There’s More Than One Way To Skin A Cat

I’ve lost count of the number of managers or consultants I’ve come across who claim to have a secret “rocket sauce” that’s going to make a big difference to each and every business they touch.  Go in to a selection of consulting websites and more often than not you’ll see a specific methodology, outlined in a series of clunky coloured boxes, that’s supposedly unique and is going to save the world, so to speak.

Tom Peters regards Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” as the best project management manual he’s come across and I’d agree.  Published in 1971 this political science classic outlines what it is to organise in order to attain and wield power successfully.  Given that the really hard work on projects is always the people stuff, Alinsky’s book is probably of more benefit to a project manager in the long run than the Prince 2 manual or any of the trite click bait articles that appear on websites like Fast Company.

Alinsky was a leading community organiser of the poor and powerless in US cities in the ‘40s and ‘50s and his methods are cited as having had a major influence on both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.   It’s a stonker of a read for people involved in getting things done at any level in life and I often return to it for a browse before I start a new project.  How about this for a whopper of a quote:

“I detest and fear dogma.  I know that all revolutions must have ideologies to spur them on.  That in the heat of conflict these ideologies tend to be smelted into rigid dogmas claiming exclusive possession of the truth, and the keys to paradise, is tragic.  Dogma is the enemy of human freedom.  Dogma must be watched for and apprehended at every turn and twist of the revolutionary movement.  The human spirit glows from that small inner light of doubt whether we are right, while those who believe with complete certainty that they possess the right are dark inside and darken the world outside with cruelty, pain, and injustice.”

So, where am I going with this?  Well, there’s always more than one way to skin a cat, and as long as you behave yourself, tell good stories, and deliver great results your clients aren’t going to give two hoots about your methods.

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Ryan Paetzold of chaosdesignorder – I Am Designer

Ryan Paetzold is of a rare breed. He’s a South African who isn’t at all

Ryan Paetzold
Ryan Paetzold

interested in rugby. Why? – “It’s just not that exciting man.” Maybe this need for excitement led him to eschew an obvious career path in engineering for the more colourful and creative world of industrial design.
If excitement was on his mind, he certainly picked an “interesting” time to arrive on these shores, with an economy on the verge of tipping into the abyss, along with a level of uncertainty unseen in Ireland for almost a generation. Hailing from Boksburg, Johannesburg, Ryan grew up in a turbulent era in South African history, and as a result was largely inured to the turmoil that engulfed the rest of us in 2008. He took the plunge into Irish life, found that he loved the place, and got on with it.

2008 was hardly a good time to arrive in Ireland. Why come here?
Well I grew up in a South Africa which was crippled with embargos, sanctions, and race riots. It was a very hard time, but one that gives perspective to what has happened here since the crash. I went to a multi-racial Christian Brother’s College. Every year on June 16th – the anniversary of the Soweto riots, which claimed 176 lives in 1976 – the black students would remain on campus overnight, or were hosted by ‘white’ families, in order to avoid being caught up in the inevitable violence in their townships. That’s what I grew up with, and I reckon that when times are hard and there are restrictions, well you just suck it up.
One of the main reasons why I came here was because of love I suppose. My wife is Irish, and I’ve always found the country incredibly beautiful. I could have gone to the UK I suppose, but I fell in love with this place, and the quality of life here is second to none.

Do you miss South Africa?
Johannesburg has quite a reputation, and I don’t miss the madness of the place. I do miss the open spaces, the sunsets, the smell of rain, the thunderstorms. There’s a certain electricity about Johannesburg that’s unique to the place.

Would you ever return there to live?
No, I wouldn’t go back. I made a life choice which has worked out pretty well for me. I wanted to be closer to Europe because of its variety. I also wanted to be closer to the things I studied, and there are a lot more business opportunities for an industrial designer in Europe than there are in South Africa.
When did Ryan the Designer emerge?
Well I come from a very mechanically-able background. My great-Grandfather was a horticulturist, as is my Uncle. My Grandfather ran a bone meal company, and my Dad runs a specialist concrete surfacing company. I essentially grew up with either a spanner or screwdriver in my hand, and I was always digging, fiddling, repairing, building or taking something apart.
It was inevitable that I would do something along the engineering / design spectrum, but I stumbled on my calling as an industrial designer by chance. I was on my way to lodge my application for the four-year engineering degree at the local university when I bumped into Bennet O’Connor, an old friend, who told me all about the industrial design course he was studying. It sounded like it had a mix of everything that interested me; colour, form, ergonomics, model making, and a lot more creativity than what I would get from a career in engineering.

