The governor,(mayor,president, congressman, etc) appoints a handful of representatives to a special panel. The panel consists of opposing sides of the debate including a sample from the extremists, the largest organizations and key industry stakeholders. The governor's staff arranges scores of one-on-one meetings with lobbyists and ends up pushing the perfect policy that is not good for anyone but is a huge political success for the governor.
The scenario is a sample of leveraging "Information and Decision Superiority". The challenge is to exploit these same dynamics without relying on a "center" point.
In many context (medical, shipping, logistics, business, military) one of the key driving factors behind network-centric approaches is to provide "Information and Decision Superiority" to as many people working with your team as possible. In general, the goal is to provide field staff with accurate awareness of the context they are working in. The reason that it is a "driving factor" is because a big part of network-centric development is about leveraging communication "pipes" to move awareness to the people that need it. The front line.
It is also essential that as "managers" are removed and control is decentralized more participants need to improve their awareness of the context and access key information so they can make better choices.
In traditional models, managers are important because they make better decisions based on "experience" and "judgement". They need to do this because the full picture is not available. In a very simple way managers gain "decision superiority" because they have access to hidden information and trends from related scenarios.
Lockheed Martin defines it as "getting the right information to commanders and warfighting forces on the battlefield, when they need it, and in formats they can use"...."Information Superiority has, in rapid fashion, become the critical means by which our forces gain situational awareness and decisive strategic advantage. It has changed our perceptions of command and control, giving way to Decision Superiority - adding "speed of decision" into the information process. The combination of the two - Information and Decision Superiority - empowers our commanders to make faster and better decisions than their opponents, and strike with speed and precision to end the fight." These concepts are tied to the success of network-centric approach. In a leaderful movement that lacks true command and control each participant needs to see the entire landscape so they can apply their resources to make the most impact. "Information and Decision Superiority" is a key concept for our coalitions.
Do these concepts translate to advocacy contexts? Are they important to advocacy? What is the translation in our work? How do environmentalists working on a sprawl campaign gain "Information and Decision Superiority" over those that want to rezone wildlands?
Every field worker, spokesperson, fundraiser, door knocker, phone banking volunteer needs to have access to the entire picture including the weaknesses of the campaign, polling, key contacts, media lists, vote counts, power maps, opposition research, talking points, budgets, and the way each activity fits into the larger strategy. They need to know who to call when they are in a crunch. They also need a live feed of who needs their help and when.
The strategy is to capture key information in course of typical workflow processes. The second part of the strategy is to make the information available via secure channels to trusted allies.
The goal is to enable more of the participants to "connect the dots" so that volunteers, staff and funders make intelligent and individual decisions on the way they spend time and effort.