The military teaches a comprehensive procedure for getting a unit of any size ready for combat and operations. It’s called “battle procedure,” and it is also highly useful for business application. The complete procedure has 17 steps, but I’ve distilled them down to 6 main phases and adapted them for business. This can be done very deliberately or in a more hasty manner, depending on the situation and need for speed.

I’ll also go into each phase over the next few weeks, but for now, here is a short list to give you a taste:

  1. Warning Order: Receive a warning from higher up that an operation is brewing. Alternatively, you may also notice a significant change in the business situation that requires planning and action on your part.
  2. Do a Time Estimate: This is a technique for determine all the key actions that must occur between deciding to launch an operation and the actual “h-hour.”
  3. Conduct Reconnaissance: I was taught in the army that “time spent in reconnaissance is rarely wasted.” Too often, business managers and entrepreneurs go into a significant operation without scouting the competitive terrain and scoping out the opposition.
  4. Do Your Estimate and Formulate Your Plan: The estimate is a sequential process for assessing the situation and determining key factors, options, and consequences of actions (friendly and enemy). The result of the estimate is a plan.
  5. Rehearse and Prepare: This is the step where everyone involved goes through the entire plan to ensure they know what they have to do, when they have to do it, and what they have to do to support others or adjust on the fly, as needed.
  6. Execute: This is self-explanatory, but there are some nuances we need to address.
    I’m creating a new intervention around this and will be announcing it within a few weeks. I’m thinking of calling it “Corporate Battle Preparation”.

Stay tuned…

Richard Martin is a Master Strategist and Leadership Catalyst. Richard brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to radically improve performance, grow, and thrive in the face of rapid change, harsh competition, and increasing uncertainty.

© 2014 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.

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