What happened after university?
I initially set up my own design shop which didn’t work out, so I went to work for Genius Loci Architecture. Before moving to Ireland I worked for the Brand Union, who have an office in Johannesburg. This was my introduction to how design fits into the commercial environment. It’s one thing designing something beautiful, but it has to be commercially viable. We would execute a brief according to what the client wanted, but there were many occasions when our work would help the client design a proposition that was new to the marketplace. I found that very rewarding.

How have you evolved as a designer?
My design path has changed quite a bit since I arrived here. In South Africa my focus was very architectural and interior oriented, with a lot of retail, shop fitting, signage design and branding. The Irish economy nose-dived when I originally arrived in 2008, and that type of work disappeared as a lot of architects went out of business. I needed to change my focus. As a 3D designer you have a varied set of skills that can be applied across a number of domains, and I took those skills and began to apply them in the digital fields of new technology and motion graphics.

What’s the Irish design scene like?
It’s varied and vibrant! You have a very strong craft and manufacturing heritage in this country. There is everything from glass to metalwork, and jewellery to printmaking. Whenever I’ve attended design and craft shows in Dublin or Kilkenny I’ve been literally showered with information whenever I’ve enquired about where and how certain things are made. For me, being able to meet and chat with the likes of Saba Jewellery, and Roger Bennett Woodturning is brilliant and inspirational.
I’ve yet to meet a designer or artisan and receive a cold shoulder. Also, there is some extremely impressive animation and film coming out of Ireland. Check out the cool work from the likes of Cartoon Saloon, Brown Bag Films, and Windmill Lane.

Which projects are you most proud of?
I’m proud of all my work, but a few projects stick out. I had a lot of fun designing the medal for last year’s Dublin City Triathlon. In fact, when we were handing the medals out afterwards, I heard one girl say that the medal was the main reason why she did the race. I’m a member of Piranha Triathlon Club, who organise the race. I generated a digital model of the club logo and 3D printed it. I sent the files off to a manufacturer in China who then produced the medals and shipped them back.
The project I’m most proud of though goes back to my university days. In third year I designed a product for a woman who was quadriplegic with very limited movement. Transfer boards help people with disabilities to move from a wheel chair to, say, a car, and back again. They don’t look like much, but they are a very important part of a quadriplegic’s life. All the transfer boards available on the market at the time were made from heavy and cumbersome ply board that was 12mm to 15mm thick, with a sham fit edge. Believe it or not, anything that thick is akin to climbing Mount Everest for someone with little or no motor function. Funnily enough I have a mad fetish for composite and carbon fibre textiles. It’s magic plastic that you can do anything with, and I designed her transfer board using it. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever designed.

DCT Medals. Photograph: James Shelley
DCT Medals. Photograph: James Shelley

Which Designers do you most admire?
Inspiration comes from everywhere – I recently watched a video of Jean Paul Gaultier interviewing Lady Gaga, which gave an awesome insight into fashion, performance, and attitudes. Philippe Starck has always been on the top of the pile for me, as his design is really beautiful and all-encompassing. He’s designed everything from an iconic juicer to hotels.
I like the Australian designer Mark Newson’s clean style. Anything produced by the team at Italian design house, Alessi, is always worth looking at. In the world of moving images I enjoy the work of Paul Clement. He really got the juices flowing with the work he did for the Ministry of Sound. Andrew Kramer’s work on After Effects was excellent. Likewise, the work of Greyscalegorilla, hellolux, and Pariah Studios is very impressive – the list is long

orig-CRFZ2382
Ryan In Action At Challenge Roth 2014

Outside of design what are your interests?
Bicycles!!! Bicycles!!! Bicycles!!! I’ve had a bike since I was four. I raced mountain bikes in school and I am currently trying to be a triathlete. I completed the 2014 Challenge Roth Ironman event in murderously hot conditions and am currently training for this year’s National Series.

Have you brought your design expertise to bikes yet?
No, but it’s on my list. I’m in the middle of upgrading a new 3D printer. Once I can produce stuff repeatedly, and with the same result, I’ll start realising the designs I have rolling around in my head.

