Who is Gary D. Stewart?
The Drain the Swamp books contain some damning conclusions and reflection on the state of Defence (and other bureaucratic organisations) procurement practices. You’ve heard rumours about some of them. You’ve suspected that there are more that you haven’t heard about yet…
Reading these books will confirm those suspicions. Naturally, you want to know who I am and why I am speaking out while others do not.
Gary D. Stewart
Product Design and Development Expert
“If your goal is to make the complex simple and the simple compelling, you need to bluntly identify problems, ruthlessly eliminate them, and – above all – rigorously implement best practices in a competent manner.”
I spent the first 15 years of my career upholding the status quo in product development. That is to say, I spent those years encountering (and contributing to) the unaffordability of incompetent product design and development processes.
I moved to the worlds most effective company and worked alongside the leading thinkers in this field. For over 30 years my goal has been to master and teach reproducible excellence and competency in this area.
Many of my projects involved working with Defence procurement, where both the flawed development methodology and (mostly missed) opportunities for transformation are glaringly obvious.
It was always my hope that things would change as other people saw the opportunities and possibilities that I could see.
Prior to publication, I circulated the manuscript of this book amongst many of my colleagues who work with Defence, and even in general manufacturing, hoping they would support my work. With very few exceptions I received variations on the following response:
Gary, I agree 100% with what you’ve written. It’s an important message that needs to be heard. Sadly, I can’t put my name to anything or share your work. It would finish my career.
Defence is just too powerful… and speaking out would also cut me off from my colleagues who find the status quo both lucrative and undemanding.
During my years working in and around Defence I always understood there was a basic fear of retribution preventing anyone from speaking out about the situation.
But, as this book came together, I realised that I had underestimated the fear.
FEAR is the wrong word.
TERROR is the right word to describe the reaction.
So… this book can only be published because I have retired and am no longer dependant on Defence or any of their satellite suppliers who demand silence as the price of continued service.
I am now free to share the reality that lies behind the subterfuge, and its attendant web of excuses, lies, and cost blowouts in the hope that there will be a growing upswell of voices who can say firmly:
There is a better way to accomplish out goals.
This way is faster, cheaper, and above all…
Let us follow it!
My Personal Mission
I want to find that very small cohort of CEO’s who actually want to create ‘Really Good’.
Most CEO’s have no interest at all in being ‘really good’ or attempting to follow World’s Best Practices. Most are happy to be ordinary… just a fraction better than the guy next door.
I’ve discovered that almost all CEO’s are happy to TALK about ‘really good’ but will never take up the challenge and strive to reach that standard.
These books are aimed at that miniscule 0.01 percent of CEO’s who want to know what ‘really good’ looks like and are prepared to do the hard work to EXECUTE ‘really good’ in their sphere. My measure of success is not how popular these books become – or how much discussion they generate – but whether I can attract and engage that miniscule 0.01 percent searching for ‘really good’.