It may seem strange to you that I use so many examples with war to illustrate clarity? Why do I do that so much?
I do use examples from other genres but the reason I use war is that the results of lack of clarity are generally more dramatic. War is the ultimate non linear phenomenon. Non linear in this context means the result is not proportional to the force applied. Either you get dramatically more output or dramatically less. Either result is confusing. If you provide a small feinting force to probe your oppponent you are not expecting half his army to come charging at you. But this kind of thing does and can happen in war.
The results are magnified so you experience the results at a much higher intensity. If you aren’t clear about your desired outcome the results overwhelm your rationalizing capability. Often in the corporate world a failure that hurts a company is ignored and rationalized. Management gets away with it because it isn’t fashionable to talk about failures. Valuable experience about lack of clarity is thrown away in the name of reputation and image.
In the world of war failure isn’t neat and tidy. Death is the outcome; of people,structure and sometimes countries. You put people in harms way all the time in war. Politicians, in general, never understand this. They tend to treat casualties as pieces on a game table. If they persist in this kind of lack of clearness of their objectives a country can be truly hurt.
The other reason I use war is that it is generally lack of clarity that gets one involved in war. War is the ultimate breakdown. If you are clear about your outcome war can generally be avoided. When revenge, hatred and greed are the outcomes desired the result is predetermined.
One of my favorite quotations is, “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” So I will continue to use examples from war because the lack of clarity is much more obvious than in other realms.