Music?
I got the Silversun Pickups latest long player, Neck of the Woods, over Christmas, and it’s really good. They remind me of Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins. I like my grunge and metal, hence I love bands like Pearl Jam and Black Sabbath. In fact, I caught Black Sabbath in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast last year.

TV?
Big Bang Theory

Film?
I loved Guardians of the Galaxy and Interstellar. A friend recommended Pacific Heights, Tootsie, and The Sting the other day, and I’m going to try to get my hands on them. My all-time favourites are The Deer Hunter, A Clockwork Orange, Blade Runner, and The Godfather Trilogy. I recently picked up the Godfather Director’s cut edition, with includes a previously omitted intermission.

Thanks for your time Ryan!

http://www.chaosdesignorder.com

@ryanpaetzold

So Why Do Most Change Projects Fail?

index
William Goldman

It’s almost two decades since I completed my primary degree.  During that time  I’ve read countless articles explaining why the majority of change projects fail.  The common wisdom back in the mid-90s was that about a third of them succeeded, and that figure seems to hold firm today.  Of course it’s a complex process and very difficult to sustain- even with the use of Heinkel bombers and Panzer tanks…just ask Adolf, Heinrich and Josef about that one.

The Irrational Side of Change Management which appeared in the McKinsey quarterly in 2009 is one of the better ones I’ve read.  It’s also always worth citing that well-known passage from The Prince where Machiavelli lays out the pitfalls of political and social change – “There is nothing more difficult to plan, more uncertain of success and more difficult to manage” due to those losing out being incandescent in their opposition and those who are proponents of the change being unsure as to how they will benefit.

But for a bit of fun maybe it’s worthwhile having a look at what screenwriter William Goldman said in his classic memoir Adventures in the Screen Trade (1983).  In the section on studio executives and their poor run rates when trying to pick screen plays guaranteed to translate into box office gold he says the following:

NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING.  If there is a Roman numeral I to this book, that’s it…Again for emphasis- NOBODY KNOWS ANTHING.  Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work.  Every time out it’s a guess- and, if you’re lucky, an educated one…Did you know that Raiders of the Lost Ark was offered to every single studio in town- and they all turned it down? All except Paramount.  Why did Paramount say yes? Because nobody know anything.  And why did all the other studios say no?  Because nobody knows anything.  And why did Universal, the mightiest studio of all, pass on Star Wars, a decision that just may cost them, when all the sequels and spinoffs and toy money and book money and video-game money are totaled, over a billion dollars?  Because nobody, nobody – not now, not ever – knows the least goddam thing about what is or isn’t going to work at the box office…David Picker, a fine studio executive for many years, once said something to this effect: ‘If I had said yes to all the projects I turned down, and no to all the ones I took, it would have worked out about the same.'”

Ouch

Low Cost at What Cost?

Anyone who wants to write a book on Service Innovation or indeed improve their own services would do well to keep an eye on Tyler Brulé’s  The Fast Lane column, which appears every Saturday in the Financial Times.  In a piece called “The High Price of Low-Cost” he slams both Lufthansa and Air France-KLM  for launching low cost spin offs and muses on the resulting damage to their brands.

“I fear this will force more passengers into a joyless experience that does nothing to win loyalty and competes purely on price.  Managers at European airlines tend to shrug and suggest that offering less for less is the only way forward .  This however is not a strategy, and nor is it a sustainable business model.  Good brands compete by innovating with their products and services and turning customers into loyal emissaries.  Short-sighted companies risk the possibility of destroying their brand altogether.”

With this in mind I wonder if companies who outsource services ever muse on the potential damage that they are doing to their own brands.  I appreciate that it makes sense for companies to outsource when they do not have the internal capability and there’s a new process involved.  When a company outsources an already existing process the outsourcing partner rarely comes up with a process that, in the customers eyes, is an obvious improvement regardless of the potentially superior technology involved.  In most instances they merely “lift and shift.”  The push for lower cost merely leads to more of the same, with virtually no commitment to any form of innovation.

