General Stanley McChrystal’s book, Team of Teams outlines some incredibly practical principles on how to operate in today’s ever-changing environment. It’s a reminder of how imperative tools like common sense, data-driven insights, design thinking and clear communication are when dealing with complex challenges. When you’re pinned down in the middle of the fight and taking flak on all fronts, it’s easy to look past these brilliant basics. While nothing can fully prepare leaders for, or prevent the effects of such a volatile climate, these uncommon principles will remind us to:
1. FRAME THE MISSION
Identify the enemy, whether it’s an inefficiency, complacency or a competitor. Define the problem you’re going to solve.
2. ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Disruptors don’t have to be the smartest people in the room, but they do have to ask the right questions and create the space for others to thrive.
3. DATA IS KEY, BUT INSIGHTS TELL STORIES
Make sure you’re paying attention to the right indicators. Turn data into insights that tell a story, keep your head up and pay attention to the world outside.
4. USE SIMPLICITY LIKE A SUPER POWER
Complexity is like a business cancer. It creates layers of people, time and cost. Examine every area of your business and ask why we do it this way. Redesign for the agile and simplified way.
5. CRAWL. WALK. RUN.
Move too fast and you will likely crash and burn. Move too slow and you will get crushed. The mantra of Crawl. Walk. Run. keeps it real.
6. DIGITAL IS JUST FOR STARTERS
If you don’t understand the power of digital or you’re discounting its power to disrupt your business, you’re going to get VUC’D.
7. AND DON’T FORGET, IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU
Put the customer at the center of every decision you make and every solution you design for and you won’t go too far wrong. And that means you really do have to know who your customer is.
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