Ideas into Action - Progress on cap2con MMOWGLI Recommendations

Ideas into Action - Progress on cap2con MMOWGLI Recommendations

The Capacity, Capabilities, and Constraints (cap2con) game sponsors want to thank you once again for your contributions to the future of the Navy active-reserve-civilian Total Force team.  This progress report lets you know how your ideas are making a difference.  

You and 468 other cap2con players generated 2874 Idea Cards and 30 Action Plans.  Our analysis grouped these ideas into three major themes, each with several specific recommended actions:

  • Enhancing Total Force Capabilities
    • Improved ability to match reserve skills with active requirements
    • Improved ability to leveraging civilian skills
    • Leverage reserve component for high demand – but rarely used - military skills, allowing experts to remain in a particular specialty for  entire career
  • Reducing Active Component Burdens
    • Expand reserve hardware units surge support in order to transition a greater portion of presence missions to the reserve component
    • Shift selected routine tasks to the reserves to reduce active sailors’ workload
    • Decrease individual op tempo and support retention through seagoing individual augmentee mobilization, mid-cruise relief, and/or reserve post-deployment maintenance & watchstanding
  • Improving Reserve Component Effectiveness
    • Greater active component role in reserve component management
    • Explore new career models, including seamless active-reserve movement throughout a career
    • Create broader spectrum of reserve annual support paradigms between current inactive reserve, typical SELRES, and full time active duty

Naval Warfare Development Command (NWDC) delivered the cap2con Final Report to VADM Braun in February.  In between Congressional testimony, budget battles and other inside-the-beltway crises, some of your recommendations are getting traction.  Instances of progress towards implementing cap2con ideas include:

  • 2014 NR Strategic Initiative 3.1, Leveraging Civilian Skills, is looking at the databases the Navy Reserve has available to identify civilian skills sets, how the Navy/NR uses that information, and potential improvements.  The NWDC Commander, RDML Scott Jerabek, is the Navy flag lead for this initiative.
  • Suggestions for more hardware units, an unmanned systems operator cadre, and a greater theater presence and engagement role have been a POM-16 AC/RC Mix study ISSUE.  This study is examining mission sets by community and will make recommendation for areas where RC could expand.
  • Regarding suggested changes to the NR strategic planning process, VADM Braun has tasked development of an "industry standard" Navy Reserve Strategy for use as the Navy's Strategy for optimizing employment of the Navy Reserve.  Cap2con ideas are inputs to this document, with most of the proposed actions in the final report under discussion during strategy development.   

In addition, N0955 is increasing collaboration with OPNAV N5 (Navy Strategy branch) to ensure the reserves will be addressed in the updated "Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower" (CS-21R) and its classified annex.  Finally, two strategic advisory forums have been established – the NR Strategic Roundtable and the NR Flag Officer Strategic Advisory Group.

No concrete action yet, but the idea of SELRES augmenting active crews during transit home for returning deployers has generated interest from the Deputy Chief, Navy Reserve.  More to follow on this issue.   

A note of caution here... Proposed ideas that are not sufficiently refined may have counter-productive second-order effects, especially in large and complex organizations – so change cannot be expected to occur instantaneously.  With that in mind, the impacts that the cap2con results are already beginning to have are impressive.  

We hope you will join us once again for future innovation efforts.  Among the MMOWGLI games on the horizon are Round 3 of the Business Innovation Initiative (BII) mmowgli game and several others - more serious fun is on the way.

Again, thanks for your support for cap2con MMOWGLI.  We expect more actions based on your recommendations, resulting in a Navy Reserve Component that more effectively and efficiently supports Navy Total Force mission accomplishment.

Onward we go.  Play the game, change the game!

cap2con MMOWGLI Round 2 Awards and Followup

cap2con MMOWGLI Round 2 Awards and Followup

It was an exciting cap2con Round 2 full of deep dives and actionable contributions to the Action Plans, several of which are destined for Flag Officer review! 

Five players (out of 471) have been selected for special recognition.

Round 2 First Place: Pepper1

Well done Round 2 first place Pepper1 (played 335 Idea Cards) and silver medalist IS3 (played 272 Idea Cards)!!

The top two contenders fought hard to maintain their positions earned in Round 1. These two players also collaborated extensively, co-authoring two plans together:

Round 2 Second Place
cap2con Round 2 Frontline Foxhole Badge

The beauty of MMOWGLI is the ability to play from anywhere, at anytime.  Many of you took advantage of the opportunity.

Credit is due to our top player from the front lines, Mainemjc, who provided significant contributions from his or her foxhole in Afghanistan.  Mainemjc, thank you for your service, and for your commitment to improving your Navy!

The award for stealthiest contributor goes to RESO5IDWO.  This player must credit their ability to stay well below the radar to their super secret squirrel IDWO training.  RESO5IDWO only surfaced a few times over the course of round 2, but each contribution was well-timed and had great impact on play.  This player left us wanting more!

Last but certainly not least, RollTide must be rewarded for his or her courage to continue playing under that game name even after such a devastating loss to Auburn last weekend.  That's the kind of moral fortitude we endorse!

cap2con Round 2 Stealth Badge

Roll Tide!