Learning from General Petraeus (Part 3)

The “customer experience” approach was necessary if the U.S. army were ever going to get the Iraqi people to trust them.  It’s an approach that goes back a long way as Jean Larteguy’s novel The Centurions illustrates.  The novel focuses on the experience of a number of French officers captured by the Vietminh at Dien Bein Phu in 1954.  According to Thomas Powers the French had a similar approach to the Americans in that “they believed that firepower, mobility, and professional soldiering would beat any ragtag army of guerrillas.  But Pierre Raspeguy, the hero of The Centurions if there is one, listened to the Vietminh in Camp One and absorbed their rule number one. “You’ve got to have the people on your side,” he said, “if you want to win a war.”

The People Are the Prize

In The Insurgents Fred Kaplan tells a story that describes the typical U.S. army officer mindset prior to Petraeus’s ascent. During a TheCenturions_covertraining exercise carried out in 1991 a captain and his officers were to enter a village in order to capture a sniper who had killed one of the soldiers.  “The captain had decided to accomplish this mission by storming the village before daylight, guns cocked, pounding down doors, dragging the local men out of their houses, locking them in handcuffs, and interrogating them harshly, all while their families watched in horror.  Of course he came up with nothing.”  When the British officer carrying out the review informed him that his approach was the type that alienates people and creates more insurgents the captain blurted “Lookit!…My job is not to deal with this people thing!  My job is to kill the enemy.”  It was an approach that was apparent on the ground during the first four years of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. General Jack Keane, one of Petraeus’s main sponsors, said as much to General Ray Odierno on the outskirts of a cordoned off village in 2003: “What’s going on here Ray? We’re breeding an insurgency here.  We’ve got to see the people as part of the solution.”

While an organisational change project is nowhere near as messy as trying to counter insurgency it’s noteworthy how many of them falter as they disregard the people involved.  Throughout the course of my own career I’ve seen change initiatives falter and peter out as a result of an arrogant “Let’s Invade Poland and show them who knows best” mentality that gives little or no consideration to those on the ground.  If leaders do not have the foresight and skill to build up a groundswell of opinion across the board that what they wish to do is a good thing for all concerned they are in trouble and can expect their own little insurgencies.

Present Shock

Continuing with the organisational change theme many change managers will be aware that nowadays with shorter business cycles and executives focused on delivering good news to the City or Wall Street every quarter there is little or no focus on delivery in the medium or long term.  There seems to be no focus on the future, it’s now or nothing.

Media theorist Douglas Rushkoff traces the shift in focus from the future to the present to the “anti-climax of the  Millenium.”  In the recently published Present Shock (2013) he tells us that “something did shift that night as we went from years with 19’s to those with 20’s.  All the looking forward slowed down.  The leaning into the future became more of standing up to the present.  People stopped thinking about where things were going and started to consider where things were…In the financial world, for example, an investment’s future value began to matter less than its current value.  Just ten weeks into the millennium, the major exchanges were peaking with the tech-heavy and future-focused NASDAQ reaching its all-time high, over 5,100 points.  Then the markets started down – and have never quite recovered.  Although this was blamed on the dot.com bubble, the market’s softening had nothing to do with digital technologies actually working (or not) and everything  to do with a larger societal shift away from future expectations and instead toward current value.  When people stop looking to the future, they start looking at the present.  Investments begin to matter less for what they might someday be worth, because people are no longer thinking so much about “someday” as they are today.”

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Present Shock

In their own way some members of the U.S. army seemed to be aware of this phenomenon and were able to relate it to their own precarious situation in Iraq.  Major Joel Rayburn , who served under Petraeus acolyte and counterinsurgency enthusiast H.R. McMaster in Tal Afar in 2005, is credited with this gem: “You know, house guests are like fish…They stink after two or three days.  We’ve been in Iraq for three years now, and we’re starting to stink.”  Petraeus supported this militaristic version of present shock when he stressed that “every army of liberation has a half-life before it becomes an army or occupation.”

A globalised and social media dominated society exacerbates this sense of present shock.  In The Accidental Guerilla David Kilcullen describes this phenomenon when he writes of the impossibility for governments and organisations to achieve “message unity” due to the fact that “under globalised conditions the media space is a domain, an ecosystem, or even a battle space, filled with dozens of independent, uncoordinated, competing, and conflicting entities rather than a single actor or audience…almost all of them outside the control of governments and media corporations.”

