The ‘too big to fail’ arguments of the financial bubble are behind us. The concept that a privately run organization should be bailed out by the tax payer for their failed financial practices is still seen in a negative light around the country. People expect an organization to show compliance with the laws. When actions are committed that are contrary to these laws, rules, and internal regulations, people expect employees to be held accountable. Why then is it that the Department of Veteran Affairs cannot seem to demonstrate this?
I have read stories about constant malfeasance, corruption, and downright scandals and yet seen public announcements that the VA cannot simply fire its way to excellence. This logic simply ignores common sense. It is a one-dimensional argument that does not factor in the second and third order effects. An organization that retains poor quality is an organization that permits poor results to be the standard. The opposite is true in regards to an organization which consistently removes underperforming employees and practices.
Thomas E. Ricks, in his book The Generals, identified how ruthless General George C. Marshall was about removing underperforming officers. By removing the lackluster leaders, room was made for up and coming subordinates to step into positions of greater responsibility and therefore improve the organization as a whole. From this pool came Eisenhower, a pivotal figure during World War II and afterwards.
If the actions performed by the Veteran Affairs employees are not in line with the basic principles of the organization, then action must be taken. Removing poor performers is one solution, and while it should not always be the only solution, it is important to remember that it sets the tone for future actions by employees. When illegal, immoral, or downright dirty actions result in employees (regardless of position) being fired, future employees will reconsider repeating the actions. This in and of itself helps to impose change.
The arguments of the VA would justify keeping mass murderers in the military because they had performed well at one point. It would keep drug addicts, because not every drug user has been kicked out in the past and it would set an immoral standard to kick this one out. It would encourage the recently fired leaders of the Wounded Warrior Project to instead be given an annual pay raise because, at the end of the day, what are standards really anyways?
The Department of the Veteran Affairs has to recognize that organizations need to work to retain talent and remove problems. They too should follow suit and recognize the value in removing the weeds that have grown up over the years. By doing so, senior leaders will allow sunshine to reach further down, and those junior employees will have the same opportunity to step up and grow. Hopefully, in the process, they can be arbiters of change within the company and create a new dynamic – one which is dedicated to the care of veterans, not care for the VA.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.