Corporate warfare, time for companies to lock and load
The Military corporate model.
When I think about the economy, there are many things that are problems but one thing I do think about that is a major problem that I have observed since 2000 is the change from cooperative environment within the companies to a competetive environment. such an environment is not good (nee Koobus) for any company to compete in the corporate war environment.
Using the military model of warfare if we acted like many companies today we wouldn't be able to function within the small and large units we work in. You may have divisions within companies but and sections for products but the work that accomplishes the tasks and "gets things done" is the small team environment. These small groups of teams that accomplish the tasks given to them that are tight knit and work together. In many ways these groups exhibit the 7 Army values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.
Companies have destroyed this environment making the team atmosphere impossible to make because everyone is constantly watching for their own self-interest so they don't get laid off. Thus the teams cannot function and products get behind schedule and thus money isn't made.
Companies need to start seeing that they are at WAR. I use Motorola as my main example. Does Motorola look at Nokia, or Apple as the enemy? They need to. In the military if the soldiers make mistakes people die. It's that simple. In the corporate world if the product isn't shipped on time people get laid off. That is how in the corporate world people die.
So how do you keep people from dying. Well good leadership is one thing. But leaders must understand the Art of WAR, they must change their mindsets to a warrior mindset. It's us against the world. Our competitors are the enemy. Period. Yes you can have alliances with other companies but don't be the naive victim. They will take your market share if they could. So leadership needs to change their mindset and also to take responsibility for their actions.
Companies need to implement a cooperative environment that builds teams. Not smart individuals. Training and standards is the key. The team needs realistic training that has standards so each team member accomplishes a standard of training so there is a check in the box so everybody is trained. College doesn't train teams, but a good company will.
Using the infantry squad model. There are two fireteams in a squad; (each fireteam is made up of 3 men and teamleader making 4 men), and the squad is two fireteams and a squad leader. The fireteam leader leads and trains his team. The squad leader manages and trains his two teams. Quality training requires individual tasks and collective tasks. The collective training drills teamwork and shows deficiancies within the team that can be worked on. Deficiencies could be small things like one person not trusting the others judgement, or someone not as good or substandard at a certain task or a lack of confidence by one person. It also could be leadership issues as well from the team leaders or a lack of confidence in that leader's ability. Training exposes such deficiencies and helps to rectify them.
This is one thing that is seriously lacking in the corporate world. It's why many companies underperform and layoff blaming the wrong people for the companies misfortune. example: We all have seen office space (if you haven't watched it, watch it). The company enetech didn't have a team atmosphere but a bunch of individuals with someone as their leader who has no leadership ability. Each software engineer reported to three people and there was no chain of command. The employees didn't know what was going on from day to day, so they reacted to every situation that happened. What happened to enetech is happening to many companies today.
GM, Ford and Chrysler has made mistakes since the 1980's and they haven't adapted to the changing times. Those that don't adapt die !!! They didn't plan for the future and reacted to the Japanese in the 1980's. They didn't react quick enough to the high gas prices and their leadership still is trying to kep things the same. People have died at these companies in the corporate arena and will continue to die. They must plan for the future and have a model for the future to survive. Right now they are still in reactive mode using the government bailout as a way to keep struggling by. NEW LEADERSHIP is needed at these companies.
Motorola, have changed from cooperative environment to competetive environment. It might have been used to motivate people to work harder but what it did was destroy the fabric of human teamwork. I personally have seen this where people look over their shoulders hoping it is the other person to get laid off. Motorola from 2000 to current day has lost and sold over 100,000 people going from 160,000 employees in 2000 to under 60,000 today. They say the layoffs was "getting rid of deadweight", that was said in 2001. But they still are laying off every year with a 3000 person layoff a couple of months ago. When leadership isn't present, people resort naturally back to their self-interest, in this case self-survival. such an environment doesn't help the company and it's s sickness that plagues companies like a disease that will eventually kill it's host.
The military corporate model:
A platoon has four squads and in each squad is two fireteams. The fireteams are run by a team leader and this team works on projects together. they train together, eat together, and work together. The squad leader manages the teams and reports to the platoon leader who manages the squads. In the world of engineering the team leader would be like a senior engineer with 4-8 years experience, with entry level engineers under his command. The squad leader (usually with about 10 years experience) is the lead engineer who gives guidance to the team leaders and the platoon leader is the section manager who manages the resources of the squads, so they can best accomplish their assigned tasks (Missions). The infantry platoon sergeant is like the principle staff engineer who advises the section manager and is the expert in engineering. The technical advisor. The SFC. The only difference between the military model and the corporate model is that Platoon leaders (equivalent a section lanager) and Sergeant first class (principle staff engineer) both have about 13+ years experience. Within the chain of command the Principle Staff Engineer works for the section manager who is in charge of the majority of projects and people under HIS Command.
Each person is only in charge is 3-4 people and there is a chain of command. Any issues the entry level person has goes to the team leader. this way the section manager or leader engineer doesn't have to worry about smaller issues that the senior engineer can handle. The senior engineer also gets the opportunity to develop his leadership skills. Being a senior engineer, he already has mastered the technical skills but now is developing his leadership skills. This is the Army corporate model.
In conclusion the military is a good example that many companies should implement. They need to adapt or die, that is the reality of todays corporate environment.
Posted by rbaz
at 12:19 AM EST