Long-Term Commitment

This need for an almost immediate impact must be balanced against an equally important need to demonstrate long term commitment as the population are unlikely to support the counterinsurgent unless they are sure that he is going to hang around until it’s all over.   The population are worried about retribution for collaboration with the occupier.  The dilemma was spelled out by one intelligence officer in Iraq when he said “we secure a town but after we leave, some of our informants are killed by the insurgents; that is a problem.”

David Gallula
David Gallula

Lieutenant Colonel David Gallula served in China, Greece, Indochina, and Algeria for the French Army.  His book Counterinsurgency Warfare is regarded as a classic of the genre.  Here he describes the dilemma encountered by the occupied population as both insurgent and counterinsurgent battle for hearts and minds.

“Contact with the population, is actually the first confrontation between the two camps for power over the population.  The future attitude of the population, hence the probable outcome of the war, is at stake.  The counterinsurgent cannot afford to lose this battle…The battle happens because the population, which was until recently under the insurgent’s open control and probably still is under his hidden control through the existing political cells, cannot cooperate spontaneously even if there is every reason to believe that a majority is sympathetic to the counterinsurgent.”

For change managers it’s worth considering how to build trust in the communities they are working in and also how to protect those who support their initiatives, especially if the project is in danger of being shelved.

Dogma

Petraeus took command of operations in Afghanistan in July 2010.  This time he was unable to work the miracles he had in Iraq.  According to Fred Kaplan this  was down to the primitive nature of the country, which had a scattered and rural population which the corrupt Karzai government could only govern through political patronage, a primitive economy which arrested the rise of an entrepreneurial class, and a long border with Pakistan whose leaders were assisting the rules-for-radicalsinsurgency.  Kaplan points the finger at Petraeus for being over-prescriptive in the application of counterinsurgency doctrine when it really only was “a technique and not a grand strategy.”  Through hubris and inertia Petraeus, he feels, allowed the counterinsurgency doctrine to become a one-size-fits-all universal dogma.

How many leaders have ruined organisations or projects because of their overriding and toxic belief that there is only one way to get things done?  On that final note it’s worth remembering what the political activist Saul Alinsky said of dogma in Rules for Radicals (1971).

“I detest and fear dogma.  I know that all revolutions must have ideologies to spur them on.  That in the heat of conflict these ideologies tend to be smelted into rigid dogmas claiming exclusive possession of the truth, and the keys to paradise, is tragic.  Dogma is the enemy of human freedom.  Dogma must be watched for and apprehended at every turn and twist of the revolutionary movement.  The human spirit glows from that small inner light of doubt whether we are right, while those who believe with complete certainty that they possess the right are dark inside and darken the world outside with cruelty, pain, and injustice.”

Learning from General Petraeus (Part 2)

It’s incredible that the U.S. army still had the same culture in 2003 that it had at the end of the Vietnam war in 1975.  The soul searching that went on in its aftermath failed to address the fact that not all battles would fit the head-on conventional model that had existed in the leadership’s mindset since the end of the Second World War.

The Learning Organisation and Culture

In Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife (2002) John A. Nagl states that “the organisational culture of the U.S. army permitted no doubt Soupin the army’s leadership about the essence of the organisation: its core competence was defeating conventional armies in frontal combat.  The organisation never developed a consensus that change to its procedures and to its definition of its responsibilities was required by the nature of the revolutionary war it confronted in Vietnam.  An unshakable belief in the essence of the organisation precluded organisational learning and has continued to prevent the formation of a consensus on the “lessons of Vietnam” and on changes required to make the army more capable there and in future conflicts.”

How many organisations today are hamstrung with leaders who have mindsets that are not equipped to deal with faster business cycles, a seemingly endless need for change, an “always on”  consumer who wants an answer right now, and if he doesn’t get it, well you’ll “get it” on Twitter. A year ago I sat aghast when a business executive I had agreed to implement a social media strategy for told me that he only wanted to “tweet” twice a week, completely missing the “in the moment phenomenon” that is social media.  Can a leader of a “steady as she goes” utility adopt the frame of mind required to thrive at a fast moving and innovative telecommunications giant that may introduce a number of new products or services each month?

According to Nagl, due to adapting to the needs of its politicians for a flexible military in order to fight its imperial wars the “organisational culture of the British army allowed it to learn how to conduct a counterinsurgency campaign during the Malayan emergency, whereas the organisational culture of the U.S. army prevented a similar organisational learning process during and after the Vietnam war.”  He goes on to say that “military organisations that are unable to learn can substantially damage the ability of their states to influence the international system; the United States suffered appreciably during and after the Vietnam war because the military was unable to learn how to counter insurgency.”