All of the cap2con Idea Cards and cap2con Action Plans can be reviewed online.  You are also welcome to re-visit the cap2con game itself, either by logging back in or visiting as a guest. Player contributions can provide insight and inspiration for years to come.  Our motto: play the game, change the game.

Still have more to say?  You can reach out to the cap2con partners and continue the conversation or provide feedback about the game.  Just send a MMOWGLI Performance and Playability Report or contribute further to active/reserve/cap2con challenges using any of the following links.  All ideas remain greatly appreciated!

  • Navy Center for Innovation (NCFI) is an online gallery of resources for people interested in Navy Innovation.
  • CNO's Rapid Innovation Cell (CRIC)[x]: an organization that seeks to create a network of entrepreneurial junior officers and enlisted personnel for idea exchange, free-flowing discussion and event opportunities.  
  • CollabLab: NCFI's virtual workspace for innovators to pose solutions to problems by submitting ideas, providing feedback, and voting for the best ideas.  

Glad to be Back!We thank each and every one of you for the time and effort you contributed to this MMOWGLI.  Some of you are MMOWGLI veterans, and for some others this was your first experience.  We hope to see you again, and stay tuned for updates on the journey of ideas as they are analyzed, vetted, packaged and forwarded on for implementation by senior stakeholders.  You have made a difference!

All the best,

cap2con MMOWGLI Control Team

cap2con mmowgli is complete

We are done with game play - many thanks for many superlative contributions.  More to follow, watch this space for after-action reporting.

Pushing cap2con over the goal line

As we near the end of the cap2con  MMOWGLI game, I want to thank you all for your contributions.  You are one of over 450 players who have joined the game and collectively generated over 2450 ideas, and these numbers continue to climb each day.   You have gotten us in the “red zone”, but we are not quite over the goal line yet.  We want your final inputs today and over the weekend before we close out play. 

We need you to take the cap2con Round 2 Action Plans a few yards closer to well thought-out, mature ideas that we can rapidly turn into recommendations for Navy leadership.  Some of these action plans have gotten a “lot of love”; others have not gotten as much.  RC watchstanding (Action Plan 19), cyber support (Action Plan 20), matching reserve skills to active needs (Action Plan 24), plus RC funding and scheduling (Action Plan 28) have been popular topics – and we want to continue to flesh out and refine those plans.  But there has been much less discussion in the other action plans covering ideas ranging from RC support in specific functional areas, to adding more reserve units with their own platforms, to changing how the RC is managed.  I know you have ideas on these topics – some of your thoughts are captured in idea cards – but we need these thoughts in the action plans as the takeaway recommendations from the cap2con effort.  And, if you see ways to relate and associate Action Plans with one another, highlight those relationships within each plan. Most revolutionary ideas come from the aggregation and integration of separate ideas.    

If you have already contributed to an action plan or two, we urge you to pitch in on additional topics.  Get outside your comfort zone and give us an outsider’s look as some of these ideas.  Many of the most innovative new ideas throughout history have come from blending diverse perspectives, so don’t shy away from a topic because it’s not in your resume.   We want you to thoroughly “red team” these plans – tell us in detail how they can be implemented…or why they should not be tried. 

What questions do YOU find yourself asking as you read an Action Plan?  What issues and challenges may be getting overlooked?  Are there pitfalls? Hidden costs? Risks? Are there specific areas of investigation that the Navy should address? MMOWGLI Action Plans won’t answer all questions, but the more detail and focus they provide – even if just highlighting the questions that need to be addressed – the more quickly they can be evaluated and acted upon.

Your leadership is eager to see your ideas.  From VADM Braun at Office, Chief Navy Reserve to RDML Jerabek at NWDC, and amongst their peers, flag officers have been watching the game, and some of them are your fellow players.  Help our cap2con team give them meaty recommendations for both near term action and long term strategic change.  

You can add your comments to cap2con MMOWGLI action plans through Sunday (December 8th).  If you think we need additional Action Plans to capture recommendations that don’t fit well under an existing plan, send a message to a Game Master and we can help you create a new Action Plan.  We will “lock” the game to new comments Sunday night.  We invite you to log back in one final time on Monday to vote on the final versions of each action plan.  All the idea cards and actions plans from both rounds of play will remain accessible online as a reference after game play ends.

 It’s third and goal.  Let’s put this one in the end zone.

--CAP2CON game masters

Please Bear With Us

getting to GO

Please Bear With Us!

If you are experiencing difficulties accessing the game, please know that you are not alone!  Our team is working diligently to resolve the issue that's affecting access.  Despite occasional ups + downs, no player data has been lost and the game bounces back quickly.  We maintain up/down status at the bottom of the main portal page.  So please "hold that thought" and check back later - your good ideas matter.  Thanks for your patience!

Growing N1 Retention Concern - Increasing Op Tempo

Growing N1 Retention Concern: Increasing Op Tempo

This week’s Navy Times feature story “8-Month Deployments - This is Your New Norm” confirmed an all-too frequent occurrence in current fleet operations.  With no drop in “presence” requirements, increased responsibilities across our globe and with fleet unit levels dropping by almost 40% over the past two decades, deployments are getting longer and becoming more frequent. Perhaps even more troublesome, there seems a greater tendency to start deployments early with little advance notice, necessitating “cross-decking” of critical skilled personnel.

