NOVEMBER 2019 / NO. 1

Mission Command and the Crucial Seven Questions

“If Generals can’t be successful without actionable intelligence, why Boards of Management and Boards of Directors think they still can?”
“In business, the Chief of Staff is someone who organizes the CEO’s diary. In the army the Chief of Staff is an incredible powerful figure and is literally the chief of the machine”


The second quote of the Chief of Staff comes from Justin Maciejewski, former Commander of the British Army’s 2nd Battalion active in Basra, Iraq as well as in Afghanistan, the Balkans, and the Middle East. “The chief of staff was able to triage the intelligence and feed me what I needed: ‘Be aware that this is happening’. A key thing is that the system selects the chief of staff to work with the commander. “When I look back now, I really appreciate how much effort went in selecting the right chiefs of staff to work with the right commanders. In the early 1990s the British Army radically redesigned the way decisions were made and how officers were empowered. Mission Command was created, which is now called ‘agile’ and is all about giving people the tools to make rapid decisions in order to disrupt the enemy. In strategic intelligence we call the Chief of Staff the Tenth Man or Women bringing countervailing power to top management.

Mission Command and the crucial Seven Questions:

  1. What is the situation and how does it affect me?
  2. What have I been told to do and why?
  3. What effects do I need to achieve and what direction must I give in order to develop my plan?
  4. Where can I best accomplish each action/effect?
  5. What resources do I need to accomplish each action/effect?
  6. When and where do the actions take place in relation to each other?
  7. What control measures do I need to impose?

Transforming Mission Command into the business world: Strategic Intelligence

Most metrics indicate only what happened in the past. Executives make reasonable decisions about the future strategies based on backward-looking indicators. By doing so companies can win a battle, however, never will win the war in the competitive arena. What ever management does, strategic intelligence makes the difference. It’s not a separate domain, but it’s context that helps you to work smarter in every company function, supports you to manage the managing vulnerabilities and facilitates the making of high-level informed decisions. Insights from data and information are not intelligence. Strategic intelligence provides a wide overview of an organization’s competitive landscape facilitating informed decision making. The content is generally business oriented and is presented through reports, briefings, alerts, red flags, early warnings and other structured analysis tools. Materials that really can’t be generated by machines neither by AI, but only by humans with expertise. This makes strategic intelligence so unique.
“When a leader shows up in the right way, it’s a source of encouragement. It shows you also having skin in the game”

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