Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Improvisation and initiative"

It's all about the transitions. What kind of political ideology is optimal for transition periods that require people to create new institutions and cultural practices? Our task is to innovate modes of thinking that will match the challenges of our time; to develop attitudes that will foster an enthusiasm for imaginative institution building.

The shift that is happening right now is that the people who insist on keeping the world as it was are going to get more and more frustrated until they lose their jobs. People who want to invent a whole new set of rules, a new paradigm, can’t believe their good fortune and how lucky they are that the people in the industry aren’t noticing an opportunity...

We not only face the challenge of crafting appropriate policies, but we also have to recognize that the organizational models that we have inherited were designed to develop and implement policies in different circumstances.

They're used to working in "networks of networks" with lots of individual responsibility. This is very encouraging. But State remains an extremely hierarchical, process-oriented organization that still more closely resembles GM in the 1950s than, say, Google today. This is stifling to the kinds of improvisation and initiative that we increasingly need and that, on the military side, COIN demands of even junior officers. So how do we change this?

How do we groom people for the kind of "improvisation and initiative that we increasingly need"?

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