The power of trust is one of the most valuable lessons I learned during my four years serving in the Marine Corp. It’s a huge, huge part of Marine culture and foundational to General McChrystal’s principles of Empowered Execution, pushing decision-making down to the lowest level; and Shared Consciousness, where information is shared with the right context so individuals can make good decisions faster.
In the first article of this series, Empowered Execution was introduced as a more effective way to operate in highly dynamic environments where the pace and scale of change makes it necessary to react quickly to new information in order to be successful. As General McChrystal himself points out, “In today's changing environment, with more information shared at ever-greater speeds, often even the most efficient organization can't keep up."
In 2003, General Stanley McChrystal took command of the United States' Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), an association of elite forces such as the Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, and Delta Force. His mission: to defeat al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI).
JSOC had technology, skills, and resources that were far superior to anything available to al-Qaida. Their outstanding troops and better organization gave them a clear, competitive advantage. And yet, by the summer of 2004, it was clear that while they were winning every individual firefight, they were still losing the war against al-Qaida.
Benchmarking has long been an important tool for any business looking to improve their overall performance. The process itself involves measurement and comparison to certain standards with the goal of supporting systematic improvements in productivity.