When your 4-star boss is given a captive audience of over 200 senior officers who are spending the year reading and studying operational art, strategy, policy, decision making and interagency cooperation please pack a slide deck of something other than the canned command brief.

Or, if that is all you have, tell the boss to skip through the slides, drop the buzzword bingo lingo, and get to the Q&A as quickly as possible.

Thank you.

PS – General Kehler, great job on the Q&A.




Posted by M. Ittleschmerz in Uncategorized


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  • Alpha

    Insightful posting.

  • John Byron

    Without context this is meaningless.

  • M. Ittleschmerz

    John – put some thought into this to get the context. What do the subjects being studied have in common?

  • RickWilmes

    I agree with John, for those who did not attend, this blog post means nothing.

    Specific examples of what is being studied (not broad generalizations like operational art, strategy, policy, decision making and interagency cooperation) need to be provided to tie the concepts mentioned back to reality and also provide those who did not attend an idea about what is being studied and discussed.

    Examples of “buzzword bingo lingo” would also be helpful.  As would an example or two from the Q and A.

  • Mittleschmerz

    I know when John retired…Rick I don’t know. But since neither of you can offhand identify the critical subjects being taught in JPME II I’d have to say that you don’t get the context because you are no longer part of the context.

    That’s less a jab and more of a recognition that if you want to play in current issues, you need to be well versed in current issues.

    Better yet, try this…see if that helps focus the context. http://tinyurl.com/3cxl6r6

  • Byron

    “buzzword bingo lingo”: simply look at the title bar of CDR Salamanders blog…most of them should be there.

  • RickWilmes

    “That’s less a jab and more of a recognition that if you want to play in current issues, you need to be well versed in current issues.”

    A four star general gives a speech to 200 senior officers.

    So what and how is it relevant to current issues?

  • Mittleschmerz

    Rick – are you asking what the General spoke about? If so, the specific topic is irrelevant to my point. The point is not the subject so much as the fact that he provided senior officers with a canned command brief. That’s a waste of 220 personnel x 1.5 hours, or ~300 man hours going over things that they either already know or aren’t relevant to them.

    My admonition is, if you are going to take 300 manhours to do something, make it relevant, interesting, and informative. Not canned.

  • RickWilmes

    How is your point relevant to readers of the USNI blog and how do we know that the speech was not relevant to all 200 attendees or just one individual?

    Without further information or context, which you who attended should provide, the post and points you are trying to make are meaningless.

  • RickWilmes

    I should also add the following:

    In otherwords, your original post is guilty of the same problem you accuse the so called “canned speech” which is a failure to identify the audience and their context.

    Last time, I checked the USNI blog readers are not all senior officers immersed in JPME II.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    C’mon Rick. A valid point was made in the post. Many, many of us have sat through the standard BS brief that one would show to a junior enlisted or a Rotary Club, when we were supposed to be hearing about operational/strategic issues and topics.

    MS is right. CSTAFF should ensure that such does not occur. If there is no time to build a brief, then the presenter should be prepared to speak extemporaneously. The ones with a TRUE grasp of the subject matter excel at such things. And then, as MS states, get to the Q&A as rapidly as possible.

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