. Bush dressed as an American Air Force officer. This is a giveaway for civilians who like to dress in military uniform. I think in his head he thinks of himself as a commander, a very decisive person. For him, the world is either black or it's white. It's never grey. And next one is my oldest daughter, Katy. She's in the police in Oxford. I'll come back to her in a minute. I saw three kinds of crisis. We currently have a financial crisis, which will be with us forever, I think. Second one in is Edgware Road Station. This is an underground tube station in London-- that one where the bomb went off in 2005. And when that bomb went off, I was on the top step at Paddington Station, which is the next station along. When the bomb goes off there, the power failed in my station, and somebody in Paddington Station said, "There's a power failure in this station, please make your way to a different station." So I did. I walked to Edgware Road. It took me about seven or eight minutes. And when I got there, none of these emergency people are around the entrance but there's a similar number of commuters scattered around the entrance. No one seems to be going in or coming out. There's just smoke coming out. I'm British, so I join the back of the queue-- I'm about where this man in the Burberry jacket is. Now, I'm wondering how I'm going to get to my conference, because the first station doesn't have any power and the second one is on fire. No one is talking about terrorism or bombs. My phone's not working for some reason. So I get my Underground map out to see which is the right way to go to the next station and, as I do, somebody runs up to where this car is toward the back of the group that's blocking the entrance and shouts very loudly, "Get out of the f***ing way!" Now normally when that happens on the street, I look around and see how big the person is who just told me to get out of the f***ing way before I make a decision about whether I'm going to get out of the f***ing way or not. I look around and it's an ambulance driver with two big medical bags, running at the back of the group that's blocking the entrance. And he gets to the back, which is me, and doesn't put the bags down and whisper in my ear, "Excuse me, Sir, would you mind moving? There does seem to be a little bit of a problem here." He shouts very loudly, again, right in my ear, "Get out the way!" And the second time he said it, everybody else in the group heard him, turned around, and this man ran down the tube station. So, evident crisis, general uncertainty, but not in his head. He is the commander with the answer in his head. No time for discussion or dissent. He's not asking us to move, he is telling us to move. And because it's clearly a crisis, and he's clearly working for the public good, We'll allow him to coerce us. Not all crises are like these. Sometimes you get domestic ones, taking me back to Katy. So, four-and-a-half years ago now, I'm holding the extended Grint Family Christmas lunch. We have 22 people in my house on this day, and you know, at some point today, there will be a catastrophe. The question is, how long can you keep normality going for? So, we start eating about half-past one, sorry, about one o'clock, and by twenty-five-past one, I've lost the will to live. It's not a normal day, but, at this point, my mother has been entertaining us for 25 minutes with a monologue about her latest knee operation. I'm looking at my turkey leg thinking, "I can't eat this turkey leg now". Nor do I know how to get out of this situation. But, luckily, I'm sitting by my father, who was in the Army for a 150 years. He will have met this scenario several times in his life. He will know precisely how to deal with it. So I whisper to him, "Dad, can you shut her up?" He said to me, much too loudly for my liking, "You're the host, YOU try shutting her up!" (audience laughter). I don't want to die by this woman's' hand at this point in my life, so I don't do anything. I look at my turkey leg, and I begin to pray. I'm not even religious, and now, I'm praying to a turkey leg. About a minute later, my prayers are answered by my eldest daughter Katy, this woman's grand-daughter, who says to my mother, "Nanny", and my mother stopped in mid-sentence, and said, "Yes, Dear?" and Katy said, "Get a grip!" Luckily, she did. She shut up, and we had quite a nice Christmas lunch. Averting crisis. General uncertainty. But not in Katy's' head, she was the commander with the answer in her head. No time for discussion or dissent. She doesn't lean over and whisper in my ear, "Dad, will it be alright if I abuse your mother, otherwise, we're never going to get through this lunch?" She just does it, and because it's for the public good, it's legitimate coercion. A commander's role is to take the required decisive action, that is, to provide the answer to the problem. So when it comes to this, I think about this creature, a white elephant, albino elephant. So, in Thai culture, when an albino elephant was born, it was treated as a god. God-like creature: omniscient, omnipotent. We treat white elephants as false gods: look fantastic, cost a fortune, don't do anything. Number two also comes from Thai culture, because When the Thai elephant was born, it was given as a gift by the Thai king to his least-favored noble and so expensive was it to feed, that it would ruin the noble. So, if you were a Thai noble and you wake up and there's a white elephant on your lawn, you're finished. I'm going to suggest you do need to be number one sometimes, prepared to coerce people for the public good if there's a crisis and you're the commander with an answer in your head. But, some of us think we're gods. And then we end up in number two. Second category of problems. These are tame problems. These are