Sullivan, Gordon R. and Harper, Michael V. (1996). Hope is Not a
Method: What Business Leaders can Learn from America's Army (New York ed.).
Broadway Books: 0-7679-0060-X (paperback).
Editorial reviews from amazon.com.
In recent years, the U.S. Army has been modified and modernized more extensively than almost any private business. Leading the charge on this front were General Gordon R. Sullivan, chief of staff from 1991-95, and one of his key strategic planners, Colonel Michael V. Harper. In Hope Is Not a Method, these two explain just how an organization with 1.5 million employees and a $63-billion annual budget was successfully reengineered--and how those in the corporate world can learn from the experience.
To many who served stints in the military and spent much of their duty "hurrying up" only "to wait," the notion of military management is an oxymoron. And never mind the $640 toilet seats! But, actually, the military has proved to be an effective laboratory for testing managerial techniques and philosophies. Many companies today still have in place the organizational structure that proved successful for the army during World War II. The army, however, has since realized that its "command and control" model no longer is effective because it lacks the flexibility needed in today's technological and organizational environments. Sullivan was chief of staff of the U.S. Army from 1991 to 1995, and Harper was director of its Strategic Planning Group during the same period. Together they oversaw many of the changes they say helped transform the army and lead to the successes of the Panama campaign and Desert Storm. In this work, which is unlike any other of the many recent books on management, they describe those changes. David Rouse
From Kirkus Reviews
Although the resources available to the US Army have diminished since the Cold War's end, it remains an estimable institution with nearly 1.5 million employees, annual revenues of about $63 billion, and facilities in over 100 countries. Sullivan (who recently retired as the army's chief of staff) offers a detailed briefing on how the army has remained an effective, flexible, well-trained force to be reckoned with despite the budget cuts, downsizing, and restructuring that occurred on his watch (199195). While some observers might conclude that the military took its survival cues from business, the four-star general argues that corporate America could in fact learn a lot from the army's transformative experiences. The issue of who's borrowing from whom is almost beside the point, since, with the aid of anecdotal evidence gathered from civilian as well as military sources, the author and his collaborator (a retired colonel who headed the army's strategic planning group) provide a comparatively conventional governance manual; as a practical matter, moreover, the text's down-to-earth advisories are broadly applicable to great or small organizations of virtually any kind. In their can-do canvas of guiding principles for capitalizing on convulsive change, they stress the importance of shared values, identifying objectives, challenging the status quo, empowering subordinates, and visionary leadership. Covered as well are the putatively handsome returns obtainable from investing in people, benchmarking the future, reinforcing an outfit's collective commitment, encouraging constructive dissent, and keeping all hands abreast (if not ahead) of the learning curve. Sound counsel for aspiring and incumbent executives from old soldiers who appreciate the difference between leadership and management. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. Army has been reengineered more thoroughly than any business and, remarkably, it has emerged better trained, equipped, and managed than ever before. Now, General Gordon R. Sullivan, the army chief of staff who led the transformation, and co-author Colonel Michael V. Harper tell this positive success story. 12 illustrations. Index. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Since the end of the Cold War, the United States Army has been reengineered and downsized more thoroughly than any other business. Hope Is Not a Method explains how this process took place and shows how the Army's experiences are extremely relevant to today's businesses.
About the Author
Gordon R. Sullivan was chief of staff of the U.S. Army from 1991 to 1995, culminating a distinguished military career. Professor of strategic leadership and chair of the CEO Forum of the School of Management at Boston University, he lives in Washington, D.C. Michael V. Harper was director of the Army's Strategic Planning Group from 1991 to 1995. He now runs The Harper Group, a business consulting firm. He lives in Springfield, Virginia.