I read your comment about "book smart" scholars with zero experience running our public transport operators. What's wrong with it?
Where can you find capable people with experience in Singapore? The engineers in SMRT may have the working experience but they are not able to take the top CEO position.
At least the top generals have high intelligence and experience in running a big organization like SAF. They can rely on the engineers to do the engineering work, while they look at the high level decisions.
Don't you agree, as you were a CEO before?
I agree with half of your statement, i.e. that we need capable people to take the high level decisions.
The current approach adopted by the "book smart" scholars, as taught in the text books, is:
a. Prepare a detailed plan
b. Make sure that it work completely, i.e. zero tolerance for failure
c. Write the detailed SOP
d. Train the staff to implement it
e. Implement the plan.
This approach is possible in the SAF because they decide on the goal, give the command and the soldiers have to obey.
In the commercial world, there are a lot of uncertainty. There is also an extreme time pressure. Real problems crop up and have to be dealt with.
This requires a different approach. I call it the "do, learn, adapt" approach. But the "book smart" scholars do not like this "untidy" approach. That is why they have a lot of problem in addressing the real world problems.