Each of these trends by themselves can create retention “friction” in an environment of low to moderate unemployment. While unemployment remains slightly to the right of moderate, we also must be painfully aware of the significant efforts by many in corporate America to hire military, making many considering separation to think harder about whether staying Navy is the right decision.

Your leadership doesn’t have all the answers and we would embrace your innovative thought on how best to embed the Reserves into our deployment plans.  One of the ideas which we would like your more detailed thought on is how we might use our reserve forces to handle in-port maintenance responsibilities immediately after a ship returns from deployment.  Would we target specific ships?  Specific ratings?  Would more angst be created if being able to spell some but not all of the crew?  Important questions... you can input your ideas in Action Plan 18 (Shifting maintenance responsibilities) and Action Plan 26 (Relieving overburdened AC sailors to mitigate high op tempo).

Welcome home daddy!

I remember a conversation I had with (then) VADM John Harvey when he was Chief of Naval Personnel.  He said that sailors won’t grumble on deployment. Sailors understand that is what they signed up for. They begin grumbling, and rightfully so, when they return from deployment and cannot be given sufficient down time to recharge batteries, rekindle marital and family relationships, and have predictable shore work schedules.  He was concerned that if shore time hours began to approximate seagoing hours we would lose our most valuable resource - the quality young enlisted and officer talent that we simply can’t afford to lose.

This is where we can use the Reserve component’s help.  So we hope YOU get back into the game and give us ideas that we can take on… and take directly to the waterfront.

Wayne Wagner, Navy Manpower

Breaking Paradigms - can we redefine expectations for drilling reservists

Breaking Paradigms: can we redefine expectations for drilling reservists?

unrep prepThere are many techniques to work on complex problems, ranging from studies to working groups, experimentation, and crowdsourcing like this MMOWGLI game.  One of the characteristics of crowdsourcing is its ability to focus a large number of new, diverse perspectives on an issue and identify potential solutions that are truly outside the current box.  I want to focus on a couple potential paradigm breakers. 

There has been a lot of good discussion in the game on alternatives to the typical “two days each month and two weeks a year” selected reserve (SELRES) support expectation.  While the current system does allow for some deviation through flex drilling and additional drill and active duty for training funding, the 2 days/2 weeks model is still the standard.  Our players have suggested ways to change this (see the chains under seed card 1870 for new career models, and card 1874 for funding and scheduling flexibility).

Consider the following player ideas, please:

  • Revisiting an idea from round 1, player mstng98 suggested a “super reservist” (card 2000) who would routinely provide substantially more than the current “2 and 2” paradigm.  Players have suggested that a super reservist would provide 1 to 2 months a year of continuous support, perhaps without any other drill commitments.
  • Player Contributor suggested that we decrease time reservists spend on mobilization readiness requirements (card 2045).  Muscogee (card 2276) took this idea a step further by suggesting a three-tiered system with the current “2 and 2”, the super reservists, and a class of non-deploying reservists who provide extended support in CONUS. Perhaps individuals in this third tier live in a fleet concentration area, and execute drills on a weekly basis evenly spaced throughout the year.
  • ShadowBritt proposed that all government civilians be afforded the opportunity to serve as reservists (card 2170).  Being a GS and drilling reservist myself, I can see how the desire to support the Navy and the synergies between the two roles can make this attractive to many.  However, mainemjc reminded us in card 2270 that the reserve component is at least partially a surge force, and that we run the risk of crippling GS-heavy organizations with a major mobilization of reservists who are also government civilians.
  • MostlyHarmless (card 1999) and Thor (card 2232)  may have taken this line of thought to its logical conclusion in with the suggestion that the distinctions between AC and RC go away.  Together, their cards suggest we think in terms of full-time and part-time employees, and that the Navy manage tasking for personnel based on the number of hours that each individual is able (or obligated) to provide.
  • Adding a slightly different wrinkle, Pepper1 (card 2236) suggested “value points” as a weighting factor to compensate reservists more heavily for work against especially critical, high demand active force needs.

All these ideas are paradigm breakers because they would require the Navy to fundamentally rethink how we do personnel management, compensation, and perhaps benefits.  In addition to Navy policy changes, much of this would also require changes to current U.S. law.  This is no easy feat, but if the ideas make sense for the future total force, we should recommend them – supported by the most complete and compelling rationale we can put together.

We want you to flesh these ideas out in cap2con action plans – if you don’t think the idea fits under a current plan, suggest a new one to our gamemasters.  Help us build the rationale, take a hard look at pros and cons, and identify exactly what we would have to do to put these suggestions into practice.  Fleshing out these kinds of recommendations is what we are all here for.  Many thanks for your contributions.

