Old brass for new

An interesting starter on The Strategist yesterday – I tend to not do much blogging on the weekend due to being at the tight end of the Telecom ISP straw, no broadband for us, and coping with visiting family, TTT and builders – my response to which is below (with typos etc corrected).
“If there is ONE enduring lesson, it is that none of this is new – bits and pieces may fade in and out of favour but the basic themes endure…IMHO the writings of Clausewitz, Jomini, Napoleon (interpreted perhaps through the Maxims), etc are as topical today as they ever were…what we are constantly seeing, just as the leadership ‘manuals’ discussed the other week, is old (but still good) brass being polished up and presented as new…

Principles and rules are not necessarily things that relate to right/wrong or good/bad in a moral sense but are examples of distilled wisdom (Sun Tsu being an example of watered-down viffle-vaffle) and guidance that one is not bound to follow but which should be disregarded with care and caution…

So far as MBA v leader officers, maybe there should be an accompanying correlation between states of war/peace at the time that each type had precedence – I would argue (as I did on the CAC COIN blog last week if anyone is interested) that when the rubber hits the road and actual war breaks out, metrics-focussed leaders are a rare breed indeed. They may have a number-crunching staff but that is management and neither leadership nor command…

…of course, you need real war to prove that…”

I really feel quite strongly on this one as I connect it with the ongoing thrust towards metrics where such things do not exist and can not be accurately or honestly invented. If we invest resources in training the military to develop and then apply their professional judgement based upon their training and experience, then why do we persist in trying to second-guess them through a consultants and analysts lacking that very experience and judgement?

Maybe this resource would be better applied to metricising the Reserve Bank or other agents of the Government who seem equally dependent on chicken entrails or training and experience to predict the future and develop policy and courses of action.

What we really need is less number-crunchers and more command and leadership…a drive towards developing an ethos and culture based upon leadership and comand in those agencies still focussed (very Third Wave-like) on management and metrics…

Mancave update: left it up on jacks last night after an uneventful move – didn’t blow over or get washed away in last night’s storm.

Warning for South Island drivers: be on the look out for an old blue Bedford flat deck heading south on SH1 – Carmen has her first truck delivery job and is heading for Gorrrre this week…Update: This is now hurtling across the wastelands of the Canterbury Plains at speeds approaching 60km/h

Bill the Bedford

1 thought on “Old brass for new

  1. Nice truck. If the sale falls at the last minute let us know. Storage would be a problem … but I would have enjoyed driving it to work. Not green (as cf to the Barina) I know.


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