Thursday, September 12, 2013

What business can learn from military

One of the delights each week for me is to read Schumpeter in The Economist.

"Military mottoes make strong men cry:("The few, the proud"; "Who dares wins"). Most corporate mission statements make desk warriors cringe with embarrassment."

Military in however small or large a form or design has been one of the oldest institutions in the world.  They have always had a special forces concept and the general armed forces.  That is what the astute corporations are doing as well - creating a front end of innovation arm feeding the products or services development and deployment organizations.

Schumpeter's article here highlights the wealth of experience a military men and women bring to the table and their value to today's businesses.  The education provided to the military has tremendous knowledge embedded in it, with a few millennia of detailed case studies to learn from.

"An officer must never issue an order that will not be obeyed, so he must learn to gauge the mood of his men."

I had the opportunity to work with three corporate leaders across four companies who interestingly all were West Point graduates. Another individual, a colonel gave me the best advice when I choose to build two companies out of the ashes of the economic meltdown of 2008; "Recon ten times before you attack."  Because once the battle has begun, you are in it - in business, or otherwise.

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