Making It Real - Going from Idea to Actionable Recommendation

Making It Real - Going from Idea to Actionable Recommendation

Welcome back to our innovators from the first week of cap2con MMOWGLI play, and welcome to our new gamers!  We are glad to have you working with us.  As we move through this Solution Refinement round, we want to drill down on the promising themes and get your thoughts on how we could implement these ideas in the fleet.  It is one thing to have good ideas about tradeoffs and issues, but it is another thing to develop a go-forward plan that leads to a workable solution.  Let's "walk the walk" through a specific case.  This blog post examines one of these emerging themes and asks some hard questions about how it might actually work.

There has been a lot of discussion of matching skills from individual reservists (be they military specialties or civilian skills) to specific active force needs through a new headhunter / LinkedIn analogue with a “jobs board” functionality.  What must be changed to make this real, and how could we ensure that the changes add value to the total force for the long term?

Let’s start with the mechanics of this matching function.  There has been some discussion of improving the current civilian skills database, adding new information to NSIPS, and acquiring a new system (perhaps adapted from a successful commercial software program).  Whatever this online database looks like, it would require new incentives to ensure that RC sailors and AC units use it.  We may also need to change current information security and PII policies.  What changes do you think we need?

Other aspects of this idea have not gotten as much discussion.  Currently, all RC sailors in pay billets are assigned to a unit that has a designated AC supported command.  In most circumstances, these reservists only support that one active command.  This idea breaks that mold... is that OK?  Perhaps all reservists might get funded to provide support Navy-wide on top of their current obligations to support the gaining command.  Maybe instead we create a central pool of reservists who are not aligned to any single command.

Additional funding is a straightforward resource issue, albeit each reservist would have to balance the greater potential demands against their family and civilian career.   Let’s drill down on the more disruptive notion of a central Navy manpower pool.  What are the answers to key questions… such as:

  • How many reservists go into this pool? How do we select the rates and warfare specialties?
  • Who manages this group? Who is the rater for EVALS and FITREPS, who manages pay, medical, GMT completion, etc?
  • Is the career path for the Navy pool reservists different than for RC assigned to a gaining command?  Do individuals move back and forth between the two?   
  • Will the Navy as a whole find this RC pool valuable enough to keep it resourced when the contributions of the pool are spread in small doses across so many active duty beneficiaries?  In other words, who is the empowered AC advocate for this capability?

I am sure that there are more questions regarding this one idea, and all of the questions for an idea must be answered before that solution can be put into practice.  As you play the game, and especially as we move into action plan development, think about these sticky questions and tell us how you propose we solve them - working together.

Who wants to be a MMOWGLIonaire

Who wants to be a MMOWGLIonaire!?  Phone a Friend!

As wide of a net as we try to cast in our MMOWGLI events, we’re always interested in pulling in specific insights whose need arises during the course of gameplay.

In our CAP2CON event, we’re making great progress toward building on one another’s ideas, and developing Action Plans.

But, every family needs a runt of the litter; and ours is SeedCard 1867 "What specialist niche expertise is difficult to maintain in the AC that can be effectively provided by qualified individuals in the RC?" with only a fraction of the comments that other Seed Cards have generated.  As player Baz notes: "Tough question. Only AC can list hard to keep expertise. Only RC can say if they can provide."

Now is the time to dust off your rolodex and call in your favors!  We want YOU to reach out to some of your friends, former shipmates, or cantankerous old Salts to cajole them into identifying some specific capability gaps and shortfalls (and then build on their ideas!). 

In particular, do you know anybody with experience at:

  • NECC and subordinate commands (unique civil affairs, security assistance, construction skills)
  • SYSCOMS (acquisition/program management skills; engineering duty skills)
  • FLTCYBERCOM/10th FLEET (cyber skills)
  • PAO/CHINFO (public relations & strategic communications skills)
  • FAO/regional expertise
  • ONI (specific TECHINT and regional expertise requirements)

These folks might hold the keys the kingdom; if they’ll just log-in and share their observations about critical (or infrequently needed) skills which we might sustain in our Reserve Component.  If they’re new players, they can feel free to either contribute to threads under Card 1867, or any of the relevant Action Plans (Action Plan 20, Action Plan 21, Action Plan 22).

Remember, the player who recruits the most new contributing players is in the running for a special MMOWGLI Prize! (note: no such prize exists; but think of the bragging rights).

Get Rolling - With Lots of Action

Get Rolling... With Lots of Action!

Looking for some inspiration now that the thrill of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is over?  An entire set of new Action Plans await you!  The current Action Plans fall loosely into three categories:

  • Reserve Component (RC) relieving the burden on the Active Component (AC)
  • Cultivating and leveraging specialists within the total force
  • Infrastructure flexibility

You have started the following conversations and they have been turned into Action Plans... authors for several plans are requesting specific expertise that you might have - just answer a Help Wanted note to reply.  Please consider joining one (or several) as a coauthor to make these initial drafts even better.  You can also add comments and key questions to each plan, challenging the authors to hit the right marks.

