I found the premise interesting, in that the telegraph really changed the dynamics between the commander in chief, and his generals. Rather than having to send off his army to fight and then wait days, or weeks, for results, Lincoln was able to harness the power of this new technology to be directly involved in the command of the army, and insert his vision into the strategy.
I found many similarities between what Lincoln was able to do because of the speed of the telegraph to what we’re seeing across all levels of society today with the internet and social media tools. It’s a simple thing, in 2008, to keep up to date, and involved in whatever area you want to be involved, whether it be your business, the latest court decisions, or the social aspect with your friends no matter your physical location.
The one real interesting thing about the history though, is that the changes, and the technology didn’t really bring the results Lincoln was looking for until he got the right people on the other end of the telegraph line. All the technology and direct communication didn’t change who George McClellan was, or Burnside was, or Meade was. Lincoln communicated what he wanted done and the vision he had for strategy, but he didn’t have the right people in place to carry out that vision.
In 2008 it’s common for us to look at all these great social media tools as a way to communicate our visions, and build relationships. They are that, but we can learn from history as well. The technology won’t change who people are, and if they aren’t the right people then your vision won’t get carried out.
Even in 2008, it’s still about people.