We don’t make policy for its own sake. We make policy to provide solutions to organizational challenges or to enhance and expand the enterprise. Each policy issue should be framed in the context of a policy question. This question should be written at the symbolic “top of the blackboard” to ensure it is constantly referenced during deliberations.
Defense policy questions might include:
– How can we better leverage international organizations to help us achieve our objectives?
– How can we counter trafficking in illicit substances and humans?
– What actions must we take to deter a belligerent neighbor while not threatening them?
Defense contractors and vendors ask different policy questions:
– Which types of international partners might be interested in purchasing our products?
– What market niche security requirements should we aspire to fill?
– Which technological components stand the best probability of being approved for export?
Any business enterprise must ask certain policy questions:
– What types of employees do we need to attract, and how do we develop their capabilities?
– What is the lowest level within the organizational structure necessary for agile purchase decisions to be made?
– Which performance parameters should we measure, and how will those decisions affect priorities?
In each case, there is a requirement for policy that focuses efforts of the team members in the same positive direction. Superfluous policies serve only to distract from priority objectives. The fewer policies in place, the more leeway team members have to use their creativity for the benefit of the enterprise.
What are some of the more consequential and well-targeted policy questions have you seen in your career?