problems for management as a decision style. You probably spend about 85 percent of your life addressing tame problems. Tame problems are the equivalent of a puzzle. There's always a solution to a puzzle, and there's always a solution to a tame problem. A Rubik's Cube is a good example of a tame problem. It's a puzzle, there's a solution to it. There's a standard operating procedure for fixing a Rubik's Cube. If you know it, you can fix it quite quickly. If you don't, you will eventually fix it, it will just take you some time. These are complicated, but they're not complex. So you can take them out of the situation, fix them, put them back into the situation and you haven't changed the situation. You can't do that with a complex one that we'll look at in a minute. There's a uni-linear solution to these. There's a standard operating procedure for every single tame problem, if it's a tame problem. These are problems that you've probably solved before. If you haven't, there's someone next to you knows how to solve them and if they haven't, there's a book which says, "This is how you solve this problem. Follow these procedures". And if it is a tame problem, you will fix it like this. Also, heart surgery is an interesting example of a tame problem, if you're a trained heart surgeon in a contemporary hospital, surrounded by resources and skilled nurses. It's very complicated, but it usually works because the procedures work. If I'm doing your heart surgery, you don't have a tame problem, you have a critical problem, because I have no idea what I'm doing. So this tells you the categorization of the problems is subjective and not objective. It depends where you sit and what you know, what kind of a problem you're looking at. So heart surgery to a heart surgeon is tame, but to anybody else, it isn't. Launching another new product, tame. Do what you did last time, and it'll be fine. Relocating: a tame domestic problem: the more you do this, the easier it becomes. If that 's what it feels like, it'll be a tame problem. If it's about efficiency, it will almost certainly be a tame problem. If it's about tick lists, it'll be a tame problem. So, my wife is a primary school teacher. Her current-- she teaches four to five year-olds, not 45 year-olds, four-to-five year-olds. Her current classroom is divided into seven workstations, and each workstation has a tick list of 35 things. Her job is to catch children doing one of these 35 things, and to tick them off on a list. At the end of the year, she gets all the tick lists and puts them in a book and gives them to the parents. And they don't look at them. Which is why she has just resigned as a teacher. Because she hasn't done teaching for about two years. This is the assumption that education is a tame problem of efficiency that can be achieved through tick lists. Ronnie Heifetz called it "technical leadership". So the management hrough all this is to engage the appropriate process to solve the tame problem. When I come to that, I think about this man, Frederick Taylor. The father of scientific management, published in 1911, 101 years ago this year. So, for Taylor, all the world's problems can be solved through science. I think that all of the world's tame problems can be solved through science, but not all the world's problems are tame. The problem comes in, goes through the scientific management machine and the solution comes out the other end. Third category of problems. These are wicked problems. These are the problems for leadership as I'm defining them. These don't have simple solutions and, sometimes, they don't have any solutions. They're either novel or recalcitrant. They're novel, they're new to you, and therefore you can't know what to do. This also implies that somebody else might know what to do because they might have seen this before, in which case you can just swap places and they'll tell you what to do. But, if no one's seen it before, it might be a wicked problem. Or they're recalcitrant; you've tried to fix this loads of times, but, for some reason, it doesn't seem to be fixable. There's something strange about this problem. The wicked thing about the current version of terrorism that we face, in the UK, it's a different version of terrorism from the kind we had in Northern Ireland, which we have more or less fixed. If it was the same kind, we could do the same thing that we did in Northern Ireland, but it isn't the same kind. And therefore, you can't do this. You can tell how people categorize problems by listening to the words they use to categorize them. So, Mr. Bush used to talk about terrorism in terms of the war on terror that we would win. "When we have killed all the terrorists and put the rest in Guantanamo Bay, there won't be anymore terrorism. We will have won". That'll be the end of it. It'll be a military solution. If, on the other hand, you think terrorism is more like a policing problem that will always be with us in some variety, then it might not be a tame problem. Or the recalcitrant, like the health service. In my country, we've had it since 1948, so, it's not new. It's increasingly recalcitrant. When the health services started, the assumption is, it will be so efficient, we will be so healthy, that costs will decrease. But the opposite has happened. It is so efficient, we are so healthy, we live longer and costs are increasing exponentially. We have an increasingly large and increasingly old population with increasing medical requirements. We have an increasing ability through science to intervene and prolong human life and we have a decreasing financial base. So we have infinite demand and finite supply. I don't think we can fix the health service of our country, or probably anyone's country. If you have an infinite budget, you can fix it, because