I heard a great phrase, the Army liaison officer to the White House, Col. Chris Hughes, saying on cable news, “we teach our young soldiers and officers how to think, not what to think.” From a quick Google search, this seems to be a common buzzphrase in the Army these days.
How ironic, considering the military is often used as an example of a “command and control” environment where the “grunts” (another military term often used other places) aren’t expected to think, just follow orders.
So many businesses and management systems are built around that idea (going back to Frederick Taylor). But it seems, more and more, the military doesn’t operate that way. Anyone with a military background care to comment?
Lean and the Toyota Production System are often described as a way of thinking. The U.S. Army is working on learning and using Lean methods. Interesting parallels, don’t you think?
Hughes is also the author of the book WAR ON TWO FRONTS: An Infantry Commander’s War in Iraq and the Pentagon.
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