MILITARY wisdom has a morbid common sense about it that makes me laugh with dread.
Things like "when in doubt, empty the magazine."
"If the enemy is within range, so are you."
Or "Friendly fire isn't."
You've got to admire the economy of words and the malevolent double-edge when it comes to OH&S concerns.
The genuine warrior certainly has a lot to worry about at his work place.
But what about the keyboard warrior in an office. Are there crossovers?
Lord knows, war is hell if you can't get a good cappuccino before your shift.
In the military, for example, they say if your radio hasn't failed yet, it's about to, particularly if you're calling in fire support.
In the white collar world, for sure and certainly the same thing applies to your computer when you're on deadline.
In the military, they say nothing is as good for the morale of the troops than the occasional sight of a dead general.
In the civilian world, nothing is so good for the morale of the company share price than the occasional sight of a few sacked workers, or better still, a CEO.
Particularly at the end of financial year.
On the frontline, they say if it's stupid and it works, it isn't stupid.
This applies in all walks of life, particularly if your computer has crashed.
Having lost site of our objectives, we must redouble our efforts.
This could sum up any number of industries these days, not least the media.
Alternatively, "We are not retreating, we are advancing in another direction" has a certain universal quality in uncertain times.
They say in the forces things that must be together to work, rarely travel together.
Usually they're referring to guns and ammo, grunts and brass.
For journos and cameramen it's often spare batteries.
There is a back-up gear bag for this problem.
And it's often described as a receptacle in which to store dead spare batteries.
What is the difference between a staff member and a manager?
You don't have to wear fatigues to get this.
If the staff member stuffs up, the staff member cops it.
If manager stuffs up, the staff member cops it.
Alternatively, blame whoever's not in the room.
In combat (or when companies are rationalising), anything you do can get you shot (sacked), including doing nothing.
In some companies, though, doing nothing can get you promoted.
(Remember: if it's stupid and it works, it's not stupid.)
You know it's really worked if later the person who did nothing gets a fat payout (but it's still stupid).
Teamwork is essential, it gives those doing the shooting (or the sacking) alternative targets to yourself.
General MacArthur once remarked, whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword (or in the case of business, external consultant), has obviously never encountered automatic weapons (been rationalised).
The one consolation for the business guy may be that he or she was rationalised with the stroke of a pen.
If you're a colonel in the field, or a manager behind a desk and you find yourself in a fair fight, chances are you need to revisit your management strategy.
If your attack is going too well, more than likely you're about to be ambushed.
Logistics is a huge facet of military life, and the complaints about back-up remain consistently high.
The same thing applies on civvy street.
In these days of outsourced cloud-based tech support, you're better off telling yourself to turn your computer off and on again.
"Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil," could well be the mantra for modern tech support.
You could add "For I am on a cloud over Florida and no one can contact me in person. And even if they can, it will be pointless as we don't have any one on the ground in the southern hemisphere. Thank you for calling. Please leave a detailed message after the beep."
You know you're in for a hard day at the office when you can't access the basic programs to get the passwords for the main programs you need because you don't have the passwords to the basic programs, and tech support lives on a cloud over Florida and is only contactable via technology that's yet to be invented using passwords that are on the basic program that you don't have the passwords for.
If you have two reasons for a major stuff-up, and you manage to stop one, you'll still have enough momentum to get to the disaster.
Just remember flexibility is the key to tactical success.
And indecision is the key to flexibility.
If you have trouble stomaching the email speak of managers talking up the future after a major business restructure, you now know what it feels like to be a dog watching TV.
When it comes to the rules of the road, like incoming fire, the winds of change have the right of way.
And the more the winds change, the more they blow . . . I mean stay the same.