Robert McNamara and Vietnam: The Lesson for Business

I met Robert McNamara once in the 90s at a presentation at the Council on Foreign Relations and was stunned at his continued hubris and inability to see how, as Department of Defense chief, his reliance on metrics and top-down planning brought tragedy to the US and Vietnam—and how, as head of the World Bank, it was continuing to bring tragedy to the Third World. He didn’t get it.

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