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The Art of Action: Leadership that Closes the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results by Stephen Bungay

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THE THREE GAPS

Clausewitz describes the effects of friction in terms of two gaps. One gap, caused by our trying to act on an unpredictable external environment of which we are always somewhat ignorant, is between desired outcomes and actual outcomes (as in the example of the simple journey of the overoptimistic traveler). Another gap, caused by internal friction, is the gap between the plans and the actions of an organization. It comes from the problem of information access, transfer, and processing in which many independent agents are involved (as in his example of a battalion being made up of many individuals, any one of whom could make the plan go awry).

It may be helpful to display the two gaps diagrammatically, as in Figure 2.

Figure 2 ...

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