demand is infinite. If you don't have an infinite budget, you have to have a finite budget. And that means, at some point, when you come to me with your problem, I'm going to say, "I know what's wrong with you, and I could, in theory, fix it, but I can't afford the fix and you aren't getting it." That's a political decision, not a medical decision. And that's much more difficult to handle. I'll come back to that in a minute. So, these are complex rather than complicated, you can't solve them isolation, and when you try to, you very often generate other kinds of problems. So, global warming is a good example of a contemporary wicked problem, and the first generation of bio-fuels was an attempt to tame this wicked problem. But what that did, is take 25 percent of American agricultural land out of food production, which led to food price increases and food shortages without fixing global warming. This is typical. When you try and tame wicked problems, you very often generate another kind of problem downstream that you weren't even thinking about when you began the taming process. I don't have stopping rules, and, therefore, no definition of success. So, crime will always be with us. I don't know any large-scale, or long-lived society that doesn't have crime. Crime seems to be part of the human condition. You can make it better or worse, but you can't fix it. So, if your target is zero-crime, you are wasting everybody's time. You can make it better or worse, but, you can't fix it. Sometimes, the solution precedes the problem analysis. That sounds a bit strange. I've got three grown-up children. When they were not grown-up, I remember having a problem once, and I remember saying, "Listen up, Kids. This is the solution to this problem," and one of them would say, "That isn't the problem, Dad." But not until I put the solution on the table do you flush the problem out. And sometimes you have to work with a partial solution, but you haven't quite worked out what the problem is. Things might be intransigent. We just have to learn to live with them. Symptoms of deep divisions, contradictory certitudes, people are absolutely certain in completely different directions about what to do about every wicked problem. That's part of a definition. What to do about health, what to do about crime, what to do about Afghanistan, what to do about Syria, Libya? People are absolutely certain in completely different directions. Don't have a right and wrong solution. We just have better or worse developments. So, for example, if you think Afghanistan is a tame problem, then presumably, you can do what you did in Iraq: flood the place with troops, kill the bad guy, pull the troops out when you have a stable, free, democratic, liberal society left over. If, on the other hand, it doesn't quite happen to work out like that, and, if Afghanistan's not the same as Iraq, then there might not be a solution to Afghanistan. There might just be better or worse developments. That might be as good as it gets, as opposed to looking for a victory. So, uncertainty and ambiguity are inevitable here. We tend to reward people who are good at removing ambiguity. I'm going to suggest that you have to get used to this, because you can't know what to do. If you know what to do, it isn't a wicked problem. Keats, the poet, called this, "Negative Capability". This is the ability not be decisive, to stand back and reflect on things. "How long have I got before I need to make a decision?" You might have 10 minutes, or 10 hours, or 10 months. You should take this time. If you get this wrong, we are all screwed forever. Let's stop being so decisive. This is the opposite of positive capability, which is the land of the commander. Here, you do need to be decisive, and you need to do it now. You need to be able to do both at different points, what Ronnie Heifetz calls "Adaptive Leadership". So, these are the problems for leadership as I'm defining them. There's no management process that we know will fix these things. You can't know what to do. If you do, it isn't a wicked problem. And since you don't know the answer, your job is to ask the right kinds of questions. But, we tend to reward people who are good with answers, not questions. I have been in my boss's' office many times, and said, "Boss, I have a problem." And the boss has said, "Keith, you always bring me problems, you never bring me solutions." And I have said, "If I had a solution, I wouldn't be in your office, would I?" Then, there's the conversation about who's right and who's wrong. I get sacked at the end of the conversation, normally. Your job is to ask the right kinds of questions and to engage high levels of collaboration. There might be somebody in the room to whom this is actually a tame problem because they've been here before. You can just swap places, and they'll tell you what to do. But if nobody has been here before, we need to start a conversation about what we do about this, recognizing that we might not be able to fix it, because it might not be fixable. We might just be able to stop it getting worse. That might be as good as it gets. I think in our heads, we often think of leadership as what I would call command. Being decisive and having the answers. You can't be decisive or have the answers when you're looking at wicked problems. If you do, they're not wicked problems. There are very sharp minds who have thought about why it is that our knowledge and experience doesn't help us here. So, Hegel, the German philosopher, has the Owl of Minerva in some of his work which only spread its wings at dusk. So only when the day is done, does the wisest creature we know of start work. In other words, sense-making is retrospective. You're at work, on auto-pilot, making all these decisions, and you go home, take