Relieving the AC burden

  • Action Plans 16, 17 and 18.  Active Sailors could put more time and energy into higher priority tasks by shifting select AC training, IT support and shore facility/pierside maintenance responsibilities to reservists.
  • Action Plan 19.  RC Sailors could assume some AC shore command watchstanding responsibilities to enable active Sailors to focus on core command or staff tasks.
  • Action Plan 23.  RC Sailors could provide AC surge capacity for low-intensity crisis response and combat operations through RC “hardware units” in a cost-effective manner.
  • Action Plan 26.  RC Sailors could step in to relieve overburdened AC sailors at critical times.  For example, when a ship returns from deployment and all anyone wants to do is run home to their families or gaming systems.  Enter Reserve Sailors to take over the post-deployment to-do list enabling a longer stand-down for the Active Sailors.

Leverage specialists

  • Action Plan 20.  Reserve Sailors’ civilian skills could be leveraged to improve the depth (capacity) and overall capabilities for Navy cyber operations.
  • Action Plan 21.  Reserve Sailors’ civilian skills could be leveraged to improve strategic planning and legislative affairs.
  • Action Plan 22.  AC could rely more heavily on the RC for specialist, niche expertise.

Infrastructure flexibility

  • Action Plan 24.  More quickly and efficiently match RC skills to AC requirements.
  • Action Plan 25.  Implement new career models to strengthen AC/RC integration.
  • Action Plan 27.  Migrate select RC management functions from the RC infrastructure to the AC to enhance AC/RC integration and reduce redundancy and costs.
  • Action Plan 28.  Adjust RC funding and scheduling paradigms to gain flexibility and responsiveness.

The card chains are fast paced and evolve rapidly, figuring out pros cons and alternatives to the key questions for this Solution Refinement round. There are many great ideas already that we can build upon, and more ideas provide even more value.

Now we invite you to take some time to thoughtfully and deliberately shape the solutions hinted at in card play, fleshing out the details in these go-forward Action Plans.  The shells are already built, and are just waiting for you to Take Action! 

Move on over to the cap2con Action Plans, your comments and contributions are all helpful. You can also invite your friends to share this space, designed to provide a collaborative online environment.  Can’t wait to see what you come up with. Play the game, change the game!

Back In Business - cap2con Round 2

Back In Business - cap2con Round 2

We're back!  cap2con Round 2 resumes Monday morning and lasts all week.  We remain fully focused on some serious opportunities: how can Reserve forces assume more tasks and roles from Active forces?  There has been a lot of great dialog and brainstorming that have set us up very well for the next topics.

If you are returning from Round 1, great!  If you are new to MMOWGLI, game play is easy.  Rejoin the discussion or create a new account and play the cap2con game - your privacy is protected.  We work through the pros, cons and alternatives of each key challenge that is posed.  New ideas are welcome - how can we work better together?  The most promising Idea Card Chains get invited to create Action Plans to go forward.  Everyone gets to vote on the best plans, helping leadership determine which paths forward hold the most potential value. 

As reported by Lyndsay last week, here are our initial seed-card topics for Round 2:

  • Shore establishment duties RC can assume to free up AC manpower
  • Leveraging RC civilian skills
  • RC specialist niches
  • Surge capacity thru RC “hardware units” for low end crisis/combat missions at reduced cost
  • Matching RC skills to AC requirements across the total force
  • RC temporary assumption of AC tasks at critical points (i.e. post-deployment)
  • Moving RC management functions from NOSCs to supported AC units
  • Adjusting RC funding/scheduling to gain flexibility and responsiveness
Underway replenishment

Get ready, get set... here is your pre-game preparation:  check out the Call To Action video, Call To Action slideset, and How To Play video.

Here we go, last round for the MMOWGLI wargame in 2013.  Play the game, change the game!

Skipper Looks at the Long View

Skipper Looks at the Long View

(Game master note:  Skipper was among the top 3 players in cap2con Round 1 for both Idea Cards and Action Plans.  Here are Skipper's insights about playing the Capacity Capabiltities Constraints game, considering a few key events in Navy history.)

By way of background, I’m a lifelong student of naval history, and I’ve enjoyed playing MMOWGLI since it started in 2011.

The challenge posed by the Cap2Con game as I perceived it was one of maximizing our Navy’s effectiveness by reimagining the role of the reserve component.  Players defined this objective in a variety of ways, from financial savings to greater bureaucratic efficiency.  I personally looked at effectiveness from a team-dynamics standpoint, and I sought to ensure that the wide range of perspectives in the Reserves are heard, and that their creativity rewards them with a place in the Navy’s command structure.

NavyTimes article: Keeping frigates running no easy feat for crews

Throughout history, organizations like the U.S. Navy have been at their finest when they have many sources of input.  The U.S. Navy already has an excellent track record for encouraging this kind of diversity in its commanders, thanks in part to its several avenues to become one: the Naval Academy, OCS, and NROTC.  Historically, members of the reserve have added real value to the fleet.  Some of the Navy’s greatest heroes were, in fact, citizen-sailors.  One who came to mind was Edward Preble, who led the Mediterranean Squadron in the First Barbary War while alternating between naval deployments and merchant service.  Later in history, the ships that fought and won in one of the Navy’s most valiant episodes during the Second World War, the Battle off Samar, were crewed and commanded in large part by citizen sailors, either as reservists or recent draftees.  But in peacetime, the Navy Reserve is underutilized, and its neglect means that the fleet doesn’t benefit from the unconventional creativity that they have the potential to bring to the table.  In this sense, my guiding precept was that more disparate viewpoints need to be included in our front line.

