[September 3, 2019] Yesterday, I wrote that the U.S. military’s organization is superior to most civilian companies (see link here). What makes it different? I’ve come up with 13 ways that show why the military is better. Today, I’ll list the final eight methods.2
This article is based, in part, on work done by Christopher Littlestone, who is the editor in chief of Life is a Special Operation. 1 I highly recommend his work.
What follows is a list of the final eight of 13 ways the military is better. You too can use these to improve your work:
- Formal leader Training Programs: The military has a continuous educational program that requires all leaders to participate. A leader spends a great deal of their total time in training; often exceeding 25 to 50 percent of their total time in their career. Professional development is also part of the military culture.
- Vacation: the U.S. military gives 30 days paid vacation a year. This is on top of passes and long weekends. Longer time off is associated with improved long-term performance and life/family satisfaction.
- Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs): To ensure success, the military has written methods for almost everything they do that is important. An SOP spells out specific tasks in detail. There is no debate, a method is given, and followed. If you can demonstrate a better way, they will change their SOP.
- Dedicated Staffs: Devoted staff members can free up the workers so that work is done more efficiently. More often than not, companies are inundated with paperwork. A staff that is expert in such matters makes for a better functioning company.
- Focus: A requirement of the military is that you must be mentally and physically present at all times. There is no Facebook, cell phone, or Skype time when on duty. A person’s private life does affect the military and you may be told what you can or cannot do off-duty.
- Taking Responsibility: The military can violate your personal, private life to ensure you are not doing something stupid. This may seem appalling but it keeps young people from making simple life mistakes that would otherwise follow them the rest of their lives. Private businesses will not do this but it will negatively impact on the business at some point.
- Dressing for Success: The military has uniforms and detailed standards on how to wear it properly. This includes personal hygiene, haircut appearance, and body shape. If you look good, you also feel good and perform better.
- Formalizing After Action Reviews: When any major event occurs, good or bad, there is always a formal review of what went right and what went wrong and why. The lessons are then programmed into any follow-on event that is similar. Everyone participates because the perspective of right and wrong will change depending upon their perspective.
I’m interested in what others have to say about their own ways they’ve seen that makes an organization work better. Overall, the U.S. military is better. I believe that to be a fact. If you have examples of a large organization working better, let me know about it.
- Based on a YouTube video by “Life is a Special Operation.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRGZUZXd5C4
- A summary of the first five from yesterday are listed here:
- Codified Codes of Behavior and Values:
- Equal Pay:
- Physical Fitness:
- Open Honesty: