April '20

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16 THE SHOP APRIL 2020 used to create four independent and effective ways to carry out critical battlefield processes such as casualty evacuation, ammunition resupply or leaving an objective area. With PACE, special operations ensure success because they plan and expect prob- lems and find ways to surmount obstacles to ensure the mission is a success, even if the first three plans fail. Success is not an accident and is never guaranteed. PACE is a critical SOF plan- ning process to make back-up plans a key element of success. Create Team Members Who Can Both Follow & Lead Does an innovation process need leaders or team members? The answer is yes to both. On great teams that foster innovation, a team member must be able to perform as both a leader and a follower. The ability to know when to jump in front to lead, gather information and take the initiative is just as important as knowing when to support the current leader and help the leader succeed. A vast majority of people think of them- selves as either a leader or a follower. SOF members know how to be both leaders and followers. The ability to jump back and forth between leader and follower makes SOF soldiers dual assets because they can con- tribute 100% in either capacity. Rehearsals Make Good Plans Great Innovation for any type of improvement in any industry needs constant testing and improving, followed by re-evaluation. The ability to perform, test and improve is a critical aspect of the innovation mindset and one at which SOF soldiers excel. The act of perfecting individual skills is a critical aspect of military excellence. The setting-up of a machine gun by a weapons team quickly and in all weather conditions, for example, is a key aspect of success. Military convoy teams constantly rehearse and re-rehearse how to react to an enemy attack, treat an injured team member or recover a stuck vehicle. The ability to know how to practice, improve and practice again, which SOF soldiers display at a fundamental level, is critical to innovation and plan success. A Post Event Review Captures & Implements Lessons Learned SOF uses the U.S. Army's After-Action Review (AAR) to review, capture and learn from mistakes. The purpose of the AAR is to help an organization and individuals understand what happened, what worked, what did not work and why. Once the team understands and agrees on what needs to be fixed, then it acts together to discuss, experiment, find and agree upon a solution. In the military, the AAR process is used daily and in the same manner for all unit sizes, from three people to thousands. A well-run AAR creates engagement by participants, because it asks for and listens to feedback from all team members regard- less of rank, position or experience. Military SOF teams succeed through hard work, rehearsals, extensive training, exten- sive planning, thorough use of intelligence and technology. However, the greatest asset to any team are the individual skill sets of its members working together to enhance, train, teach and lead the team to ever-higher levels of performance. CHAD STORLIE is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer, an Iraq combat veteran and has 15 years university teaching experience as an adjunct Professor of Marketing. He is a mid-level B2B marketing executive and a widely published author on leadership, busi- ness, data, military and technology topics. ADOPTING THE MILITARY TEAMS APROACH A vast majority of people think of themselves as either a leader or a follower. SOF members know how to be both leaders and followers.

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