Andy McKnight has over 20 years’ experience in an Agile environment—from his 12 years as a United States Marine, to co-founding an enterprise performance management software company, and leading Agile adoptions and transformations within Fortune 500 companies, and in multiple organizations and industries. Andy is a SAFe Program Consultant able to train SAFe Agilist, SAFe Practitioner, SAFe Scrum Master, SAFe Advanced Scrum Master and SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager Certifications; Professional Scrum Master; and Professional Scrum Product Owner.
How the Marines Corps Creates High-Performing Teams
This blog series will take you step-by-step to how the Marine Corps creates high-performing teams. It will relate the approaches in training, team building, and execution the Marine Corps takes to be able to adapt and overcome changing needs with minimal effort.
The United States Marine Corps is known as the world’s 911 force. By doctrine, they can be anywhere in the world on short notice, fully combat ready, and able to sustain operations for an extended period before requiring any logistical support. This type of flexibility and adaptability requires operational patterns that embrace extreme agility.
And with this, Marines don’t always know where they’re going or what their mission will be. In order to be successful, the Marine Corps must create teams that can succeed in this vague and rapidly changing environment.
Are you asking yourself, “Why is this relevant to me? I’m not in the military, I’m not going to have to be anywhere in the world in short notice.”
True – but isn’t your world often rapidly changing and customers’ needs are typically vague when you first start work?
The Marine Corps takes a methodical approach to creating Marines and creating effective teams. Every person starts their transformation journey at the same stage: Marine Corps Recruit Depot for three months of extreme training. What they are teaching during these three months are basic Marine Corps skills, but that isn’t the most important element…they are shifting your belief system to fit the Marine Corps culture.
Part 1 of this series will focus on this approach—you must have a shared Culture before Teams can be created; otherwise all that will be created are groups of people.
Part 2 of the series will emphasize that High-Performing Teams Require High-Performing Leaders. You got it! High-performing teams will not exist without high-performing leadership with a deep understanding of concepts such as:
- Leadership Objectives: Mission Accomplishment and Troop Welfare
- Key Leadership Abilties
- Commander’s Intent
- Centralized Planning and Decentralized Execution
The final section of this series will concentrate on Mastering Tactics. The Marine Corps has decisive tactical excellence approaches to achieve mission success. These tactics include:
- Achieving a Decision
- Gaining the Advantage
- Being Faster
- Exploiting Successes
We will focus on how each of these tactical excellence approaches will help drive regular teams to become high-performing teams.
At the end of this series, you will have specific approaches to creating the high-performing teams that every organization needs to succeed in the highly volatile, everchanging business landscape.