25 February 2010

Bragging, Army-style

Had a great time at a recent conference, and was particularly struck by the comments of one of the keynote speakers.

MG Myles, from the Army's Aviation and Missile Command, gave a fantastic speech. What I particularly liked was the stuff he bragged about. He bragged about his organization's commitment to teamwork - frequently using the phrase "working hard to work together." And this wasn't empty boasting either. Everyone I talked with reiterated that teamwork was a top priority.

Note that he wasn't simply bragging about how well everyone worked together. He was emphasizing how much everyone valued working together. It wasn't easy. It wasn't automatic. It wasn't perfect. But it was something they work hard at.

He also talked about delivering systems early & delivering them inexpensively. He consistently described how his command used existing stuff in new and interesting ways, modifying them slightly to create big operational improvements. He never once expressed any infatuation with shiny new objects or high-tech objet du d├ęsir. He was clearly only infatuated with delivering meaningful capabilities for his soldiers. The concept of process compliance didn't come up once.

It was refreshing to hear that kind of talk. It was motivating. It was awesome.

No comments: