The responsibility that leaders in the military, public safety, and security organizations have to prepare their teams for the conflicts and battles that lie in the future is arguably one of the most important duties that they bear. The consequences of failing to develop those in your charge can have far reaching and long-lasting impacts, as those consequences could include the unnecessary loss of life (both civilian and protector), extended timelines for recovery from an incident or forever altering someone’s way of life. As a result, not taking the task of preparing for war seriously simply isn’t an option for the professional leader. Learning the art and science of capability management allows leaders to take an additional step to ensuring that they have done everything in their power to prepare their teams for the future.
History, Constraints, and Team Impact
One of the challenges that leaders face in the pursuit of developing capabilities within their teams is that capability management isn’t something that is frequently taught or discussed. At its core, capability management is knowing the current state of your ability, knowing where you need to be in order to be ready for the environment you will be operating in, and then putting in the work to get from where you are to get to where you need to be. Yet without the ability to intentionally and objectively assess a capability, charting a way forward becomes the result of intuition, the sense of the leader to recognize what is needed and the ability to marshal the resources needed to build the desired skill set.
While there isn’t anything wrong with intuition, relying solely on intuition creates gaps that appear when a repeatable process is lacking. Why? Because intuition can be hard to explain. When something comes solely from the gut, it can be difficult to articulate your reasoning and rationale for doing one thing or another. It can be a challenge to measure progress and to state what objectives you are pursuing in a way that is easily understood by others.
I acknowledge that, for many who work as protectors, warriors, and operators, the intuitive approach has been how capability management has essentially been done in the past. At the same time, many readers of The CP Journal have also likely felt the impacts that come from a lack of clarity and structured thought surrounding capability management.