Don Vandergriff

If you were going to bring our current Civil War-era U.S. Army into the 20th Century (never mind the 21st), where would you start?

For Don Vandergriff, the answer has always lain with the personnel system. After decades of crying in the wilderness, Vandergriff retired in 2005 and immediately expanded his influence. TRADOC - the Army's Training and Doctrine Command - hired him (through a consultancy) to shape its young leaders.

Personally, I think that when you create "adaptive" leaders (as he calls them) and place them at the disposal of a 19th Century hierarchy and its rigid bureaucratic value system, that system will exploit "adaptiveness" to pile on more rules, more controls, more formal process. By creating "adaptives," you increase the red tape coping mechanisms that will facilitate even more red tape.

This effect is the natural complement to the tendency to use new technology in the service of the same 19th Century value system.

So it seems to me. But judge for yourselves.