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Military Methods Improve Business Planning- 9/11/2012
The May 1, 2011, mission to find Osama Bin Laden has become one of the most celebrated military mission planning successes in recent memory due to the utilization of a little-known and seldom-used practice called the Red Team. According to James D. Murphy, a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and the founder of Afterburner, the tactics used in planning this mission provide an important lesson that applies to business planning as well. Murphy explains how businesses can benefit from the use of a Red Team in the Fall 2012 issue of Welding & Gases Today, the leading magazine for the gases and welding equipment industry.
Mission planning, be it in military, business or everyday life, can be an emotional process. “We fall in love with the plans we make,” says Murphy. “This is why the practice of utilizing a Red Team is necessary. A Red Team is a simple means to overcome the overconfidence bias and the theory of ‘groupthink,’ the need for groups to seek conformity and unanimity in planning and decision making.”
A Red Team is a group of outside individuals who were not involved in the planning process, and can look at the plan critically and objectively. Says Murphy, “The Red Team’s purpose is to expose flaws or weaknesses in the tactical planning process—to test the plan with dispassionate reason and respectfully offer detailed criticism.” However, he says it is important for the planners to accept the Red Team’s criticism humbly, without commenting or defending the plan.
James D. Murphy is a speaker at the 68th Annual Convention of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association, being held September 9-12 in Colorado Springs, CO. Murphy will present “Leading Flawless Execution from the Top” during GAWDA’s morning business session on Wednesday, September 12.
To learn more about using a Red Team to improve business planning, read “The Red Team” at Welding & Gases Today Online.