Successfully reported this slideshow.
Your SlideShare is downloading. ×

Change Management Lessons from the Battle of Cowpens

Ad

DANIEL MORGAN AND THE BATTLE OF COWPENS
    Turning the Tide in the American Revolution…and
           Lessons for Modern ...

Ad

• Morgan faced a formidable foe: the fearful
  and “Bloody” Banastre Tarleton, who led a
  disciplined army of British reg...

Ad

• At dawn, the advancing British charged the
  American militia. After a few volleys, the
  militia fell back in good orde...

Ad

Ad

Ad

Ad

Loading in …3
×

Check these out next

1 of 7 Ad
1 of 7 Ad

Change Management Lessons from the Battle of Cowpens

Download to read offline

Change Management Lessons (on Change, Leadership and Collaboration) from the Battle of Cowpens during the Revolutionary War

Change Management Lessons (on Change, Leadership and Collaboration) from the Battle of Cowpens during the Revolutionary War

More Related Content

Change Management Lessons from the Battle of Cowpens

  1. 1. DANIEL MORGAN AND THE BATTLE OF COWPENS Turning the Tide in the American Revolution…and Lessons for Modern Organizations By Gary Vaughan, glvconsulting.com • In 1781 American General Daniel Morgan defeated a superior British force at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina. • His total victory set the stage for winning the American Revolution at the Battle of Yorktown ten months later. • Morgan, known as “the Old Wagoner”, was a colorful character, and he had been a leader of Virginia rifleman under General George Washington. • Morgan’s challenge in the South was to overcome a string of American defeats.….
  2. 2. • Morgan faced a formidable foe: the fearful and “Bloody” Banastre Tarleton, who led a disciplined army of British regular and Loyalist troops. • In January 1781, Tarleton’s force of some 1,100 men was in hot pursuit of Morgan’s motley army of roughly the same strength. • In rolling terrain near the Cowpens, South Carolina, Morgan waited and carefully arranged his forces…  Picken’s militia and sharpshooters in the front ranks, but with orders to fall back after the first volleys;  then Howard’s disciplined regulars in support;  and, finally, Colonel William Washington’s regular and militia horsemen mounted on the wings.
  3. 3. • At dawn, the advancing British charged the American militia. After a few volleys, the militia fell back in good order behind the Continentals. • The exhausted but exuberant British Highlanders lunged after the retreating rebels. Morgan then sprung his trap… • The Continental regulars’ gave withering volleys and decimated the British ranks. Few redcoat officers could rally their troops, given Morgan’s personal exhortation to his militia the night before to “aim for the epaulettes.” • The American regulars then charged the British, while Washington’s cavalry enveloped the redcoats on the flanks. • The British were almost annihilated, suffering 110 dead, 200 wounded and 500 captured, while Morgan lost only 12 killed and 60 wounded!
  4. 4. What does this little known Revolutionary War battle teach us about leadership, change and collaboration for modern organizations?.....
  5. 5. LESSONS FROM THE BATTLE OF COWPENS Insights on Leadership, Change and Collaboration Leadership: General Morgan and his “middle management” team (Howard, Washington, and Pickens) ensured excellent planning and execution during the battle. Morgan took charge personally, spending hours the night before, exhorting his rag-tag militia to “give me two [volleys], my boys, and then go home heroes to your wives and sweethearts.” Lesson: Morgan “knew what he was doing” and communicated this assurance to his troops. Knowledgeable, consistent and committed leadership (and feedback from followers) is needed at all levels to effectively champion and implement change in modern organizations.
  6. 6. LESSONS CONTINUED…… Change: By painstaking deployment and encouragement, Morgan changed his troops’ attitude about the prospects for victory. He reversed the tide of the patriots’ defeat in the Southern theatre. And he set the stage for Washington’s later victory at Yorktown, and winning the Revolution. Lesson: Change management projects, properly led and coordinated, can also transform modern organizations and revolutionize results. Just as at Cowpens, proper planning, timing and communicating can achieve extraordinary change and outcomes for your organization.
  7. 7. LESSONS CONTINUED…… Collaboration: Morgan closely matched his troops’ different abilities to his plan for defeating the British: militia (with a poor reputation for fleeing in disorder) were asked to fire two volleys and retreat; more disciplined regulars were to support the militia and advance in formation; and the cavalry were given free rein to gallop into the British exposed flanks. Lesson: Given proper technical deployment, focus on relevant business processes, and user training and support, collaboration software can leverage the strength of today’s dispersed and diverse workforce. These user-driven, web-based workspaces can provide both the team structure and fluid interaction that Morgan used in orchestrating and then unleashing the energies of his troops at Cowpens.

×