Rumsfeld’s Newest Rule: Continue to Transform

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Rumsfeld’s Newest Rule:  Continue to Transformtold a capacity home-town crowd at the Four Seasons that every organization needs to continue to transform.  In his appearance for the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, Rumsfeld discussed the complex situation in Pakistan, his book “Known and Unknown” and the way a number of American and international institutions don’t fit our current information age and need transformation. Continue to Transform

Rumsfeld calculated that he has lived through a third of our nation’s history.  As both the youngest and oldest Secretary of Defense, a White House Chief of Staff, Representative to NATO and four-term congressman from Illinois, he has been an active participant in that history. He took four years to write the book and digitized a portion of his archive and made it available on his website  in conjunction with the book’s publication.  Since launching in February, the site has received over 18 ½ million hits. Access to such a rich trove of information shows that “decisions are made with imperfect information.”   The bestseller has been called the first memoir of the information age.

Many U.S. and international institutions date back to the Truman years, an inflection point at the end of WWII and the beginning of the Cold War.  NATO, the UN, DoD, CIA and so many other organizations date back to those days.  “We’ve been changing and the world has been changing. And we need to be comfortable that the rest of the world is not like us.”

Rumsfeld’s message was that all organizations need to continue to transform.  He’s led by example, making handwritten and typewritten memos and papers from his long government service available for everyone to draw their own conclusions.