During the game there were a few card chains surrounding the idea of manning some surface combatants with reservist crews.  Discussion ranged from a Reservist-oriented Blue/Gold system on Littoral Combat Ships to crewing our older units (like our remaining Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates and some Flight I Arleigh Burke class destroyers) with a larger Reserve Component aboard.  This train of thought led me back to the Second World War.  The first American naval victory in that conflict, the sinking of a Japanese midget submarine off Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941, was won by USS Ward, an old 4-pipe destroyer manned in large part by reservists.  Later, in the face of an overwhelming enemy force of battleships and cruisers, the US Navy won the Battle off Samar in October 1944 thanks to the courage and creativity of the draftees and reservists manning the tiny destroyers, destroyer escorts, and escort carriers of the outnumbered and outgunned US task group “Taffy 3.”  Putting a larger number of creative and multifaceted reservists on more ships today would create a more dynamic command culture and would likely improve the Navy’s warfighting capability.

Another idea proposed in Round 1 of the Cap2Con game but one that didn’t get a lot of attention was that of a “Ready Reserve Force” of reservist-manned decommissioned ships capable of rapid reactivation when necessary.  This would work in a similar manner to the Merchant Marine’s current Ready Reserve Fleet, which is a group of mothballed merchant vessels based around the country prepared to step in during a sudden shipping shortfall.  The naval version of this plan would add to the Navy’s capabilities on a number of levels: strategically, these assets (at this point probably Perry class FFGs) could take on low-intensity missions close to home, like drug interdiction, coastal patrol, and convoy escort in wartime.  Organizationally, these ships would give more reservist units actual vessels to train on and maintain.  On an individual level, sailors charged with looking after these units would learn self-reliance, as older units have a greatly diminished industrial base (check out this NavyTimes article on the effective self-sufficiency of the Perry class frigates currently in service: "Keeping frigates running no easy feat for crews").  This was essentially USS Ward’s mission at the outset of the Second World War, a story that proves that seemingly tired old ships have plenty of fight in them when in capable, creative hands.

Thanks to all the Cap2Con players for a fantastic first round.  I can’t wait to see where we go next.

Turkey, Stuffing, and... cap2con MMOWGLI Round 2 Sneak Peak

Turkey, Stuffing, and... cap2con MMOWGLI Round 2 Sneak Peek!

cap2con Round 2 runs 2-8 December 2013!

This week we here at MMOWGLI Control Central are very thankful for your cap2con contributions.  We are looking forward to watching you sharpen the focus on the topics derived from Round 1.

What you can expect to explore in Round 2...

• Shore establishment duties RC can assume to free up AC manpower

• Leveraging RC civilian skills

• RC specialist niches

• Surge capacity thru RC “hardware units” for low end crisis/combat missions at reduced cost

• Matching RC skills to AC requirements across the total force

• RC temporary assumption of AC tasks at critical points (i.e. post-deployment)

• Moving RC management functions from NOSCs to supported AC units

• Adjusting RC funding/scheduling to gain flexibility and responsiveness


The phrase of the week is Action Plan, man!  Card play WILL be open on the new and improved seed cards, but we want you to really get in and get collaborative on those Action Plans to turn these ideas into fleshed out recommendations for Navy leadership. 

We also want you to spread the word about MMOWGLI, so when you run into your old bootcamp buddies or college roommate at Thanksgiving, be sure to send them to so they can join in on the action!

Be safe, be well, see you soon!

A Player's Perspective

A Player's Perspective

We sat down with Leaderboard dominator Pepper1, got to know him a little better, and asked them about their thoughts on cap2con MMOWGLI.  Pepper1 says...


Just a quick snapshot of my back-ground: I am a US Navy Veteran with 4 years of AC experience gained on a Knox Class Frigate storming around the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and points across the Atlantic.  Upon completing my Undergraduate degree in Accounting from an awesome Big Ten School, I had the unique opportunity to become part of a now defunct Global Accounting & Consulting firm for about 3 years. For the past 16+ years I have been interacting with Executives at all levels and industries assisting them in identifying and capturing resources for their team’s success. 

Why cap2con:  in a career and/or a lifetime there may be a limited number of moments that you will have a true opportunity to actually contribute to the strategic direction of a $200 Billion dollar organization, and one that operates as a family.  cap2con has been constructed to do just this - allow professionals from every corner of the globe, hundreds of individuals working collaboratively and simultaneously - to bring forward ideas that achieve “paradigm breaking, off the reservation” thinking and grab serious momentum towards a common goal.  Herd cats so to speak.

 Importance of cap2con: in my time and currently in your time, "we stand the watch” in “today’s time” to protect our nation and family.  We used/use our expertise, our assets and our ability to take care of the “now.”  cap2con affords us the opportunity and the format to individually step forward as leaders and contribute to the future, near term and long term.   It is easy for me to get behind this as I look over to my children, ages 2 and 8, who I know will be, well, influenced greatly, part of our legacy and our tradition. 