The domino-like effect of General Petraeus’s remarkable career progression in the final quarter of his military career saw a change in army doctrine, a change in the profile of the people holding senior military positions, and finally a more “flexible and adaptive” military that could be classed as a learning organisation.  Maybe the building of more flexible organisations and governments requires a similar sequence of events.

T-Shaped People

The need for soldiers to have skills outside of the pure military domain was recognised as far back as 1945 when Rhodes scholar, Brigadier General George Arthur Lincoln wrote “I’m beginning to think that what we need is a type of staff officer with at least three heads – one political, one economic, and one  military.”  This would resonate decades later when Petraeus reasoned that he needed “pentathlete” soldiers who could carry out offensive, defensive and stability operations simultaneously.

IED_1260This “three-headed pentathlete” soldier is similar to the T-shaped person that IDEO CEO Tim Brown introduced in Change By Design (2009).  A T-shaped person is someone who develops a particular expertise and skill-set and then adds to it by developing a number of other skills to complement the core skill.  The core skill forms the shaft of the T while the complementary skills form the top of the T.  Speaking to Warren Berger, author of Glimmer (2009) Brown says that  “to respond to the complexity of design problems today…we’ve found that if someone has an enthusiasm or curiosity about many different subjects and disciplines, then they can be more flexible, more empathetic, and more engaged with the world.”   Petraeus with his military background and academic curiosity fits the T-shaped mould whereas General William Westmoreland clearly did not.  Westmoreland was not known to be a reader, and when asked what it took to defeat an insurgency answered with one word: “Firepower.”

Customer Experience

It may seem trite to compare the interaction between these T-shaped soldiers and the communities they are interacting with during an insurgency with the customer experience strategies pursued by many of today’s top service providers, but let’s take a closer look.

Organisations can no longer rely on routinely fulfilling a set number of requests with a small number of stock responses read off a crib sheet. Good companies that provide great service have recognised that there’s been a shift from passive consumption to active participation.  They  know they can no longer treat people as passive consumers.

Zappos is a shoe company that place its confidence in Autonomy over Technique.  Zappos doesn’t monitor its customer service Military Customer Experienceemployees’ call times or require them to use scripts.  The reps handle calls the way they want to.  Their job is to serve the customer, and how they do that is up to them.  The turnover at Zappos is minimal and although it’s still a young company Zappos consistently ranks as one of the best companies for customer service in the US ahead of better known names like Cadillac, BMW, and Apple, and roughly equal to brands like Jaguar and Ritz Carlton.  What Zappos is doing is part of a small but growing move to restore some measure of individual freedom in jobs usually known for the lack of it.

Four Seasons Hotels are famous for their quality of service as much as for the luxury of their properties.  They are also recognised within the industry for having a staff-training system in which staff members learn how to anticipate the needs of their customers and build on the ideas of their colleagues.  Creating an experience culture requires going beyond the generic to design experiences perceived as uniquely tailored to each customer.  Unlike a manufactured product or a standardised service an experience comes to life when it feels personalised and customised.  The designers in head office set the stage for the experience, but they cannot anticipate every opportunity.  This is why the training programme at Four Seasons includes improvisation rather than drilling the staff with prepared scripts.

This echoes with one of Lieutenant Colonel Conrad Crane’s paradoxes of counterinsurgency.  At a conference to promote the U.S. Army’s official Field Service Manual 3-24 on Counter-Insurgency operations Crane asserted that “’most important decisions are not made by generals (this is a block-by-block war; lieutenants and even corporals must make ‘strategic’ decisions – hence the importance of this manual).”  This was supported by a speech made by Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the convention of the Association of the United States Army shortly after he assumed control at the Pentagon.  Gates, according to Fred Kaplan, made the point that the “future of the army lay not with gold-plated weapons or sweeping tank manoeuvres but rather with some junior officer who’d struck deals with Arab sheiks.”

This piece looked at how the culture of organisations impacts on their ability to implement change, the need for multi-disciplinary people to cope with the frantic demands of today’s society, and how there are parallels between the customer experience movement and a counterinsurgent’s interaction with the  public.  Part three will deal with the final four lessons.