War? What is it good for...

In a column for the Washington Post, Bob Woodward quotes Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, saying:

“We are at a time where there is a new world order. We don’t control it. You must question everything, every assumption, everything they’ — the military and diplomats — ‘tell you. Any assumption 10 years old is out of date. You need to question our role. You need to question the military. You need to question what are we using the military for. Afghanistan will be defining for your presidency in the first term,’ Hagel also said, according to his own account, ‘perhaps even for a second term.’ The key was not to get ‘bogged down.’”

As I read the quote, I couldn’t help but think that it applied to every type of organization - not just the military.  Imagine if you swapped the word ‘military’ out for something else - like brand, or nonprofit, educational institution or media company.  You would still need to question everything.  You would still need to avoid being bogged down.  The concept, the strategic approach that Hagel is talking about… it applies just the same to everyone today.