The purpose of this paper is to draw a metaphorical parallel between a pilot in the cockpit of the latest, ultra‐modern US fighter F22 and that of a chief executive officer (CEO) managing his corporation in responding to global competitive challenges.
This paper is inspired by the embedded, “system of systems (SoS) thinking” in the text of the very ancient Chinese Art of War by Sun Tzu. The approach here is to illustrate how such a 2,500‐year‐old thinking may be applied through the emerging discipline of SoS. For designing a CEO‐responsive, informative system, the innovations in designing the cockpit for a pilot in the latest US fighter jet, F22, is utilized.
Today's corporate world management has, in the past, drawn heavily from the military (for example, operations research). Whilst there is a vast difference between the pilot's cockpit in an F22 and the lap‐top of the CEO, the need for deadly accurate, often reflexive decisions is the same. It is becoming a fact of business life that speed of deadly accurate responses is necessary to ensure the survival of corporations, especially for firms operating in rapidly changing technologies, or top executives who have to cope effectively with informatively intensive yet fast changing environments, such as in the financial markets.
This paper illustrates how it is still possible for managers to draw inspirations in designing corporate systems through examples taken from the military. Sun Tzu drew inspirations on organizing for flexibility by observing and thus grasping the essential nature of water. Similarly, it may be useful to draw parallels in innovative design of an F22 pilot's cockpit for the CEO or managers having to make fast yet deadly responses.
Teck Foo, C. (2009), "Implementing Sun Tzu's
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