ARNSF features features presentation on change management through the lens of WWI

Col. (Ret.) Rolly Dessert provides a presentation on change management using the historical backdrop of Gen. John J. Pershing's efforts to organize the U.S. Army for World War I during the Arter-Rowland National Security Forum luncheon event on Jan. 18, 2024, at the Carriage Club in Kansas City.The CGSC Foundation’s Simons Center kicked off the new year with an Arter-Rowland National Security Forum luncheon event on Jan. 18, 2024, at the Carriage Club in Kansas City.

Col. (Ret.) Rolly Dessert provides a presentation on change management using the historical backdrop of Gen. John J. Pershing's efforts to organize the U.S. Army for World War I during the Arter-Rowland National Security Forum luncheon event on Jan. 18, 2024, at the Carriage Club in Kansas City.

(Top photo and above) Col. (Ret.) Rolly Dessert provides a presentation on change management using the historical backdrop of Gen. John J. Pershing’s efforts to organize the U.S. Army for World War I during the Arter-Rowland National Security Forum luncheon event on Jan. 18, 2024, at the Carriage Club in Kansas City.

Simons Center Director Bob Ulin welcomed the ARNSF members and welcomed guests. After lunch, he introduced the guest speaker Col. (Ret.) Rolly Dessert. Dessert provided the group with a presentation on “Managing Change in a Complex Environment” using the lens of General John J. Pershing in World War I. Pershing built the American Expeditionary Force from the U.S. Army of 141,000 to a combat force of more than 4 million and led it to victory over the German Army in only 18 months.

Using Pershing’s experiences as the backdrop, Dessert walked the members of the forum through managing change by:

• Establishing a sense of urgency in the face of crisis and opportunity
• Getting the right people to work together as a team to lead change
• Creating and communicating a vision to help direct the change effort
• Empowering broad-based action by changing systems and eliminating obstacles

After the presentation and a question and answer period, Ulin presented Dessert with a new CGSC/Simons Center coffee mug in appreciation for his time with the Forum. Ulin closed out the luncheon with a short brief about the schedule for future gatherings of the Forum.

For more photos see the CGSC Foundation Flickr album


Col. (Ret.) Rolly DessertColonel (Retired) Rolly Dessert served more than 28 years in the U.S. Army with assignments in armor and cavalry units. He served on the faculty at the U.S. Military Academy; in the Office of the Army Chief of Staff; and as commander, 4th Battalion, 64th Armor. He participated in a War College fellowship at the School of Advanced Military Studies. He was the commander, U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Leavenworth and retired from active service in August 1999. In retirement, Dessert was president of the Leavenworth Catholic Schools; senior associate at Booz Allen Hamilton; president of Henry Leavenworth Chapter of AUSA; and member of the University of Saint Mary board of trustees.

Dessert is a facilitator and executive coach for Academy Leadership, a leadership development firm. He has joined several Academy Leadership colleagues in writing a soon-to-be-published book entitled Follow Me Leadership: Lessons from Graduates of the U.S. Service Academies.


The Arter-Rowland National Security Forum (ARNSF) is led by the CGSC Foundation’s Simons Center and is an exclusive professional information sharing and networking forum for those interested in keeping abreast of relevant information about national security issues.

Members of the Forum and their guests meet periodically at guest speaker events in downtown Kansas City. National and regional guest speakers representing all elements of national power (Diplomatic, Informational, Military and Economic) highlight the meetings. The Forum is nonpartisan, but elected government officials may present from time to time.

The Forum is named after Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Robert Arter, Founding Chairman of the CGSC Foundation, and Mr. Landon Rowland, the Foundation’s first major donor who was well-known in Kansas City for his keen interest in national security issues and his leadership in business and philanthropy.

ARNSF events are only open to ARNSF members and their guests. If you are not a member but are interested in joining, contact Bob Ulin at rulin@cgscf.org or visit the Forum page on the Simons Center website for more information.

The Arter-Rowland National Security Forum is an exclusive professional information sharing
and networking forum exclusively for select invitees of the CGSC Foundation and its Simons Center.

CGSC Foundation and Simons Center logos placed horizontally left to right


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