 We all understand that IDEAS NOW, generated today, in this moment, need time to be vetted and applied to ensure SUCCESS.  To all cap2con participants----even an hour or two of your active participation is critical and can change the course of the future.  That one idea, or one thought, born into this event will take on many parents.  This “child” will be nurtured, developed and shaped into endless potential possibilities and have significant and positive impact. 

 Take Action:  When you enter into cap2con, operate with this in mind….

 “If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” - Albert Einstein 

I am grateful that this is my second MMOWGLI event and I would certainly note to everyone,  that during my participation, there is more than once, well, most of the time, where I feel like Vince Vaughn or Owen Wilson from this clip in the movie "The Internship".

 It’s the feeling you get when you know for certain that you have crossed the line of demarcation of your own expertise and are speaking into some ones else’s subject matter knowledge and they are in close proximity or participating in the conversation. 

 It’s in this moment you have to keep contributing, positively, and actively listening.  I guarantee you will never be in the same knowledge position again.  You will stretch how you interact.  I’m not trying to be the little bald kid wearing a toga from the movie "The Matrix", you know…telling you, it’s not the spoon who bends... 

Adapt, Stay Positive, Actively Listen, Contribute, Draw into conversation those that are not as active, solicit feedback, Engage, Encourage. 

….and keep this in mind---see this clip---“it’s not so much getting out of the blender, it’s what happens next!” smiley 

“There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo

Meet the Winners for cap2con Round 1

The clock is winding down on the brainstorming phase for cap2con MMOWGLI.  The fundamental purpose of the whole effort has been for you to collaborate on ideas to provide creative deckplate-generated options to the leadership that keep warfighting first by optimizing RC utilization.  Based on the volume of great ideas and discussion – from reserve ships, to new means to connect active needs to reserve capabilities, to specific tasks the RC can take on the ease AC burdens, and many others, we have succeeded.  Thank you for your great ideas. 

This week’s brainstorming and innovative ideas led to a number of action plans that have a lot of promise, but also a few holes.  We need you to round out and extend these plans to create recommendations that are executable in the real world.  If you have not had a chance to throw your idea into the mix, the time is NOW!  Play concludes at 1600 eastern time today.


Of course, MMOWGLI is not just a tool to brainstorm and refine ideas… It’s also a game, and as with any game we have winners.  These Round 1 awards recognize the players who dominated the top slots on the Leaderboard for the past week - positions achieved through innovation, collaboration, and exploration.

And the winners are…..  drum roll please….

Our Phase 1 winners receive these badges of honor for display on their player profile.  Congratulations to our awardees!  Be sure to check out all of their stellar Action Plans, and thanks for your comments on these plans as well.


Between now and Round 2, we will be busy analyzing the nearly 2,000 ideas and 13 actions plans, discussing these ideas with our sponsors and stakeholders across the fleet, and designing the cap2con page to really drill into the most promising and interesting ideas.  Please join us the week after Thanksgiving (2-8 December) to take your efforts to the next level.  The rough ideas from this Discovery Phase will become more mature potential solutions in the Refinement Phase – These game products form the core of concept development that leads to maintaining or improving fleet capabilities despite future constraints.  These are the outputs that will inform VADM Braun and other senior Navy leaders. 

We look forward to everyone's Round 2 ideas.  As always, the best contributors will be recognized.  In addition to the awards for each phase, there will be awards for the best overall cap2con contributions.  We will also offer the top players flag-level recognition outside the game.  Everything remains eligible for improvement and competition.   Play the game, change the game!

December 2-8 is your next and final opportunity to explore the cap2con game challenges and help improve our Navy.  Good luck! 

cap2con Round 1 votes on Action Plans finish today

cap2con Round 1 votes and comments on Action Plans finished today at 1300 eastern.  Thanks players for all contributions.

Keep the Full-Court Press Going

Keep the Full-Court Press Going!

Happy Veteran’s Day weekend! 

If you haven’t already, check out the Leaderboard… the competition is stiff, but this is anyone’s game.  Does anyone have the guts and gusto to knock spicy Pepper1 off his or her perch?  Awards Quarters will go down next Tuesday, so stay tuned… and keep up the excellent play!

We hope that you check in on the action from time to time over the next four days.  Great discussions are taking shape and alliances are being formed… we see pathways to new possibilities aligning and collaboration occurring, and meanwhile there is also great diversity of perspective which is invaluable to the crowdsourcing effort.

cap2con MMOWGLI will remain open until Monday afternoon, in order to afford you the opportunity to continue getting your ideas laid out and transitioning the card-based discussions into more robust Action Plans.  Think of Action Plan development as the packaging of free-flowing card play into a decision aid that is fit for senior leadership.  When drafting your Action Plan, think three phases down the line, and visualize your Action Plan in the hands of very senior personnel capable of enacting change within the Fleet.

The top-level seed cards remain unlocked for you to continue populating the possibilities.  No stone should remain unturned as we expand, counter, adapt, and explore new configurations and possibilities that could result in more effective utilization of the RC in support of AC warfighting first.  Round 2, which will run from 2-8 December, will focus more on the refinement of the ideas brought out in Round 1.

Play the game, change the game!

What You May Not Know About the Reservist Alongside You

What you may not know about the Reservist working alongside you.

