What if you could combine the adaptability, agility and cohesion of a small team with the power and resources of a giant organization?
When General Stanley McChrystal took command of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in 2003, he quickly realized that conventional military leadership approaches were failing. Al Qaeda in Iraq was a decentralized network that could move quickly, strike ruthlessly and seemingly vanish into the local population. The allied forces had a huge advantage in numbers, equipment and training—but none of that seemed to matter.
To defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq, McChrystal and his colleagues discarded a century of conventional wisdom and remade the task force, in the midst of a grueling war, into something new: a network that combined transparent communication with decentralized decision-making authority. The walls between silos were torn down. Leaders looked at the best practices of the smallest units and found ways to extend them to thousands of people on three continents, using technology to establish a oneness that would have been impossible even a decade or two earlier. The task force became a “team of teams”—faster, flatter, more flexible—and beat back Al Qaeda.
McChrystal will discuss the challenges he and his team faced in Iraq and how they have be relevant to businesses, nonprofits and other organizations. He argues that the team of teams' strategy has worked everywhere from hospital emergency rooms to NASA and has the potential to transform organizations large and small.
Speaker Stanley McChrystal, US Army General (Ret.) and Co-founder and Partner, McChrystal Group, is in conversation with Joseph H. Felter, US Army Colonel (Ret.) and Board Member of the Marines' Memorial Association.
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