US vds alignment
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Power& tradition holding back progress
This page uses an example to illustrate how:
  • A business can gain focus from targeting key customers,
  • Business planning activities performed by the whole organization can build awareness, empowerment and coherence. 
  • A program approach can ensure strategic alignment. 
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The constraints are described. 
The techniques to overcome them are implied. 
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U.S. value delivery system alignment

Barton Gellman details the strategies used by Vice President Cheney to align the global system with his economics, defense, and energy goals. 
In Barton Gellman's book 'Angler' he describes a remarkable focus on architecting, developing, enabling and using a network of schematically aligned agents to concentrate the force of the US behind his goals. 

Cheney's unusual view of the Vice Presidency as a constitutionally independent advisor to the President complimented Bush's conscious focused decision orientation, with a grasp of the vast unconscious details of the government. 

Cheney had participated at the center of all the key parts of US Democracy. The book details his expertise in influencing the theory and practice of government to respond to the challenges that were undermining US power.   Some challenges were obvious:
Others were not yet seen as significant by Cheney:
Gellman also reviews Cheney's decisions during the first gulf war.  He was on record for supporting limiting the war aims to a blitzkrieg - avoiding removal of the Iraqi government as too risky. 

Increased control of Iraq's oil should have weakened the Chinese economic base, and would be in line with Gellman's view of Cheney's goals.  The alignment of these goals with the response selected by the Bush Administration to the attacks by Al Qaeda would have supported the focus.  But judged from this perspective the positive outcome of Cheney's strategies is limited.  Largely Shia Iraq with democratic institutions places its oil reserves within China's reach. 

Gellman instead argues that Cheney's goal in Iraq was to send a signal, to state sponsors of terror networks, that the US is able and willing to use its military power.  Even if this was the only goal the result did not achieve this aim. 

This page discusses the benefits of proactively strengthening strong points. 
deployment of an inner network, within the Bush administration, allowed Cheney inner lines to out maneuver key politicians with conflicting views within the government.  However, it also left the majority of governing participants ill-informed and concerned about the legitimacy of the secretive operations.  Over time a buildup of concerns resulted in responses such as preparations for mass resignations, which while apparently acceptable to Cheney were politically damaging to Bush and his political advisers.  But more immediately the compromises that were necessary to gain rapid alignment, such as countering Lawrence Lindsey's claim that war with Iraq would cost at least $200 Billion, left Cheney and his allies pushing to constrain the resources allocated to the war plan.  As such the occupation force was limited in its initial scope and resources.  When the Shia mullahs pushed for a broad theocratic framework the US had little force available to resist. 

Gellman argues that Cheney was successful in obtaining two Supreme Court appointments that aligned closely with his goals, and shifting more power back to the Executive branch from Congress and the courts. 

Gellman writes that Cheney viewed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB is the Office of Management and Budget.  It:
  • Creates and promotes the President's federal budget and hence indirectly his priorities. 
  • Has the power to advance or constrain federal regulation as many proposed rules must be signed off by the O.M.B. (OIRA) before they are issued.  The rules it can constrain include those relating to:
    • Energy
    • Environmental standards
    • Labor protections
    • Food safety
  • All administration policies affect the budget directly or indirectly so they are constrained by the O.M.B. 
), and the Office of Legal council as amplifiers of executive power.  With his inner network of schematically aligned agents Cheney's goals could become reflected in Bush's executive orders.  It also allowed him a
This page discusses the benefits of bringing agents and resources to the dynamically best connected region of a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
central position
from which to identify important internal activities within the departments of state, and encourage or delay these.  The mechanism of delay included the addition of obtuse and long term goals, and a full review process with White House signoff. 

The government's standing environmental activities appeared at odds with Cheney's economic and energy goals.  His strategies to limit their operation included the setting up a powerful
This page reviews the strategy of setting up an arms race.  At its core this strategy depends on being able to alter, or take advantage of an alteration in, the genome or equivalent.  The situation is illustrated with examples from biology, high tech and politics. 
evolutionary amplifier
.  By aligning the economic and political goals of swing state elites and
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
educating them
in how carefully framed scientific goals can generate ambiguity within the scientist's recommendations the power brokers achieved their current economic goals and learned how to approach their future ones, while the lesson was easily leveraged by Bush's political staff. 

The application of
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS theory
represents the US Government as a
This page discusses the effect of the network on the agents participating in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Small world and scale free networks are considered. 
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
adaptive agents
The position and operations of different agents within a complex adaptive system (CAS) provide opportunities for strategic advantage.  Examples of CAS agents leveraging their relative positions are described. 
influential positions
within an
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Key research is reviewed. 
structure defined by the
This page discusses the physical foundations of complex adaptive systems (CAS).  A small set of rules is obeyed.  New [epi]phenomena then emerge.  Examples are discussed. 
.  The structure extends out by
This page reviews the inhibiting effect of the value delivery system on the expression of new phenotypic effects within an agent. 
phenotypic alignment
to other countries. 

Gellman's narrative exemplifies the strategic handling of
The page describes the SWOT process.  That includes:
  • The classification of each event into strength weakness opportunity and threat.  
  • The clustering process for grouping the classified events into goals.  
  • How the clusters can support planning and execution. 
Operational SWOT matrices and clusters from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF) are included as examples. 
strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats
.  Cheney's experiences and his ability to drill down for detail create a
This page reviews the potential to benefit from strategy in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The challenges described by Dorner require a careful search of the proximate environment. 
schematic awareness
matched with knowledge of strategies which can be applied including:
In our analysis for Cheney to achieve his goals he should have only executed the Iraq war plan once he had obtained the forces necessary to secure an aligned regime.  We hope you enjoyed our CAS analysis and are sure you will enjoy Gellman's exceptional book.  

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This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
  • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
  • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
  • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
  • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
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This page uses an example to illustrate how:
  • A business can gain focus from targeting key customers,
  • Business planning activities performed by the whole organization can build awareness, empowerment and coherence. 
  • A program approach can ensure strategic alignment. 
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