The organizational structure you put people in has a huge bearing on how they perform.
If a person is in a small town, they'll act differently than a large city.
It's not that they'll consciously choose different options, per se - instead, they'll naturally have different stimuli.
Add in different constraints and incentives, and you get very different behavior.
Why did the Romans conquer so much?
Largely because they were incredibly aggressive. The Roman Republic / Principate / Empire was basically almost always at war.
But, I seriously doubt that individuals Romans were so much more aggressive than their neighbors in Antiquity.
Rather, Roman Consuls -- commanders -- were elected for a term of one year.
They were expected to make their name for themselves in that year, so they immediately set out on a fast pace of battles.
What happened 14 months forwards was far less relevant than the next 12 months. A lot of traditional "conservation of energy" type principles would be thrown off.
And, of course, there was constant honeymoon periods -- less cynicism and exhaustion. A man elected to consul would be at peak excitement, energy level, and feeling triumphant going into battle, which would have a huge effect on moral factors.
The structure, in this case, determined the aggression. By appreciating glory and having short terms of election for military commanders, constant warfare was almost guaranteed.
So Rome was basically the Silicon Valley of ancient warring states, with huge incentives for "entrepreneurship"? Pretty cool insight :)
Would you agree that shortening the election term for our leaders would make things better?
I think that's true for the same reason you outlined in the article: they would have less time to prove themselves and so would do things that would have the most impact right away, instead of pissing off 3 years, then realizing they need to actually do something.
Pretty much everyone I talked to says that they should extend the election period, because the politicians don't have enough time to do anything meaningful (obviously, I think that's BS).
What do you think about this? Thanks!
I read about the rise of the Medici family recently. The Medicis are remembered as the founders of one of the first international banks, but most of the stuff they did wasn't innovative -- they were mostly doing the same kind of things as previous banks.
What they did innovate on was the corporate structure -- each city branch was ran as a quasi-separate entity, with separate P&L responsibility. That made sure local managers were incentivised to be diligent and prudent. That's cited as one of the things that allowed them to spread across Europe when other banks doing very similar things failed (and when that structure broke down in the late 1400s, the bank started to fall down, too).
My guess is that If you want to build an extensive empire, structure it in such way that the commanders will want to be as expansive as possible.
If you do a tour in Rome, you'll notice the guides often refer to the Roman education as the defining factor that decided victory. Apparently, education of the masses at that time was quite revolutionary, and quite an advantage.
The people of modern-day Algeria have always had been fierce warriors.
Two thousand and twenty five years ago, in 213 B.C., the land was Numidia, famed for its cavalry. Numidia was divided at this point between the Masaesyli tribe, who ruled Western Numidia, and the Massyllii tribe, who ruled Eastern Numidia.
King Syphax ruled Western Numidia, and following the death of his rival King Gala of East Numidia, Syphax made huge gains. He was consolidating, and set to become ruler of all Numidia.
Meanwhile, King Gala was succeeded by his son Massinissa, who became ruler of the now-weak East Numidians.
Numidia at the time was in friendly neutrality with Carthage, the nearby power, but entertained Roman offers for peace and diplomacy as well.
Welcome back to the list of things I want to change in the strategy genre - my Christmas wishlist for it, in fact. Continuing on....
If there are no chimneys, Santa will find a different way to deliver these gifts....
5. A Strategy Game Set In Pre-Columbian America