Reserve personnel bring a unique set of skills that may not be apparent to the Active Duty sailors that they support.  For instance, you may be working with a Reservist that in Civilian life is a lawyer, cyber expert, policeman, or has another skill that would greatly benefit the Active Command.  You may only see the NEC, Warfare Pin or Rank, but on the civilian side that person may have a critical skill or experience that you may not be aware of.  IN addition, reserve personnel move to different commands and gain a wide set of skills in their drills and active duty time, just like their active counterparts.  They may have been exposed to Joint Operations in a JTF or Combatant Command staff, participated in major Navy exercises, and their various shore staff and fleet experiences can be provide great insights in how to maneuver in those spaces. 

Commands need to know all about their reserve units.  Active units the realize great value from their reserve force use reservists not just to stand watches, but to help solve difficult problems by utilizing those reservist’s civilian skill sets.  They should poll their assigned reservists to identify specialties, keep bios for every reservist to document both military and civilian experiences.  With trust built through years of close collaboration, some commands also allow their reserve units to almost entirely run their exercises thus freeing up their active sailors to focus on real world daily issues.

The reserve force is not only made up of SWOs, Pilots, Corpsmen, ATs, ITs but also of Doctors, Lawyers, Ministers, IT Engineers, welders, business owners, and many other professions.  Civilian experience shouldn't be overlooked.  One Combatant Command had a LT who was a strategy expert that spent his time speaking with the Flag Officers and other senior leaders about strategy and how to leverage their people.  He happened to be the CEO of a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company.  A major staff had an O4 reserve SWO that happened to work at the Missile Defense Agency in his civilian job.  They moved that SWO between projects to leverage his experience in an ongoing BMD doctrine development effort.  Another command had a reservist who worked on security software for Microsoft.  Though not typical for this Sailor’s rate, he was aligned with the active unit N6 and made great contributions the KM and information security program. 

There are many other similar stories out there.  Don’t dismiss a Sailor’s potential as “just a reservist.”  Get to know them.  You may never know how they may help you and your command out.

This is Your Two Minute Warning

This is Your Two Minute Warning

We are nearing the end of our Discovery / brainstorming phase for the cap2con game, but there is still time to make your voice heard.  We've struck a chord with many of you – thank you for the over 1,300 cards and 9 Action Plans in the game right now.  But, we think that there are more ideas out there - please give us at least one more of yours!

 This is what’s on the table so far:

  • Use decommissioned ships to create more reserve units with their own equipment to provide wartime capacity for low-end combat missions like mine warfare, convoy escort, and coastal patrol. 
  • Changes reserve component management to align drilling reservists more directly to active duty customer commands
  • Create alternatives to the "2 weeks a year" mentality to address active component needs and enable great flexibility in scheduling reserve support
  • Create reserve specialist / non-command career tracks to allow reservists to remain in a selected field, providing very deep niche expertise throughout their careers
  • Leverage web-based systems to provide active component visibility on reserve capabilities and more effectively MATCH these capabilities to ACTIVE NEEDS

Other ideas are also being discussed, including specific tasks / missions that can be transitioned from active to reserve components.  Are these the right way to go … or not? This is your chance to shape the future.  

Game play will continue through the long holiday weekend.  If one of the current action plans is aligned with your thoughts, please add your comments to help mature the concept into a recommendation for our 3 star sponsor.  If you have something that’s not covered yet, that’s great too.  We invite new action plan topics and top-level idea cards.  We want to get ALL the ideas out there onto the table before this phase wraps up. 

We will lock the game to new ideas Monday evening, but you can still help refine the ideas in the game through Tuesday, 12 November. Think collaboratively, and outside the box, and keep those ideas coming!

Collectively, the thinking captured in this game could drive major changes to how the Navy does business.  Be part of these solutions. 

Many thanks for your participation.

Play the game, change the game...

The cap2con MMOWGLI Team

From Idea Cards to Action Plans

Hello players!  Thank you for your continued contributions despite the government shut down.  So far, over 1200 Idea Cards played and 9 Action Plans created!  Speaking of Action Plans...what are they?  How do you create one? Why are they important?

Action Plans are the who, what, why, when and where of one, single Idea Card.  An Action Plan is your opportunity as a player to tell us more about your idea.  In an Action Plan, you are not restricted to 140 characters or less.  In addition, you can even add images and video to enrich your plan. 

Action Plans are important because they are another way to win generate points!  Innovation Points begin to rack up when you create an Action Plan and/or contribute to them.  There are many ways to collaborate on an Action Plan without being an author.  For example, players can contribute their knowledge by adding to the Comments section of an Action Plan.  Players can also vote on the quality of the Action Plan.

Also, Action Plans with a red number need expertise! These are just a few of the ways you can contribute!

Know that you know what an Action Plan is how do you create one?  Simply select the Trouble Report link at the bottom of the game page.  Within the first paragraph, you'll see a link on how to create an Action Plan.  Fill out this form and your request will be answered shortly. 


In the end, collaboration on Action Plans is what MMOWGLI is all about.  Generating "knowledge accidents" and making them a concrete plan.  Thanks for your continued contributions.  Play the game, change the game!

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