your shoes off, and you think, "What the Hell was all that about?" And retrospectively, you make sense of what you've been doing all day. It'll be the same on your deathbed. You'll be lying there thinking, "What the hell was all that about?" You will then, retrospectively, make sense of your life. And this means you will die happy. Trust me on this one. If it doesn't work, gimme a shout. Kierkegaard; "Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards." Walter Benjamin has the Angel of History in some of his work, facing the past and blown backwards into the future. So, you've got all this knowledge, all this experience, but where you're now going, it isn't going to help you very much. And Coleridge: "If Man could learn from History, what lessons it might teach us. But Passion and Party blind our eyes, and the light which Experience gives us is like the lantern on the stern which shines only on the waves behind us." So, let me give you two examples just to clarify the difference between tame and wicked. This is the first one. These are high-jump records across time between 1900 and 1996. The measurement is in inches. So, between 1920 and 1952, the most popular technique is the "Western Roll". You don't seem to be able to get beyond 80 inches using this technique. So, if it's 1952, and you're hoping to win the 1956 Olympic gold medal for the high jump, it doesn't actually matter how efficiently you train at the Western Roll. If you want to win the high-jump medal, stop doing the Western Roll. It doesn't actually matter how good you are at visualizing. It doesn't actually matter about anything. If you want to win the gold medal, change the technique. So, many of us are stuck in the Western Roll. We have a reduced budget, and we're worrying all the time about efficiency, about getting more out of less. This is the wrong problem. You can be very efficient at the wrong problem. So, part of the trick is to work out what are you prepared to give up so you can keep what you need to keep? The implication of this is when you're working on efficiency in the Western Roll, this is a tame problem. It just happens to be the wrong problem. What you have to do is switch the technique. And the switch from the Western Roll to the Straddle, which is what will get you the gold medal, is a wicked problem. What are you going to stop doing and what are you going to start doing differently? The second example: In 2008, in the UK, we had eight 811,000 people in hospital through some kind of alcohol problem, and it cost about two point seven billion pounds. This is an enormous cost to the public purse. Now, historically, and this is more the case for the English part of the health service, we have tended to treat this as a tame problem of efficiency for the national illness service. Because as the chief executive officer of a hospital, it is in my interest to see as many drunks as I can on a Friday night, and to get them through my hospital system as efficiently as possible. The more drunks I see, and the more efficiently I get them through my hospital, the happier I am because the more rewards I get. I'm not interested in their health. I'm concerned for their illness. If I was concerned for their health, my question would be, how do I stop these people from getting in this state? This has got nothing to do with hospital efficiency. This is a social problem for us all to wrestle with, which is why we don't, because it's too difficult. So we end up concentrating on tame problems of efficiency. It just happens to be the wrong problem. This is Peter Connelly, known as "Baby P", originally. He was killed by his mother, and her partner, and their lodger. He had about 50 injuries, and he had more than 20 professionals looking after him, in theory. So when this boy is killed, there's this kind of response. the first response is the red response, the command response. And the command response is, "I need to find someone to hang from a lamppost. I need a scapegoat, so, find me one". It doesn't actually matter who you hang from a lamppost, just find somebody. And the second response, shortly after this, is a management response, a blue response. And this response is to argue that the reason this happened is because the wrong person who was in charge is now gone, and the process wasn't perfect. If you get a perfect process, this will never happen again. And then when it happens again, we will do the same thing again; we'll hang somebody else from a lamppost and then put more process in. Each time it occurs, we will do the same thing. And in the end, we'll have so much process. We have so many children now in care and so few social workers, that their lives are more at-risk not less at-risk, because of what our assumption of what we're looking at is a tame problem of efficiency, not a wicked problem. Wicked problems can't be fixed. So, we know, historically, that parents have always killed children, and they always will. The most dangerous person in your life is your parent. You're probably safe from them at this point in your life. The point about this is we have tended to treat this as a tame problem of efficiency rather than a wicked problem. A wicked problem would say, let's stand back, stop adding more and more process in because it's not working, stand back and let's get the professionals back in. And let's ask the social workers do they have any great ideas because what we're currently doing isn't working. It is not about efficiency, or about tick-lists, or about keeping people tied to computers. It's about doing something different. So what we have captured is to think about whether what we develop is hard-shell or soft-shell organizations, exogenous or endogenous organizations. So, hard-shell organizations are built around the assumption