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Urgent! Updated Information on the Riptide mmowgli game!

The Action Plan phase of our RIPTIDE mmowgli is now complete.  A small team of Game Masters spent the last month reading, sorting and collating the 9000+ ideas and translating them into tentative Action Plans.  We will be inviting many of you to help develop those Action Plans in a collaborative way in the mmowgli game.

To summarize our RIPTIDE mmowgli so far and to give you a peek at what the Action Plan workspace looks like, we have put together this short 10 minute video. 


Looking forward to collaborating with many of you to turn these great ideas into powerful action plans!

We Need Your Help to Solve a Wicked Problem

To solve a wicked problem needs wickedly awesome ideas. These are not the kinds of ideas that pop up with a handful of experts in a few hours.  The thought is this...  What if ideas, even half-formed ones, could meet up in space and recombine with other ideas to form new ones?  What if this conversation engaged more stakeholders and tolerated more excursions?  Ultimately, what if this conversation became so rich and compelling that, instead of restraining the debate, it actually enlarged the universe of possibilities?

Do you want in??


(Click on the image above to get your pre-game brief!)


The Navy has moved towards an Optimized Fleet Response Plan (O-FRP).  O-FRP blends quality of work and quality of life with better stability and predictability in deployment schedules. This will return a sense of normalcy to a sailor's schedule by balancing the sailor's family life  and increasing retention rates.

We want to align with the higher maintenance requirements demanded by this increased O-FRP.  To help position our entire maintenance corporation (air, public and private maintenance centers) to be ready for O-FRP, the CNO directed an exhaustive analysis to be conducted in  2014.  The conclusions were not necessarily surprising, but did alert leadership that only working on issues related to how we manage the scope, cost, quality and schedule of our availabilities would not produce a noticeable or sustainable change. What the analysis did show was   the absolute critical need to position ourselves for a more progressive command climate.  But this is not easy. Several root barriers stand in the way, giving us a wicked problem.

What are the factors to the Wicked problem (3 Riptides):

The big underlying factors to the wicked problems are like riptides, hard to find and very dangerous.  We have three ‘riptides' that we are asking you to work on.


DRIVER:  A value for action and activity over learning and improvement


  • Prevalence of conversations that are cast in terms of win-lose, rather than a team pursuit of what is best
  • Continually looping on the plan-do part of the plan-do-study-act cycle of learning
  • Culture of scarcity, NOT a culture of affordability

Round 2: RECOGNIZING (and therefore rewarding) THE ACTION, NOT THE RESULTS

DRIVER:  A culture of compliance and control that relies on an overabundance of audits and inspections and drives "check the box" expectations


  • Feeds a culture with the belief that it is better to be busy than to be productive
  • Perception of lack of accountability
  • Culture of scarcity, NOT a culture of affordability


DRIVER: The desire to fix the ‘problem' by selecting the correct answer versus exploring choices with high or low leverage.


  • Bandaging situations with make-work rather than systems improvements.  This erodes our  ability to do what is referred to as systems thinking
  • Continually being trapped on the learning disability of "fixation on events"
  • Acceptance of rework rather than improvement
  • Culture of looking for more resources, NOT a culture of affordability

This is your mission, if you choose to accept it:

We need a wickedly good idea.

This will only be possible after we surface, blend, combine, morph and integrate thousands of ideas.  Yes, thousands of ideas.

This is NOT a command climate survey, a satisfaction survey or a way to vent your frustrations.  mmowgli is forward focused.  This is a way to spawn, grow, and connect ideas about what needs to be, what could be, and what might be.

The Game Masters will set in motion two complementary waves of creative thinking, a sort of yin and yang approach.  One is an individual approach (yin) and the other is a system approach (yang).  We need both.

You are encouraged to contribute as many ideas to either, or both, as your creativity stirs you.  If you are stumped for an idea, we encourage you to adapt, counter, expand and challenge other players' ideas.  Throughout the game, we will be publishing a blog to highlight cool ideas and active conversations.  Game Masters will keep you apprised on how to move from Round to Round.

This webpage will not self-destruct in 5 seconds...


Interested players can create a game account on Monday, 26 October at 1200 EST/ 0900 PST https://mmowgli.nps.edu/riptide

After registration, the game can be played on any web browser.