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jerryking : institutional_memory   3

Captaincy - Peggy Noonan's Blog - WSJ
Aug 4, 2014 |WSJ| Peggy Noonan

There are [underlying] reasons for [the existence of the weirdest] traditions and arrangements [--but you have to ask questions to uncover them]. Sometimes they are good and sometimes not, but they are reasons, explanations grounded in some sort of experience. I had a conversation about this a few years ago with a young senior at Harvard who on graduation would go to work for a great consulting firm that studies the internal systems of business clients to see if they can be bettered. He asked if I had any advice, which I did not. Then I popped out, with an amount of feeling that surprised me because I didn’t know I had been thinking about it, that he should probably approach clients with the knowledge that systems and ways of operating almost always exist for a reason. Maybe the reason is antiquated or not applicable to current circumstances, but there are reasons for structures, and if you can tease them out they will help you better construct variations or new approaches. I can’t remember why but this opened up a nice conversation about how consultants walk into new jobs with a bias toward change—the recommendation of change proves their worth and justifies their fees—but one should be aware of that bias and replace it with a bias for improvement, which is different.
Peggy_Noonan  traditions  advice  biases  bias_for_improvement  bias_toward_change  hidebound  institutional_knowledge  internal_systems  Jason_Isaacs  management_consulting  institutional_memory 
april 2019 by jerryking
Andrew Marshall, Pentagon’s Threat Expert, Dies at 97 - The New York Times
By Julian E. Barnes
March 26, 2019

Andrew Marshall, a Pentagon strategist who helped shape U.S. military thinking on the Soviet Union, China and other global competitors for more than four decades, has died. He was 97. Mr. Marshall, as director of the Office of Net Assessment, was the secretive futurist of the Pentagon, a long-range thinker who prodded and inspired secretaries of defense and high-level policymakers.......Marshall was revered in the DoD as a mysterious Yoda-like figure who embodied an exceptionally long institutional memory.......... Marshall's view of China as a potential strategic adversary, an idea now at the heart of national defense strategy....Through his many hires and Pentagon grants..... Mr. Marshall trained a coterie of experts and strategists in Washington and beyond.....he cultivated thinking that looked beyond the nation’s immediate problems and sought to press military leaders to approach long-term challenges differently......His gift was the framing of the question, the discovery of the critical question..... always picking the least studied and most strategically significant subjects....Marshall’s career as a strategic thinker began in 1949 at the RAND Corporation, where his theory of competitive strategies took root. Borrowing from business school theories of how corporations compete against each other, Mr. Marshall argued that nations are also in strategic competition with one another. “His favorite example was if you can pit your strengths against someone else’s weakness and get them to respond in a way that makes them weaker and weaker, you can put them out of business without ever fighting,”....He had early insight into the economic troubles the Soviet Union was having, and helped develop strategies to exacerbate those problems and help bring about the demise of the Soviet Union....In 2009, Robert M. Gates, the defense secretary at the time, asked Mr. Marshall to write a classified strategy on China with Gen. Jim Mattis, the future defense secretary.
adversaries  assessments_&_evaluations  China  China_rising  classified  economists  éminence_grise  future  futurists  inspiration  institutional_memory  long-range  long-term  obituaries  Pentagon  policymakers  problem_framing  RAND  rising_powers  Robert_Gates  SecDef  security_&_intelligence  strategic_thinking  threats  trailblazers  uChicago 
march 2019 by jerryking
No Canadians need apply: the worrying trend in arts hiring - The Globe and Mail
KATE TAYLOR
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Aug. 05, 2016

What is worrying is the pattern: It suggests that Canadian cultural institutions are not nurturing their own talents.

If Canadian curators cannot aspire to eventually manage the museums where they work, or Canadian stage directors need never consider running Canada’s festivals, they will not give their institutions the best of themselves. They will either slump into the self-fulfilling prophecy of lower expectations or they will go abroad.

Of course, museum and festival management is, like many a business, an increasingly global game and these things do go through cycles – Anderson was rapidly replaced by one of his Canadian curators, Matthew Teitelbaum, a Torontonian who ran the AGO for 17 years before moving to the helm of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts last year.

But the recent trend suggests that the boards of large Canadian institutions need to band together to discuss how they can better mentor and nurture potential leaders.

Perhaps they should also take a careful look at the assumptions they are making in their hiring processes. These big appointments are often trumpeted with announcements that stress the long, complicated and, most of all, international searches that have been undertaken to find candidates. That may actually be part of the problem: the increasing use of headhunters to fill these jobs. Executive-recruitment agencies charging large fees to conduct searches deep into the United States or over to Europe are unlikely to conclude that the best person for the job is sitting down the hall or across the street from the incumbent.
cultural_institutions  CEOs  hiring  glass_ceilings  Canadian  museums  galleries  arts  festivals  boards_&_directors_&_governance  home_grown  mentoring  institutional_memory  executive_search  succession  leadership  curators 
august 2016 by jerryking

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