Jason Van Steenwyck has some comments about how businesses fail:
Here's a passage from a terrific book called The Warren Buffett Way, by Robert Hagstrom:
"The final justification for the institutional imperative is mindless imitation. If companies A, B, and C are behaving in a similar manner, then, reasons the CEO of company D, it must be all right for our company to behave the same way. It is not venality or stupidity, Buffett claims, that positions these companies to fail. Rather it is the institutional dynamics of the imperative that make it difficult to resist doomed behavior. Speaking before a group of Notre Dame students, Buffett displayed a list of thirty-seven failed investment banking firms. All of these firms, he explained, failed even though the volume of the New York Stock Exchange multiplied fifteenfold. These firms were headed by hard-working individuals with very high IQ's , all of whom had an intense desire to succeed. Buffett paused; his eyes scanned the room. " You think about that, " he said sternly. " How could they get a result like that? I'll tell you how, " he said, "mindless imitation of their peers."
Emphasis added for emphasis.
I might add that military officers, and those responsible for promoting them, should likewise take note.
We need a broad spectrum of military thought and leadership styles. We were not well served while kinetic thinkers ruled the officer corps while counterinsurgent theorists like Nagl and Petraeus were the exceptions and dissidents.
It's likely too easy to go overboard with Petraeusism, too. Petraeus seems like the right man in the right spot for this war.
But we have other wars to fight. And we need a diversity of opinion and approaches as well. Kineticism has not been discredited. We may well need to get uberkinetic on someone's ass very soon.
And what's beyond counterinsurgency? What's the post-Petraeus approach? Do we need to look at retirees from the Clinton era OOTW people? Is that the next phase in Iraq? Do we then gather our kinetics and our counter-I's? Do you pair kinetic commanders with counter-I deputy commanders? Can you synthesize them?