Not John Boyd this time, but John Robb.
John recently gave me a preview of this idea in a much more specific context:
….Here are some of the economic reforms that turned the horde of Genghis Khan into a steamroller than flattened most of the world’s kingdoms/empires.* He:
- Delayed gratification. He banned the sacking of the enemy’s camp/city until all of the fleeing soldiers, baggage, etc. were rounded up. This radically increased the loot accumulated and ensured it could be shared among all of the participants (he confliscated the wealth of those men that cheated by looting early).
- Systematically shared the loot based on contribution and merit. He disregarded title or status and systematically rewarded loot to everyone in the horde that earned it (the traditional approach was to let a few take it all — sound familiar?). Of course, that fairness pissed off the nobility since they were used to backroom dealing and hereditary rights. However, the benefits of this system, were far greater than the costs. To wit: He cemented the loyalty of the men and was able to attract thousands to his banner for every noble lost.
- Protected those that make sacrifices. For men killed in the campaign, he paid their share of loot to their widows/orphans posthumously.
*of course, the first unsaid lesson is: attack the places with the most loot.