Like in the movies…

In the movies, the Army is a well regulated organization, where people follow orders… Or maybe that’s just in the John Wayne movies that I grew up watching. Whatever the case, when I came to work for them, I anticipated that the headquarters would issue orders and the subordinates would carry them out. The reality is more like the headquarters making a suggestion and then frets, argues, and finally pleads for someone to do almost anything.

As hard as it is to believe, I’m not sitting around dreaming up ways to make people’s lives more difficult. I am, however, trying to come up with ideas that over the long term will make the organization more efficient and that will actually help people do their work smarter. There again is another assumption… That people have come to work to, you know, actually work. It’s possible that I’ve been misled there as well.

For the record, “because we’ve been doing it like that since 1974” isn’t a good enough reason to keep doing something. Seriously, it’s time for you ride off into the sunset and leave management to those who have had an original thought in the last quarter century.

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