Summary: This is a review of the changes to the management and organisation of US forces in Iraq to combat AQI by the General who was in overall command. McChrystal takes the reader on tour of different management styles and reflects on the benefits of an interconnected and agile task force when fighting an enemy without a traditional command structure. The lessons appear to be just as applicable to businesses as they are for a fighting force.
Reasons to read: The key take aways from the book, including the benefit of information sharing, focus on agility rather than efficiency, delegation of responsibility and authority along with action, all have applications in the modern civilian world,
Favourite section: Reading a case study about how NASA transformed its management and its technology in order to get to the moon showed how important it is to drive an organisation of multiple parts in the same direction.
Last thoughts: This book is really interesting reading for anyone in an organisation that has multiple departments or teams which are siloed off but at times have to work together. McChrystal shows that in order to a achieve his objective it was necessary to breakdown communication barriers and trust an interconnected web of teams to share information and act upon it.
His management style meant more and more people in the organisation were informed and understood the reasons behind decisions on resource allocation. As a result the organisation operates more effectively which was important for McChrystal when the stakes were life and death.