that you can have a perfect process, which will keep you safe,and keep your organization safe and there will be no catastrophes. A soft-shell organization is built on the assumption that there are no perfect processes. And, therefore, what you have to do is allow professionals enough discretion between the processes and within them to flex them, where necessary, to avoid the catastrophe. This requires them to adopt very high levels of personal responsibility, which is why we tend not to do this, because it's actually easier if I don't put my head on the block and allow the system to continue in the wrong direction. You can see this best through recent work on accidents. Your organization is at right and the catastrophe is bottom-left. And what happens is when things go wrong, you put a piece of process in. This is processed cheese. If your process is perfect, there will be no holes in it. If it's imperfect, there will be a hole, and at some point, the problem will go through that hole. And then what you tend to do is to put more process in. If it's perfect, that'll be the end of it. If it isn't, there'll be a hole of it. And it will go through that hole. And, eventually, even though you have loads of process, loads of cheese, they'll all line up, all the holes will line up, and you will have a catastrophe. So, the alternative is to think about doing it this way; to allow professionals enough discretion within and between processes to flex the system and take personal responsibility. If you're interested in this, Sidney Dekkers' book, which is on the right, "Just Culture", has the best introduction to how you might address this problem. Which leads to this: the sweep-it-under-the-carpet school of management. So, you start top left, you've made a mistake. You go straight down: will it show? No? Bury it--problem avoided. Will it show? Yes? Can you hide it? Yes? Consider it before somebody else finds out--problem avoided. Can you hide it? No? Can you blame somebody else? Yes? Get in first with your version of events. Can you blame somebody else? No? Will the admission damage your career prospects? Yes? Sit tight and hope problem goes away--problem avoided. So, I've worked for about 25 organizations, and I've studied a lot more than that. I don't know any organization that's not brilliant at this. Actually, that's not true. I don't know any organization that's brilliant at this because organizations never learn anything from this, because individuals are so good at burying errors and mistakes, organizations learn absolutely nothing from this. And the opposite side of the same coin is this: Prozac leadership. So, Prozac leadership is the assumption that there's a massive gap between the top, which appear to be on some weird drug, because they think that everything is going swimmingly well, and the rest, and everybody knows is a complete and utter screw-up. But because we're so good at hiding things from the top, they never realize just how bad things are. Prozac leadership, unremittingly positive approach from the top. Encouraging leaders to believe their own propaganda, discouraging people from raising problems, and the only ones that believe the corporate messages are the corporate leaders, which is why they're always so shocked when things go wrong. "Why didn't you tell me things were going wrong? !" Well, someone did about two years ago and they got removed. Do you remember? That was the last time anybody told you the truth. Here's an example of Prozac leadership in Afghanistan. Now, these are quotes from military leaders. 2004, General Barno, "Without question, 2004 will be a decisive year". 2005, General Abuzaid, "2005 will be a decisive year". 2006, General Richards, "2006 will be the crunch year for the Taliban". 2008, General Champoux, "2008 will be a decisive year". 2009, McChrystal, "The Taliban no longer have the initiative. We are knee-deep in a decisive year!" Miliband, "2010 will be a decisive year". Obama, "For the first time in years, we put in place a strategy and the resources". 2011, Westerwelle, "2011 will be a decisive year". Now, I stopped in 2012 because I'm assuming we're on the brink of a victory in Afghanistan. We must be after all these decisive years. So, there's something in here about the importance of personal responsibility. So, about four-and-a-half years ago, the UK ground to a halt when the first little bit of snow arrived, because you know what we're like, useless in snow. So, when the first snow hits my windscreen, I'm at home about to go to work, and I realized it's very dangerous to drive on the roads in the UK when the first bit of snow appears, so I didn't go anywhere. I stayed at home and I got loads of work done for three days. But on day four, there was an emergency meeting of the Grint family, because it had become apparent, after an audit of the house, there is no more than six months food left in the entire household! And starvation hoards the corridors of power. There were children wailing all over the place about no Rice Krispies and death is approaching. Anyway, the powers-that-be in my house decided that someone should go looking for fresh food and I'm the Chosen One for some reason. So, I go looking to my nearest town, which is Woodstock. Looks like this: full of snow, and no shops appear to be open, and there were certainly no customers. Now, as I'm walking along, I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for, but my wife has said if you find a buffalo, tether it to the car and bring it back. Now, I haven't found a buffalo yet, but I'm still hopeful. Anyway, I'm walking down the shops, and I see these two shopkeepers in their doorways, complaining about the absence of the Oxfordshire snowplow team. And as I'm driving in, I put the local radio on, and the