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Visioning for the 21st Century:
A Process for National Security

Dr. Sheila Ronis

page 2 of 6 | previous page

Homeland Security

There will be little ability to secure our homeland, and even less ability to protect American interests around the world, if the world remains in this current state of instability. And, I don't believe that state will improve without American leadership. But, that leadership requires a holistic, integrated and, most likely interagency planning and decision-making apparatus that today simply doesn't exist.

I traditionally have worked with some of our nation's largest firms, AT&T, General Motors and Ford Motor Company. What's astonishing to me is that each of those organizations, and many others I have been involved with, have what I would call an integrated decision making process that produces an integrated global strategic plan - region by region, country by country, market by market.

Although none of these companies have to deal with any issue as complex as global security or the large scale societal collapse we are viewing in so many areas of the world, and the current situation in Afghanistan, the models they use to integrate decision making and develop their plans might nevertheless be helpful. General Motors does business in one form or another in virtually every nation on the planet. A National Security strategy is on the same scale, though, its execution, I grant you, is far more complex.

Now, GM is not a representative democracy, but, in the last decade they have made great strides toward developing processes to listen to their constituents, if you will, their stakeholders, and integrating that input into their global strategies. Having GM listen to their stakeholders to develop their global strategies and having the American government listen to its constituents with the aim of developing global strategy may seem like apples and oranges. But, I think they have more potential similarities than differences. And, more importantly, GM is not the only company with processes like this.

One of the most important elements of the corporate process is the development of a joint vision, which represents multiple stakeholders. And, DoD has some experience in the development of joint visions.

I don't want you to get the impression that I want to reinvent government. I don't want to change the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. But, our Founding Fathers could not have foreseen the creation by Congress of more than 200 agencies and departments of the federal government - each of which has a unique mission and has been created in isolation from the others. Each of these agencies should be contributing to the National agenda. They certainly represent the elements of national power.

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