Headline Sep 15, 2014/



ONCE UPON A TIME  -business could not get enough of the smell of  cordite.

Tycoons referred to themselves  as  "captains of industry" and crafted  "strategies"   -from the Greek word for  'general'-   for their troops.

They talked of waging   ''war''   on their rivals. They relaxed by reading  Sun Tzu's   "The Art Of War" . But more recently attitudes have changed:

Businesspeople argue that  military style  command-and-control systems are out of date in a world of  knowledge workers and fluid alliances.

So, with all the inferences, the tale continues to this setting............    

EVEN to any ordinary observer, it is not one of London's grander clubs. The furniture is dowdy, the carpet threadbare.

But who needs grandeur when you have heroism?

The Special Forces Club was founded in  1945 by former members of the Special Operations Executive; an organisation that wrought havoc behind the enemy lines during the second world war.

Today it draws its members from the  Special  Forces, the  'Intelligence Services' and the anti-terrorism police. The walls are lined with photographs of former members.

Black frames identify those who were killed in action.

The club is a reminder that some things are more important than money. But the world of money is hard to ignore. 

Harrods, a posh department store, is just around the corner. A Russian oligarch is noisily building a palace across the road.

Many of the members have to think about making a living now that the army is shrinking.

They wonder: are the skills that are celebrated inside the club useful in the world outside its windows?

But this argument about  knowledge workers  and fluid alliances provokes derision in the Special Forces Club. 

Sir Michael Rose, a retired general who spent part of his career with Britain's SAS  (Special Air Service), points out that the special forces have always embraced: 

Currently trendy management nostrums such as  ''empowerment''  and  ''high performance teams''  

People are dropped behind enemy lines have no choice but to rely on their own wits and make the most of  limited resources. 

Sir Michael Rose also points out that the regular forces in introducing a  ''mission command approach''     -that is,  a commander defines the overall mission but then leaves the officers on the ground to decide how to execute it.

Plenty of retired officers argue that  businesspeople  have much to learn from the armed forces. For example,  business theorists increasingly emphasis the importance of corporate culture-

Yet many new businesses do a dismal job of maturing it.

The military services by contrast, have been adept at preserving their culture at a time of social turmoil.

Granted, that they have sometimes been slow to change.

America only lifted the ban on openly gay troops in  2011,  and on women in combat in 2013.

But still, armies much better than other institutions at building a lifelong esprit de corps.

Military mottoes make strong men cry :  '' The few, the proud '',   '' Who dares, wins.''

While, most corporate mission statements make desk warriors cringe with utter embarrassment.
The Honour and Serving of the research continues. Thank you for reading, and don't miss the next one.

With respectful dedication to all the former  and retired armed forces personnel of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Come On  -Students! '''

Good Night and God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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