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A mobile and virtual work force

May 2, 2008
By H. Mosher

In this month's Incoming column, Lt. Gen. Harry Raduege Jr. notes how everyone is going mobile and virtual. He traces how DISA approached the challenges of telework beginning in 2000 in an effort to improve productivity, ease the time and money burden of travel, reduce traffic congestion and boost morale. He notes:

Fortunately, our early experiment developed over time, and DISA now has an award-winning telework program. Today, DISA employees are working from home and also are "forward-deployed" as an advanced echelon to their new headquarters location at Fort Meade, Maryland. Now, DISA employees can telework up to three days a week-60 percent of the work week-with supervisory approval.

Increasingly, DISA is viewing it as a recruitment and retention tool. In many cases, it is more important than pay. More and more, telework is becoming a negotiating chip between organizations and employees. Indeed, the mobile and virtual work force is becoming increasingly pervasive and meaningful in our daily lives.

The entire column is here, but in the meantime, a point for discussion:

What are your thoughts on the drive to create a mobile and virtual work force?

Creating a New Mobile and Virtual Work Force

May 2008
By Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., USAF

It seems today that everyone is going mobile and virtual in conducting business. Military forces on the move are being given better access to critical information needed to conduct military operations, and business leaders are almost constantly connected to others in their fast-moving, daily business lives. Not long ago, we thought that being able to plug into a data stream at a wall socket was pretty agile and “high-speed.” However, we’re quickly moving into an era where wireless connectivity and virtual presence are provided almost everywhere we travel. Most people I pass on the street today are connected to someone on the other end of a powerful handheld communication device.

Building Trust Is Essential for Effective Command and Control

April 2008
By Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., USAF

In 1995, Lt. Gen. Albert J. Edmonds, USAF, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) director, called me asking for help. At that time I was the director of command and control systems (J-6) for the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM). Gen. Edmonds had provided briefings on the attributes of the new Global Command and Control System (GCCS) but needed to have it installed and operational in a “real warfighting command” such as USCENTCOM.

Culture Must Promote Purpose

March 1, 2008
By H. Mosher

Tech-savvy younger workers from Generation Y are accustomed to easy, speedy access to information. In the not-too-distant future, late Boomers and even Generation X workers will have to adapt to the ways that work force culture is changing as a result of this incoming generation's influence. This month's Incoming column examines howrganizations are faced with the challenge to remain relevant, but must do so in a way that makes change a positive asset.

In the column, Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., USAF (Ret.), writes:

In coming years Generation Y will dominate the workplace, and its characteristics will influence and change the culture of the work force. Generation Y is considered a significant attribute to today's global economy-the most diverse and educated generation to date and generally very accepting of different races and ethnicities. This group enjoys opportunities to be creative, collaborative and innovative, and it seeks exciting and challenging experiences. This work force is naturally competitive but focused on meeting mission goals.

While only at the cusp of the advancing technological era, members of Generation Y are "tech savvy," expect access to information and want it with speed and accuracy. This generation is not satisfied with the passive attributes of information sharing. Its members proactively obtain information based on their emergent knowledge and solution requirements. Generation Y also leverages technology to create social networks that embrace open communication. Information originates from vast networks and cyber "networks of networks" of people, most of whom will never meet in person.

Culture Must Promote Purpose

March 2008
By Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., USAF (Ret.)

Culture is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterizes an organization. Today, I hear leaders complaining that their biggest organizational problems boil down to issues involving that one word. If culture is indeed the problem, it should be addressed and not continually ignored or tolerated.

Future Defense Department Cybersecurity Builds on the Past

February 2008
By Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., USAF (Ret.)

Cybersecurity is becoming a critical issue for both government and industry—and for good reason. A dangerous combination of cyber-related activity is growing daily around us. This includes dependence on technology, skyrocketing cyber crime and terrorism, and vulnerabilities hidden by the complexities of an interconnected, global network. In government, industry and our personal lives, we have growing cyber dependence because that is how we are able to better perform missions, conduct business operations and lead our daily lives.

“So, general, tell me what went awry.”

January 2008
By Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., USAF

This is what I’ve been hearing from government and industry leaders who invested heavily in information technology to improve organizational performance but didn’t see the returns they expected. Some chief executive officers implemented instant messaging software across their organizations to improve communication flow, but because users were not convinced that communications were secure, instant messaging was ignored. In other situations, both leadership and staff were uncomfortable with social networking tools because they were used to communicating through other people—not with more direct, less formal means.

A Navy of One

December 2007
By Cmdr. Gregory E. Glaros, USN (Ret.)

Between 1870 and 1871, the European continent experienced the Franco-Prussian War, which gave no warning of what World War I would be like. But this “quaint” war did foreshadow the importance of logistics, the need for reliable lines of communication and the effect of rapid innovation on the battlefield.

Trolling for Data Amid the Rise of Societal Roulette

November 2007
By Cmdr. Gregory E. Glaros, USN (Ret.)

Not long ago, network-centric warfare (NCW) theologians stated that the information advantage generated by information technology could provide a new competitive warfighting advantage on tomorrow’s battlefield. For the first time in the history of warfare, geographically dispersed forces would be completely networked and thus much more effective. Other terms soon followed to operationalize the theory, such as information/knowledge superiority and information dominance. These terms were operationally refreshing, philosophically mesmerizing and intellectually seductive.

Misguided Policies Restrict Guaranteed Reliable Communications

October 2007
By Cmdr. Gregory E. Glaros, USN (Ret.)

The U.S. Defense Department is investing billions of dollars in new military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) systems such as the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF), Wideband Global Services (WGS) and Transformational Communications System (TCS) to transform the way U.S. forces communicate and operate in modern combat. Unfortunately, reliance on these expensive and delayed programs has hampered the networked capabilities of operating units. Specific programs


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