Richard Clark, Daniel Schwartz: “Adaptability Research Workshop”

May 10, 2009 | USC ICT

Speaker: Richard Clark, Daniel Schwartz

The workshop agenda was designed to begin the process of overcoming the bias implicit in past learning and adaptability research and practice. Of the ten academic researchers invited, half represented a “more constructivist” point of view and half a “more direct instruction” point of view. Military researchers were asked to help their academic colleagues understand the many future challenges of military research, development,training and education. In order to focus the discussions Dr. Rose Hansonof PDRI and GEN Waldo Freeman (R) of the Institute for Defense Analysis agreed to allow the participants to focus their ideas on a proof of concept study requested by the Assistant Secretary of Defense and currently underway (DiGiovianni, 2008). Tasks to be investigated in that study included the capability of military leaders to manage cross-cultural encounters and negotiations. It was reasoned that these specific tasks would help anchor the discussions and the discussants. All participants were asked to collaborate in order to summarize what we know from past research and on the design of future adaptability research and development projects that could be used to support adaptability in cross-cultural encounters and negotiations.
The workshop was organized around three questions:
1) How will we know adaptability when we encounter it?
2) What training and development strategies increase adaptable performance?
3) What research designs are best for investigating the most cost-effective adaptability training methods?
The 25 workshop participants were assigned to five breakout groups, each consisting of two researchers who supported different theories and three military researchers. After a period of discussion about one of the questions,each group brought back their solution and presented it to the rest of the participants.