local radio says the Oxfordshire snowplow team is stuck in snow, in Oxford, and will not be coming out to play today, so you kids are on your own. So, I relate the information to these two, and they both said, "That isn't our problem. We pay the taxes. Their job is to come and clear the snow, and then we'll have some customers." And I said, "It is your problem, because they're not coming." And they both said, "It's not our responsibility." And I said, "I don't think you heard what I just told you. It is your problem because they're not coming. Here's a good idea: why don't you both get your shovels out and shovel your own snow away and then maybe you'll get some customers in." And they both said where I could put the shovel. So, I then added some very helpful advice. I said, "listen, if you lived in Germany, you'd have a legal requirement to clear the snow from your drive." And then the conversation turns distinctly bitter. The first one says, "How come the Germans get through the snow and the Brits don't?" And the second one says, "How come your English is so good for a German?" And then the first one adds, "Do you know in 1966 who won the World Cup?" And the second one says, "And since we're on the Second World War..." Anyway, I left them at that point, walked away thinking that this is a quite nice example of a wicked problem. You can't fix other peoples' wicked problems. You have to give them back to the people with the problem. That doesn't make you popular. But your job is not to be popular. Your job is to get the collective to face wicked problems. This actually isn't a German thing. This is a picture of Edward The First, who was king of England in 1285, when he issues the "Statute of Winchester". Now, this is the legal thing that basically says: "From this point onwards, if a robbery occurs on the king's highway because the robbers had been hiding in your hedge or your wood, you are responsible for the robbery. So now you have an incentive to move the hedge back away from the road to stop robbers hiding in it. This is also the origins of the "Hue and Cry" legislation. From this point onwards, if a crime occurs in your village, you have a legal requirement to chase down the villain and hold him 'til the Sheriff turns up. And if you don't, YOU are held responsible for the crime. So, now what you're doing is you're giving the problem back to the people with the problem. This is a sign in Copenhagen at the same time of the year when the snow was in England. I went to a conference in Copenhagen and the snow was everywhere. As I'm coming back from the conference to my hotel, I've got to go through a park which is covered in snow, and I get to the front of the park, and there's a sign and the Danish appears to say, "The pass in this part of the garden will not be cleared of snow and ice". Now, we don't have these kinds of signs in the UK. We allow people to walk over parks. They fall over, break their legs, and then they sue us for not clearing the snow. The Danish actually says, "Don't be an ass. Take some personal responsibility for a change." We need more "Don't be an ass" signs. In 2003, the UK Fire Brigade Union went on strike, and it coincided with a reduction in fires. Now, I'm assuming, fire officers don't normally set fire to houses to practice putting them out. I'm assuming this is what happened. It's a Friday night, and, therefore, you are in the bar. You have had your normal 10 pints of beer, you stagger home, you put the deep-fat fryer on, get into your cozy chair, fall asleep, wake up, your house is on fire, call the Fire Brigade, and they come put your house out. But, from this point onward, since there is no Fire Brigade, you change your pattern of behavior. It's a Friday night, and, therefore, by definition, you are in the bar. But you only have nine pints of beer and you buy the chips from the chips shop because you know no one is coming to save you. So, there's something locked into this about the importance of safety nets. If you give people too many safety nets, they don't take personal responsibility. If you don't provide enough, you have a catastrophe. You have to get the right number of safety nets. So, I want to cap this way of thinking about leadership through this man. This is Michael Abrashoff, and his book called, "It's Your Ship". So, when Abrashoff takes over this ship, in 1997, it's the worst performing ship in the Pacific fleet, on every criteria they measure: gunnery accuracy, readiness-for-combat, retention rate, promotion rate. You name it, it's the worst. He doesn't have any understanding of how you might fix this ship. He has no idea about any of the problems. So, for him, it's a wicked problem, even though the book doesn't use that terminology. But he has a process, and that's to ask the crew to help him fix the ship. And the book is about how the crew fix the ship. Not how he fixes it , but how the crew fix it. So, I'm going to give you two examples. The first one is the ship is painted every two months because it rusts so badly. And he asked the painters, "How can we improve the painting?" And they say, "Why don't we just use stainless steel nuts and bolts? It's not rocket science." So, he rings up the Admiralty, and asks, "Can you send me some stainless steel nuts and bolts for my destroyer, please?" And they say, "No, we don't stock them. There's no demand." So, he goes to Home Depot, the store in San Diego Harbor, with the ship's credit card and buys them and puts them on the ship, and then the painting lasts for 12 months. Instantly, there's a queue of other ships' captains outside the same Home Depot store with their own ship's credit cards doing the same thing. The second example, and the book is full of examples if you want to have a look at that, the second example the