How to Create Change… Even In the Military

We most often think that change is only for the innovative Apple-like companies of the world? But what about institutional big ships like the Military, Law, Politics, Health, etc.? Can change be possible? How?

A recent story by Nancy Duarte on her blog outlines a story of Captain Travis Patriquin. He created a powerpoint presentation called “How to win in Anbar“. 

It was NOT like the other famous pentagon powerpoint;


It went something like this;


In the powerpoint, Patriquin argued for a change in strategy after he walked the ground, mixing with the local sheik and the others in the iraqi community. He realized the current US strategy was going to end in more bloodshed and he wanted to change it. Now, we all know Captains are very high in the order of things in the military, so his position would feel like junior manager in any organization.

Eventually, the powerpoint found its way into the inbox of an influential general, David Petraeus who decided to do something. Watch this video from CBS which explains the entire story.

Sadly, Patriquin was killed by an IED in Iraq in December 2006. His legacy of his new ideas and change in military strategy from the bottom up remains. His powerpoint inspired the “Sunni Awakening,” a phenomenon that helped hasten the end of the war.

So are there giants in your organizations which you think you must slay? Perhaps try not to worry about slaying them, you can always run around them and make positive change in your organization, situation or personal circumstances. Its all all about perspective and innovation.


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