Originally Posted by Danke
...So instead of “Go to the woods, set up and secure a base, send out patrols, find the down aircraft and rescue the pilot, engage the rebel patrols, capture the rebel leader, find the dirty suitcase bomb, kill the bomb maker, recover the intel, rescue the princess, escort her to your base, call for an extraction, fight your way to your alternate, and so on” they will be told to got setup a secure base and that’s all. Once they do that they learn the next objective, and so on.
That's a great way to do things, IMO....and as said, if things go off script along the way you can adapt without people saying, "Well at the end we were supposed to extract at the plane, that's what you said....why did everyone else go to the old base at the last minute!?!?"
In regards of "knowing what's going on"...the want vs. need thing has been around as long as there's been a chain of command (business/mil/anything...). Everyone at some level wants to know the why and what's next, even if they don't need to know. Sometimes it's helpful...sometimes it's pointless...sometimes it's a real hinderance on keeping focus.
I think that it's up to the command structure to dole out what information they see fit. Doing so appropriately keeps people engaged while remaining on focus. It can certainly make their efforts seem valued and contributing to the whole (which is emotionally important to many).
One way to do that is to recap what's happened so far and to related how others' actions/efforts have enable this/that/other as a result. At a long overnight game we had a large number of guys sitting in fox holes all night, pairs of guys rotating through rest/guard/training duties. Word trickled down command that there was a DMZ enforced and that neither force were permitted to cross it for a certain period throughout the evening (safety being one reason). But to stiffle some of the "WTF is this!?!? I didn't sign up to sit around all night", "WTF is going on", etc...it didn't take much to do the rounds once in a while to check in on how eveyone was doing and relay tidbits. Starting out with, "How are you guys holding up? Need anything?" then "here's what's going on so far....."............"We have a recce group behind their lines looking of this/that"..."our advance group ran into a bunch of them by the bridge...they seem to be patrolling but not crossing into our area"..."our whole flank is secure because those guys have it locked down tight"...etc... Just that little bit went a long, long way with the guys...kept them on mission/engaged a bit more/valued... Didn't take long for a "Psst...message...." system to get going and it helped everyone make it through a very long and otherwise potentially very boring night.