Project Based Learning for the Military and Business

May 15th, 2015
0138542.jpgIt has often been conventional wisdom that the military is always fighting current wars, based on lessons learned from the last war.  That’s why we used centralized WW2 tactics in Vietnam, and then turned around and used the lessons of Vietnam in Iraq. 

But the fact is that today there is a whole new breed to military tacticians and strategists whose ideas come not from the last war, but from the creative destruction of places like  Silicon Valley and and our most advanced and cutting edge business schools. Ideas that eschew top down, large organizational  command and control and instead respond to the need to collaborate, be nimble, and embrace a team oriented approach to management.

In today's military much of the movement in this direction has come from General Stanley McChrystal and his team.  As the leader of the Joint Special Operation Command,  this new approach was essential in fighting an enemy who itself was decentralized. But It was an approach that had to first break down traditional silos, rethink the link between communications and command, create a flatter organization amidst a culture that was build on top down thinking, and bring flexibility to an institution that revered tradition.

All of these are ideas also apply to business.  Now General McChrystal and his team at CrossLead, including co-founder David Silverman,  have combined these ideas and are applying them everyday. They share them in   Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

My conversation with Co-Author David Silverman: