Competition Rules

A little double entendre to start your Thursday.

First, an op-ed by Jacques Gansler in the NYT, “To Save on Defense, Hire Rivals.”

If monopolies are created in a quest for short-term savings, taxpayers eventually pay more and our country is less safe.

This is a favorite theme of mine, expressed as “If you can’t afford two suppliers, you certainly can’t afford one.” The question would be, “Who really wants to save on defense?”

And then there’s a short piece on LinkedIn by David Edelman on a favorite theme of Boyd’s, “Don’t be ruled by rules.”

And in a world of rule-based contacts, there is still important space that needs to be made for two people just being allowed to discuss a customer’s need and develop a solution. No one likes to sit through a canned set of questions when they agree to enter a chat window on a site or when they call a representative. We want a human, free-flow interaction. Many clients of ours have actually found that they resolve issues faster on the first round, cut call times, and have happier customers when they loosen the rules and give smart reps more leeway.

Slavishly following rules makes you predictable. This can be fatal in a conflict, and boring, and hence also fatal, in sales & marketing. It’s worth noting that a lot of this argument goes away if you replace most of your rules with an EBFAS-type culture.

I’m off to the Boyd conference in San Diego. More on that as it happens.

4 thoughts on “Competition Rules

  1. Opinion: Does the Pentagon give contractors an incentive for slow R&D?
    http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_02_24_2014_p16-664173.xml

    and older article about spreading “Success of Failure” culture … possibly using game theory techniques to maximize flow of money and eliminate leaving any money on the table … note some of this would appear to have beltway bandits alternating on failed projects
    http://www.govexec.com/excellence/management-matters/2007/04/the-success-of-failure/24107/

  2. ” if you replace most of your rules with an EBFAS-type culture.”

    Let me guess, Effects-Based FastTransients(registered trademark)? If I am close on this, does Boyd have a view on the manufactured effects (as observed), in relationship to the workspace that the FastTransient base are manufactured in? It would seem to me that he would prefer an organic base, if possible.

    I am just wondering, in the context of an organic base, if much of what is observed in America today is not just about a Jobless recovery in the U.S.A., but the workspace those jobs used to occupy and what they occupy now.

    In other words, isn’t it just as much about structure as it is culture, i.e., there is no place in the structure of the U.S.A that these jobs are ever going to occupy a common workspace, except, perhaps in agriculture or at a community level, or both?

      • “I don’t understand the rest of your comment.”

        Ok, here goes.

        One of the commenters on the Zenpundit blog made the statement that Cheney was Boyd. While when you google Effects Based Operations (EBO) you get a link to General Mattis, much what the military used in both Iraq and especially Afghanistan was EBO. Cheney, while he may not be Boyd in any sense of the word, was highly influenced by Boyd and much of the Expeditionary Force (EF) deploy to both Afghanistan and Iraq was under Boyd’s orientation. The EF was under much pressure from the Pentagon and State Department to enact Modern Warfare, but much of the strategy, at least up until the occupation, came under Boyd’s “watch”, so to speak.

        Just saying that I think it is safe to say that an EBO is not operational unless it is Observed. Did Boyd have any comments about the effects deployed, to change Orientation coming from Observation, as to should they be organic (coming from the bottom up) or inorganic (coming from the top-down).

        He did seemed to prefer the bottom up in organizing decision making. My question was: did he have anything to say about an EBO that is strictly manufactured to change a particular orientation?

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