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Dodging Gaugamela Three Ways in Which We Invite Catastrophe - and How to Stop Doing So

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I've been chewing on this since it was posted--I find myself returning to it several times a day. I'm not prepared to argue with a single word of that paper. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a retiree--but, recent enough to have seen, more or less, all of the factors the author mentions.

My question is simply: why?? Is the author (and a large portion--a majority in my experience--of his peers) simply wrong, nothing to see here, move along? As waltopfor said, many of these things are discussed on BODN, so I guess we're all delusional, too in that case. Is it really so impossible for todays CGOs & FGOs to retain that impression when they make the GO ranks? (While I take Blair's point, I don't believe that 100% of those promoted are the "yes men.") Of course, it was several years ago (as many as 15 or so?) when I first started to hear inklings of this line of thought--so the "today's" FGOs of that timeframe have either departed the service or have become today's GOs....

Or, as I'm becoming more convinced, does the time literally never come when the officer who feels this way gets promoted "enough," to a position where he "can do something about it"? Is the only thing worse than our current system of, say, performance reports every other possible system? How can this issue of ingrained bureaucracy & "yes men" (the proverbial self-licking ice cream cone) be fixed, if those at the bottom are powerless with an ever-increasing tendency to centralized control (no one makes a decision) and those at the top are predominantly those who believe in the system ("it worked for them") and/or cannot effect the system-wide changes needed, despite their high rank??

That's the more interesting question to me. I think the point that there's a problem, as laid out far more eloquently in this paper but discussed informally in every corner of the AF, is made, and I haven't heard any serious rebuttal from any corner.

What now?? I have no idea, but I sincerely hope my successors are more successful than my own meager (and largely meaningless) attempts going forward....

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Certainly a well written and thought provoking piece!

I suspect there are plenty of people out there who can come up with improvements, but I fear they are either not offering their solutions or they don't have enough "mass" of advocacy to actually change things.
...or we just keep "fixing" things until they are so screwed up by new issues that we "fix" them by going back to the old systems.

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Wow.  That was a really great read and spot-on.  Can we send a leather-bound copy to Gen Welsh?

 

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