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To Foster Workplace Collaboration in the 21st Century, Heed the General

Posted on November 15th, 2017 with No comments

Workforce EngagementBy: Tania Fiero, Vice President of Human Resources 

Published By: 

During the Iraq War, General Stanley McChrystal turned al-Qaida’s “team of teams” strategy against it. Like a swarm of bees, a team of teams forms around its mission, dissolves and then reforms again. Take a page from McChrystal, and you’ll discover just how much ground your small team can cover.

Knowing that your decision-making processes align with those of Zappos and Alphabetis flattering. Realizing you share the same management style as al-Qaida? That’s disconcerting — until you learn that American military forces in Iraq did, too.

As General Stanley McChrystal revealed in “Team of Teams,” a book I discovered through an HR trends report, al-Qaida proved to be tougher to defeat than suspected. Like swarms of bees, its teams completed missions, dissolved and then reformed again. Although they had fewer resources, they upped their efficiency by bucking the traditional chain-of-command model. So McChrystal did likewise, ultimately batting back al-Qaida in the region.

Before I read “Team of Teams,” I’d created a similar system among my staff. Although we’ve never faced a life-or-death struggle, our small team must do more with less to stay atop changing regulations across the country and globe.

To create additional capacity, I scrapped our hierarchical structure in favor of a network of teams, just like McChrystal’s troops in Iraq. This structural shift has turned us into an organization capable of outmaneuvering larger competitors through sheer efficiency and a shared consciousness.

If McChrystal’s approach resonates with you, take these four steps toward a nimbler, more team-driven workplace.


Read the full article here. 


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