Academic journal article Parameters

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

Academic journal article Parameters

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

Article excerpt

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

By General Stanley McChrystal, with Tantum Collins, David Silverman, and Chris Fussell

New York, New York:

Porfolio/Penguin, 2015

304 pages

$29.95

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Team of Teams offers insights into the modern practice of leadership and management required to navigate and succeed in this complex world. The book is not a military history, but instead a concise and exceptionally engaging collection of insightful ideas told through entertaining stories ranging from industry to hospital emergency rooms. I recommend it for leaders and associates from all types of organizations who need to break down the effects of siloed teams in which information flow and decision making is ineffective in today's increasingly complex environment. If you are working your teams harder and putting more resources against a problem that isn't improving, read this book and be prepared to look closely in the mirror.

The discussions in the book are grounded in organizational management theory and leadership methods. This is not a book about the latest way to become a great leader. In fact, it is about becoming the kind of senior leader who can develop and sustain an entire workforce of great leaders.

I do not come at this review as a scholar of organizational management but rather as a participant and recipient of the Team of Teams approach in the military where I was a leader for over twenty years. General Stan McChrystal, along with his three co-authors, believes the world is now so complex (vice complicated) the old models of command and control are extinct. I have worked with some ninety American and international organizations and I cannot think of one that would not benefit from this study.

An alternate title to this book might have been Trust and Purpose Meets Empowered Execution. The Task Force's journey towards shared consciousness and smart autonomy starts in 2003 with the commander's stunning realization that it was losing the strategic war against Al Qaeda. …

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