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Friction, Mission Command and Coherence


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My ignite talk from LKNA2013. Prussian military theorist Carl Von Clausewitz coined the term friction to describe everything that happens when our plans crash into reality. His context was war, but his ideas make a great deal of sense in the world of knowledge work. Here's how these ideas are influencing us at TLClabs.

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Friction, Mission Command and Coherence

  1. 1. Further, every war is rich in particular facts; while, at the sametime, each is an unexplored sea, full of rocks.a general must be aware of it that he mayovercome it, where that is possible; and thathe may not expect a degree of precision inresults which is impossible on account of thisvery friction.Picture of Clausewitz
  2. 2. Use an image from a Tough Mudder competitionof someone walking in mud up to their chest?Activity in war is movement in a resistant medium -Clausewitz
  3. 3. Source: The Art of Action, Stephen Bungay, 2011
  4. 4. Source: The Art of Action, Stephen Bungay, 2011
  5. 5. picture of Von Moltke
  6. 6. US Army ADP 6-0 Mission Command (May 2012)Mission Command Philosophy•  Build cohesive teams through mutual trust•  Create shared understanding•  Provide a clear commanders intent•  Exercise disciplined initiative•  Use mission orders•  Accept prudent risksA cool picture of soldiers
  7. 7. Teams need to operate under simple statements of intent that explain WHATand WHY and express CONSTRAINTSTEAMS execute these intents with discipline, technical mastery and widelatitude in terms of HOW.
  8. 8. To sustain recurring revenue while exploring options togenerate $3MM in annual sales/recurring revenue through newproducts that can be sold to anyone in the library industry.
  9. 9. Visualizing IntentRashida, if you want a better image:
  10. 10. Alignment
  11. 11. JC Penny stock from Jan 2012
  12. 12. Reality(problem exploration and solution validation WITH CUSTOMERS)Reality(finances, market conditions , competencies)Coherence
  13. 13. CreditsDon Reinertsens talk on Doctrine at LSS in 2011 led me down the path towards missioncommandStephen Bungay: The Art of ActionPaul Thagard: The Brain and the Meaning of LifeChet Richards: Certain to WinWhat did you think? /