crew have to wear something called "standard issue, foul-weather jackets", which are foul-weather jackets. They cost $150 each, are very uncomfortable, and there's no flotation device built in, so if you go over the side in one of these jackets, you're going to drown very quickly. The crew hate wearing these, and they're complaining one day, and he says to the crew, "If you can find someone that can design something cheaper and better, we'll get it made up and you can wear that instead." And that's what they do. So the new jacket costs $90, not $150, has the name of the ship across the back, has a built-in flotation device and is very comfortable. So the crew love wearing these jackets, and the first time they come back into San Diego Harbor, he gets a phone call from the senior officer saying, "Your men have been spied wearing non-standard issue foul-weather jackets." And he says, "Yeah. They're great, aren't they, Sir?" And the senior officer says, "No, they're not great. They're illegal. You'll get them out of their illegal jackets and back into their legal jackets before you dock". Abrashoff refuses, and has a long conversation. At the end of the long conversation, Abrashoff says, "I'm now going to refuse a legitimate order. So you can court-martial me, you can do this on two grounds. One, I've just saved you half the clothing budget this year, and two, I've just improved morale by 100 percent. And on that basis, I'm actually happy for you you to court-martial me." And the senior officer says, "I'll think about that". Doesn't court-martial him, and then this ship wins the Spokane trophy for the best prepared ship in the U.S. Pacific fleet. It's gone from the worst to the best in two years with him not knowing a single answer to any of the problems on the ship. But he has a method: ask the crew. So, in a cap to that way of thinking about leadership by considering leadership as a wheelwright, this comes from the story about the Chinese emperor, Liu Bang. Third century BC, consolidates China and holds a banquet to celebrate the consolidation. Lots of guests come to the banquet, and one of them can't understand why this man is the Emperor. He is not a noble nor does he appear to be an expert in anything. So he asks Chen Cen, the military expert, "Why is this man the Emperor?" And Chen says, "Well, what determines the strength of a wheel?" And the guest says, "the strength of the spokes". And then Chen responds, "Two sets of spokes of identical strength do not necessarily make wheels of identical strength. The strength is also affected by the spaces between the spokes." And determining the spaces is the true art of the wheelwright. In other words, you don't need to be an expert to be successful facing wicked problems. You just have to surround yourself with people who are experts, and then give them some space to work. O.K., let me wind this up. So, what I'm suggesting is we have these three decision styles in the top--command, management, and leadership-- in terms of these three criteria-- space, time, and problem. Again, this is a heuristics, sense-making activity. So, command is about tactical space, management about operational space, and leadership about strategic space. The time you've got for a decision: command is short-term, management is medium-term, and leadership is long-term. And the kinds of problems you're looking at: command is normally about critical problems; management, tame problem; and leadership, wicked problems. So, commanders: "just do it. I don't care what you think about this, just do it." Management: Deja Vu. You've seen this problem, you know what to do, just roll the process out. Leadership: Vuja De--you've never seen this problem before. You need a collective view on what to do about this. And the man on the bottom, Eztioni, in his work on compliance argued there are three reasons why people would want to follow you. This fits quite nicely with this typology. He talked about coercive institutions and coercive compliance. He was talking about prisons. If you work in a prison, you can normally force people to follow you. I'm suggesting you can force them to follow you if there's a crisis and you're the commander with the answer in your head and you're doing it for the public good. Most of us live in what he called "calculative compliance", where people follow you there, not because you're forcing them, but it's rational for them to comply. It fits with the tame problems in the world of management. Occasionally, he also talked about "normative compliance", where people follow you there, not because you're forcing them, not because it's their job to follow you, but because they want to. This is the most difficult one to do, which is why it's restricted to wicked problems and the world of leadership. So, we end up with this: so you're the decision-maker inside here. The further you go up the vertical axis, the more uncertain you are about what to do. The further you go on the horizontal axis, the more collaboration you require. So, when you're facing a critical problem, your job is to act as a commander, provide the answers, and you get the access to hard power, or coercive power. When you're facing a tame problem, here's what most of us do, most of the time: act as a manager, organize the process--you get access to calculative or rational compliance. Just occasionally, you'll face a wicked problem. And which you can't know what to do. If you do, it isn't a wicked problem. Your job therefore is to ask the right kinds of questions and to engage in high levels of collaboration - normative, or emotional power, what Joe Nye calls, "Soft Power". Let me end with this. Some problems are so complex, you have to be highly-intelligent and well-informed just to be undecided about them. Done. Thank you.



