If the Marines can do it, so can you

I work in frameworks every day. I know their power in business, but for me, an idea is truly proven when it works everywhere. There’s real proof in successful, diverse use cases.

Last weekend my family attended the MCAS Miramar Air Show in San Diego. The show is stunning visually. The world famous Blue Angels perform amazing feats of acrobatic flying. Our USAF puts on the Heritage Flight, which pairs an ultra modern F-22 Raptor flying side by side with a WWII-era P-51 Mustang.

The highpoint of the show for me was the the MAGTF (Marine Air-Ground Task Force) demonstration. Enormous fireballs were only part of the show.  What makes the MAGTF really fun to watch was the skilled choreography of the individual elements working together seemlessly.

More than sum of its parts

It is remarkable. First, a small team parachutes in, then F-18 Hornets and AV-8B Harriers scream over, precisely targeting points marked by ground observers. Then teams drop from helicopters and secure a landing zone. Heavier equipment is flown in. Throughout, the force is protected by orbiting helicopter gunships which swoop by.

The MAGTF is extremely flexible and can be deploy anywhere in the world to accomplish missions ranging from crisis response to disaster relief. It works because they have a standardized framework that allows for consistent success,  easy reconfiguration and constant improvement.

Framework

Like any good framework, it has proven, best-practice, well-defined elements. Each element is very different and very likely part of a completely separate specialty:

  • Command Element – provides control and coordination for planing and completion of the mission
  • Ground Combat Element – formed around the infantry and reinforced with artillery
  • Aviation Combat Element – provides air support
  • Combat Services Support Element – provides support to the force, enabling long-duration operations.  These members train together, deploy together and respond to crises together.

Keep in mind the Marines do this with teams that are constantly rotating in and out of this assignment. They do it with young men without years of experience. They do it in a very public environment where mistakes end up in newspapers. And they do it on a Sunday afternoon at an airshow, flawlessly.

The Marines have a proven, agile framework for doing their business?  Do you?

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Categories: Frameworks, Process Management

Author:Tom Molyneux

A business process strategist with a focus on real-time event management.

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