U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) is one of nine Unified Combatant Commands of the U.S. armed forces. Its responsibilities combine a legacy nuclear assurance and deterrence mission with responsibility for space and cyberspace control across a global domain. The arrival of a new Commander in November 2016, requirements to reduce the Command’s workforce, pressure to lower spending, and a planned transfer to a new headquarters facility in 2019, all present operational difficulties, as well as platforms for innovation and change management. Considering this context, USSTRATCOM invited SIPA to research and propose solutions to some of its most persistent management-related challenges. Specifically, this study used the social value investing framework to examine private sector principles from finance and business that could be adapted to help modernize USSTRATCOM’s operations.
Building on a bold agenda for innovation established by General John E. Hyten in his Commander's Vision and Intent document, this report identified four goal areas that would enable USSTRATCOM to fully incorporate innovation into its processes, practices, and outcomes. The Capstone team recommended that USSTRATCOM:
1. Create a workforce and culture supportive of innovation,
2. Improve strategic readiness through an increased use of wargaming,
3. Cultivate and leverage the Command’s reputation, and
4. Expand engagement with outside partners and leverage their resources and expertise.
As the product of research and discussions with academics, practitioners, and staff across all USSTRATCOM directorates, this Capstone report provided insights on each goal area, coupled with recommendations for specific actions that chart a path to achieve desired outcomes.