Learn the key ideas of the book by General Stanley McChrystal , Tantum Collins , David Silverman , Chris Fussell

Team of Teams

New methods to build the organisations of the future

The organisational and management methods on which society is based may seem ideal for tackling situations and solving problems, but if we look more closely, there is something missing: in an increasingly connected and fast-paced world, complexity is gaining momentum, and the operating methods of the past are no longer effective. In his book Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, General Stanley McChrystal shares his thoughts, and proposes new methods for building the organisations of the future, based on shared awareness and teamwork.

Team of Teams
Read in 18 min.
Listen in 22 min.

Many useful tips to:

  • Apply new methods of management in a complex world.
  • Make the most of working in teams.
  • Understand the new role of leadership.

The author of the book:

A former US Army general who retired after thirty years of honourable service, Stanley McChrystal has been a key figure in US missions including those in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he served as Commander General of the Army and Coalition forces. Today he divides his time between his leadership consultancy at the McChrystal Group, which he co-founded, and teaching at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. He has written several books, including Team of Teams and the autobiographical memoir, My Share of The Task.

While studying China and the Middle East and institutional design at Yale University, Tantum Collins took General Stanley McChrystal's leadership course. After earning a bachelor's degree in Global Affairs, he is now studying for a PhD in International Relations and Politics at the University of Cambridge, UK, with particular focus on institutional global design. He is co-author of Team of Teams.

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a former US Navy Special Corps officer for twelve years, David Silverman is a highly decorated veteran with countless missions under his belt from all around the world; among these he has fought in Iraq, Afghanistan and Asia. Today he is co-founder of CrossLead, an initiative created with General Stanley McChrystal to facilitate the process of adaptation within organisations of all kinds and all sizes, and to achieve success even in the most complex of working environments.

A former US Navy Special Corps officer for over fifteen years and aide-de-camp for General Stanley McChrystal during his senior year at the head of Joint Special Operations Command, Chris Fussell is now a partner of the CrossLead group which deals with development, customer relations and marketing. A graduate with a master's degree in Unconventional Warfare, he is a senior fellow in naval security at New America, a group of experts dedicated to understanding future challenges for the United States.


The digital era has created a new world with different rules for management and organisation

The great lesson that the US military has learned from the war in Iraq started with big data and social media and ended with crashing the entire organisation and management of the world's civil and economic structures. During the mission in Iraq, which lasted from 2004 to 2009, it was in fact very clear from the beginning that the traditional military methods were not sufficient to secure victory in a modern battlefield. Extreme discipline and efficiency and the perfect hierarchical machine that have been the cornerstones and the pride of the US military for decades, clash with today’s very different dynamics created by the emergence of new media and communication channels: instead of enhancing military efficiency, social media video streaming, cross-border messaging, real-time monitoring, the sheer volatility and immediacy with which the information spread destabilized its very foundations and rules, initially turning them from complicated into over-complex, and finally causing them to collapse into chaos. The very same power that makes these new digital tools revolutionary, also undermines the foundations of society as we know it, making it impossible to predict every possible scenario, and therefore an approach based on compliance with perfect procedures and rules becomes ineffective.


The key ideas of "Team of Teams"

The digital era has created a new world with different rules for management and organisation
Adaptability is the key to success in complex situations
To stand a chance in an interconnected world, you need to go beyond the classic production line system
Lessons from The Marines and trust in the team
The key is to making the most of emergent behaviour in teams and groups
The new mentality must be invested in sharing not only the same information but also the same space
The biggest change is in the relationships between people
A good leader must be able to coordinate and allow for the decentralisation of decision making power
Take-home message

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