From the New York Times bestselling author of My Share of the Task and Leaders, a manual for leaders looking to make their teams more adaptable, agile, and unified in the midst of change.
When General Stanley McChrystal took command of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in 2004, he quickly realized that conventional military tactics were failing. Al Qaeda in Iraq was a decentralized network that could move quickly, strike ruthlessly, then seemingly vanish into the local population. The allied forces had a huge advantage in numbers, equipment, and training—but none of that seemed to matter. To defeat Al Qaeda, they would have to combine the power of the world’s mightiest military with the agility of the world’s most fearsome terrorist network. They would have to become a "team of teams"—faster, flatter, and more flexible than ever.
In Team of Teams, McChrystal and his colleagues show how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be relevant to countless businesses, nonprofits, and organizations today. In periods of unprecedented crisis, leaders need practical management practices that can scale to thousands of people—and fast. By giving small groups the freedom to experiment and share what they learn across the entire organization, teams can respond more quickly, communicate more freely, and make better and faster decisions.
Drawing on compelling examples—from NASA to hospital emergency rooms—Team of Teams makes the case for merging the power of a large corporation with the agility of a small team to transform any organization.
Retired U.S. general McChrystal (My Share of the Task) and his coauthors draw on their respective military and management experience to construct this well-written business book about "what's different in today's world and what we must do about it." There's some heady stuff in here, including precise descriptions of military procedure, and detailed explorations of the valuable lessons the military has learned recently about collaboration. As McChrystal notes, that change hasn't been easy for an organization that long prided itself on a strict "command-and-control" flow of power and "need to know" philosophy. The resulting book is a collection of innovations that the modern U.S. Army has embraced and that most corporations can too. In the new paradigm proposed here, the focus is on "adaptability" instead of "efficiency," promoting "generalized awareness," and empowerment. The authors' abundance of material is made manageable by good organization and some surprisingly strong writing. There are only a few non-military examples (such as GM and Ford's contrasting organizational approaches), so readers not interested in military strategy may leave this book unfinished; for any other businesspeople, it will get a definite thumbs-up.
Brilliant, insightful and bloated
This book is a brilliant examination and exploration of management in today’s complex and volatile business realities. It is an essential read in how a management system, proactive and comprehensively thought out, is the lynch pin in creating meaningful outcomes in today’s world. McCrystal and team give helpful examples from both business, history and the military. The book is both theoretically sound and practically helpful.
On the other hand it is woefully over written. As I read, I kept crying out for an editor who would chop about 20% of the content out for redundancy and bloat. Clearly this could have been written far more succinctly, making it easier for the reader to digest and apply.
This is the blueprint for 21st Century Leadership
It could be used by Silicon Valley leaders, or those on Wall Street - this book takes the lessons learned from multiple disciplines and distills the value into actionable pieces for leaders to use with their team. I found it a quick read, and something that I’ll reference back to when I face challenges in my organization in the future!
This is a fantastic book. The overall concept is very compelling and is very useful in corporate life. Well laid out and well presented.