Optimizing Performance in Mission-Critical Environments


At the upcoming Resource Planning Summit in Nashville, practitioners and thought leaders will gather to share best practices on how to improve resource planning and optimization. As I’ll discuss in my presentation and in this series of blog posts, a key part of optimizing resources is achieving high performance and being able to rapidly and effectively solve problems, especially in Mission-Critical environments.

Often, it appears to us that advice givers neglect circumstances that are characteristically different than normal, less than ideal, and indeed challenging and dangerous: that is, Mission-Critical. This we will intentionally not do.

The purpose of this article series is to explore new ideas and best practices pertaining to optimizing performance while operating in Mission-Critical environments, thereby achieving mission success.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to support the Elite Problem-Solving Community as well as those confronting serious challenges during the course of a business or military operation. Such support involves providing access to all relevant tools, models and algorithms designed to solve problems, optimize performance, and achieve mission success when operating in mission-critical environments or when confronted with mission-critical events.


Motto of the Elite Problem Solver



Why Do We Need Elite Problem Solvers?

Problem solving, and especially complex problem solving, has taken on a new dimension--It is no longer considered a “One-Off Event”. Indeed, it is now being considered a formal activity with its own set of skills, tools and methods, and is, quite unexpectedly, now considered the most important set of skills in the global job market. (World Economic Forum)

The issue of complexity and criticality presents enormous challenges for those uncomfortable with non-deterministic, higher-order reasoning. Such higher-order reasoning is essential if one desires to employ a rigorous, analytic approach to the formulation of viable solutions in an uncertain world, in which risk, and probabilities rule the day. Elite Problem Solvers equipped with “Higher-Order Reasoning Skills” is the solution when confronting complexity, uncertainty, and criticality threatening Mission Success.

Elite Problem Solvers

I am promoting the idea that elite problem-solving skills are a necessary component of any modern business model and must be made available to be able to successfully engage in that which is Mission-Critical. An enterprise operating in Mission-Critical environments, or confronting Mission-Critical Events, must be able to deploy Elite Problem Solvers capable of Higher-Order Reasoning & Critical Decision Making to those trouble spots requiring their expertise. It should be emphasized that because we live in a complex world, and normality is the exception-not the rule, complex problems are to be expected: So, preparation is key, and Elite Problem Solvers are an important resource for any organization.

Future Discussions

Now that the need for high level problem solving has been established, In future posts we will discuss how to develop, outfit and deploy your own set of Elite Problem Solvers. Meanwhile, view the video below for more on critical decision-making.

Kevin Smith.jpg

Captain Kevin M. Smith U. S. Navy (Ret.) has been involved in a number “Performance Optimization” initiatives including efforts to enhance performance of all Military Air Combat Flight Crews as well as improving problem solving performance of all Airline Pilots flying for American based companies. Both initiatives proved to be successful.

As a significant career milestone, Captain Smith was the Commander of the first deployed “Top Gun” Unit, and Commander of the top performing Squadron in the Pacific Fleet.

Captain Smith remains a noted Author, Speaker, and Design Consultant, with two books and two instructional videos in national distribution.