After serving with distinction in World War II, he studied at progressive Antioch University, came under the mentorship of pioneering management figure Douglas McGregor, and went on to create an intellectual justification for democracy as the most effective form of governance. His work at MIT in the 1960s on group behavior foreshadowedand helped bring abouttodays headlong plunge into less hierarchical, more democratic and adaptive institutions, private and public, bestselling leadership expert Tom Peters wrote in 2000.Warren and his colleagues ran experiments suggesting that, while hierarchies were the most efficient and effective way of dealing with simple tasks, democratic and collaborative groups were more efficient and effective in dealing with complex tasks. Warren realized that democracy, with its multiple viewpoints and open dialogue, gave an organization the best possible chance to address uncertainty and to adapt. That formed the basis of a famous prediction fifty years ago, by Warren and his colleague Philip Slater, that the democratically governed United States would inevitably outlast the autocratic Soviet Union. That prediction startled and amused skeptics in 1964, during the height of the Cold War. Democracy was seen, after all, as a sentimental notion and perhaps a moral imperative, but it wasnt seen as nearly as effective as authoritarianism.
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