SAGE Air Defense Sector

SPADS was established in September 1958 assuming responsibility for air defense in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and western Montana. The organization eventually also provided command and control over several interceptor aircraft and radar squadrons.

On 8 September the new Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) Direction Center (DC-15) became operational. 47°10′53″N 119°19′16″W / 47.18139°N 119.32111°W / 47.18139; -119.32111 (SpADS-SAGE DC-15) DC-15 was equipped with dual AN/FSQ-7 Computers. The day-to-day operations of the command was to train and maintain tactical flying units flying jet interceptor aircraft (F-94 Starfire; F-102 Delta Dagger; F-106 Delta Dart) in a state of readiness with training missions and series of exercises with SAC and other units simulating interceptions of incoming enemy aircraft. However, until March 1960, SPADS did not have operational command over the radar and interceptor aircraft it directed. Instead, they were assigned to the 4700th Air Defense Wing until March 1960. The 4700th was transferred from direct assignment to 25th AD to SPADS briefly before being discontinued in July.

The Sector was inactivated on 1 September 1963 and its units were assigned to the 25th AD.

4700th Air Defense Wing

The Sector's only wing was designated and organized as 4700th Air Defense Wing at Geiger Field Washington to provide air defense of the northwestern United States on 1 September 1958.[1] It was assigned two fighter groups flying fighter interceptor aircraft (F-102 Delta Dagger, F-104 Starfighter, and F-106 Delta Dart)[2] and ten radar squadrons to accomplish its mission. When its 498th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (part of the 84th Fighter Group) converted to F-106As, it became the first combat ready squadron flying Delta Darts.[3] In May 1959, the wing's 4721st Air Defense Group at Larson was discontinued and its 538th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron transferred directly to the wing[4]

On 15 March 1960, the wing's 636th,[5] 637th,[5] 822d[6] and 823d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadrons[6] and 538th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron[4] were transferred to SPADS. Other radar units assigned to the wing, however, were transferred to other ADC organizations. The 634th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron[5] at Burns AFS, Oregon, in May 1960; the 638th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron[7] at Curlew AFS, Washington in December 1959, the 680th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron[8] at Yaak AFS, Montana in July 1960; the 716th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron[9] at Geiger Field, Washington in May 1959 and the 821st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron[6] at Baker AFS, Oregon in May 1960.

In May, the wing and its 84th Fighter Group[10] were also transferred, leaving the wing without an operational mission, and it was discontinued on 30 June 1960.


  • Established as Spokane Air Defense Sector on 8 September 1958
Inactivated on 1 September 1963





Geiger Field, Washington, 15 May 1960-1 July 1960


Geiger Field, Washington, 1 July 1960-15 July 1963

Interceptor squadron

Larson AFB, Washington, 15 May 1960-1 July 1960

Radar squadrons

See also



  1. ^ Cornett, Lloyd H; Johnson, Mildred W (1980). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization, 1946-1980 (PDF). Peterson AFB, CO: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center. p. 66.
  2. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 130
  3. ^ Abstract, History of 4700th Air Def Wg, Jan 1960-Mar 1960 (accessed 13 Feb 2012)
  4. ^ a b Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 645. ISBN 0-405-12194-6.
  5. ^ a b c Cornett & Johnson, p. 155
  6. ^ a b c Cornett & Johnson, p. 171
  7. ^ Cornett & Johnson., p. 97
  8. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 160
  9. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 162
  10. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 74


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

Further Reading

External image
SAGE facilities
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