“What if you could combine the agility, adaptability, and cohesion of a small team with the power and resources of a giant organization?
THE OLD RULES NO LONGER APPLY . . .
When General Stanley McChrystal took command of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in 2004, he quickly realized that conventional military tactics were failing. Al Qaeda in Iraq was a decentralized network that could move quickly, strike ruthlessly, then seemingly vanish into the local population. The allied forces had a huge advantage in numbers, equipment, and training—but none of that seemed to matter.
TEACHING A LEVIATHAN TO IMPROVISE
It’s no secret that in any field, small teams have many advantages—they can respond quickly, communicate freely, and make decisions without layers of bureaucracy. But organizations taking on really big challenges can’t fit in a garage. They need management practices that can scale to thousands of people.
General McChrystal led a hierarchical, highly disciplined machine of thousands of men and women. But to defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq, his Task Force would have to acquire the enemy’s speed and flexibility. Was there a way to combine the power of the world’s mightiest military with the agility of the world’s most fearsome terrorist network? If so, could the same principles apply in civilian organizations?
A NEW APPROACH FOR A NEW WORLD
McChrystal and his colleagues discarded a century of conventional wisdom and remade the Task Force, in the midst of a grueling war, into something new: a network that combined extremely transparent communication with decentralized decision-making authority. The walls between silos were torn down. Leaders looked at the best practices of the smallest units and found ways to extend them to thousands of people on three continents, using technology to establish a oneness that would have been impossible even a decade earlier. The Task Force became a “team of teams”—faster, flatter, more flexible—and beat back Al Qaeda.
BEYOND THE BATTLEFIELD
In this powerful book, McChrystal and his colleagues show how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be relevant to countless businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations. The world is changing faster than ever, and the smartest response for those in charge is to give small groups the freedom to experiment while driving everyone to share what they learn across the entire organization. As the authors argue through compelling examples, the team of teams strategy has worked everywhere from hospital emergency rooms to NASA. It has the potential to transform organizations large and small. Read more… “
Category Archives: Books
[Recommended Book] The Art of War for Security Managers: 10 Steps to Enhancing Organizational Effectiveness
“The classic book The Art of War (or as it is sometimes translated, The Art of Strategy) by Sun Tzu is often used to illustrate principles that can apply to the management of business environments. The Art of War for Security Managers is the first book to apply the time-honored principles of Sun Tzu’s theories of conflict to contemporary organizational security. Corporate leaders have a responsibility to make rational choices that maximize return on investment. The author posits that while conflict is inevitable, it need not be costly. The result is an efficient framework for understanding and dealing with conflict while minimizing costly protracted battles, focusing specifically on the crucial tasks a security manager must carry out in a 21st century organization.
* Includes an appendix with job aids the security manager can use in day-to-day workplace situations
* Provides readers with a framework for adapting Sun Tzu’s theories of conflict within their own organizations
* From an author who routinely packs the room at his conference presentations
“Machines need to be productive. People need to be effective. Productivity books focus on doing more, Jim and Tonianne want you to focus on doing better. Personal Kanban is about choosing the right work at the right time. Recognizing why we do the things we do. Understanding the impact of our actions. Creating value – not just product. For ourselves, our families, our friends, our co-workers. For our legacy. Personal Kanban takes the same Lean principles from manufacturing that led the Japanese auto industry to become a global leader in quality, and applies them to individual and team work. Personal Kanban asks only that we visualize our work and limit our work-in-progress. Visualizing work allows us to transform our conceptual and threatening workload into an actionable, context-sensitive flow. Limiting our work-in-progress helps us complete what we start and understand the value of our choices. Combined, these two simple acts encourage us to improve the way we work and the way we make choices to balance our personal, professional, and social lives. Neither a prescription nor a plan, Personal Kanban provides a light, actionable, achievable framework for understanding our work and its context. This book describes why students, parents, business leaders, major corporations, and world governments all see immediate results with Personal Kanban.” Read more…
“Sent to the most violent battlefield in Iraq, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin’s SEAL task unit faced a seemingly impossible mission: help U.S. forces secure Ramadi, a city deemed “all but lost.” In gripping firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories in SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, they learned that leadership—at every level—is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails. Willink and Babin returned home from deployment and instituted SEAL leadership training that helped forge the next generation of SEAL leaders. After departing the SEAL Teams, they launched Echelon Front, a company that teaches these same leadership principles to businesses and organizations. From promising startups to Fortune 500 companies, Babin and Willink have helped scores of clients across a broad range of industries build their own high-performance teams and dominate their battlefields.” Read more…
“WHAT’S THE CRITICAL difference between Nike and every other shoe company on the planet? Why do some airline executives continue to insist that air travel is great when we all know better? What has enabled Zildjian, a family business founded outside Istanbul, to thrive for almost 400 years?” Read more…