Best Defense

What the military could learn about mission command from General Motors

Like I said, I generally don’t think that the military should use business as a model. But there are exceptions in specific cases, especially on leadership of large organizations. Peter Drucker, one of the great thinkers about how corporations really work, in describing the Generals Motors of the 1940s, mentions that 95 percent of all ...

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Like I said, I generally don’t think that the military should use business as a model. But there are exceptions in specific cases, especially on leadership of large organizations.

Peter Drucker, one of the great thinkers about how corporations really work, in describing the Generals Motors of the 1940s, mentions that 95 percent of all decisions were left to the heads of the company’s various divisions. "Hence central management refrains as much as possible from telling a division how to do its job; it only lays down what to do."

Mission command, anyone?

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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