Col GI Wilson on Boyd, Bureaucracy, Insight, Imagination, Intent and Implementation

In this 11 minute video Col. G I Wilson, USMC (Ret) talks to Adaptive Leader at the 2012 Boyd and Beyond Conference about John Boyd, his ideas and how they apply to leadership.

Col Wilson discusses several methods Boyd used in his efforts to get the best out of people, and their leaders as they work to solve problems despite the burden of bureaucracy. Bureaucracy often time sis developed in an noble effort to help us become more effective however like too much of anything, bureaucracy as it builds processes, checklists, policy and procedures can become dangerous to an organization as it evolves into doing what the paperwork says and only what the paperwork says. Do what the boss tells you and only what the boss tells you. Bureaucracy, leads to way to many folks more interested in conforming and looking good verses innovating and being good. It often leads to thinking "if i do this process or follow this checklist, no matter what happens i am safe because i did what the checklist told me too," verses doing the right thing.

The need for initiative driven, proactive and innovative people is most often, in talking to people, is what they claim they are looking for, when they hire folks for their organizations. This holds true in the law enforcement profession as well, as, we talk about looking for people who are smart and can, think on their feet or for those who possess common sense and possess the ability to think both creatively and critically. We discuss wanting people who are willing to educate themselves and work towards becoming a better law enforcement officer only to harness what we say we seek, in the red tape of bureaucracy, its processes, policy and procedures and checklist robotic way of doing things. Could the bureaucracy be breeding exactly the opposite of what we say we want?

In the video GI Wilson discusses and important aspects of how to create and nurture the type of people and organization we want, those that can solve problems associated with conflict. Boyd, called this method "I to the 4th power" (I4), insight, imagination, intent and implementation. There is also an important 5th I, Interaction. Its through interaction with the world we live in and our observations (using all our senses) that creates the dynamic interplay that opens up our insights and imagination as we orient to the problem it is, we are trying to solve. As our orientation is shaped and reshaped by the evolving circumstances, our insight and imagination into the problem help us in effectively calculating decisions and intent and then implement an action plan on how to outmaneuver and seize the initiative (perhaps a 6th I). creating better solutions to the host of problems we encounter. In the tactical sense this methodology allows us to transition from 1 position to another or 1 tactic to another as we adapt to the circumstances. Keep in mind this hold true for the internal bureaucracy and the external street level, tactical and strategic problems we face.

When dealing with people who seek to win on their own terms, is interaction, insight, imagination, intent, implementation that leads to initiative a more effective way to deal with rapidly unfolding and changing conditions that involves walking, talking, thinking and adapting people in conflict? Or does the checklist driven format designed for efficiency on the assembly line and developing inanimate objects that do not walk, talk or think a process we should continue? Are there trade-offs and room or a need for both process and innovation and if so, how do we leverage in an effective way? An effective way that builds upon better problem solving capabilities and influencing people to use the full power of their experience and development at getting things done in accord with organizational goals and objectives.

Its a great short video that should open up your thinking to be shaped and reshaped.

Stay Oriented!

Fred