In this episode, I talk to Tony Ingesson about why the Swedish army was viewed as trigger-happy and insubordinate during the Bosnia war and was celebrated as war heroes, whereas the very disciplined and professional Dutch army forced the entire Dutch government to ultimately resign.
In this episode, I talk to Tony Ingesson about why the Swedish army was viewed as trigger-happy and insubordinate during the Bosnia war and was celebrated as war heroes, whereas the very disciplined and professional Dutch army forced the entire Dutch government to ultimately resign.
We cover some of the following topics:
Show Notes, Transcription, & Resources Mentioned: gammabeyond.com/en/podcast/017
Podcast Website: www.innovationalcorrectness.com
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00:00:00] Guest (Tony Ingesson): We expected here in Sweden to fight the Soviets when this was developed. And we expected that the Soviets will have such a huge advantage in numbers and in firepower and such that they will probably cause massive disruption to, to the information flows to the chain of command and such so that if people need instructions, they will become passive and they will become easy targets for the Soviets during the initial onslaught.
[00:00:26] So the whole structure was that people need to be able to act independently because they will need to have a chain of command that is always perfectly operational. So if the chain of command is disrupted, they will still know what to do and be able to remain there.
[00:00:44] Intro: welcome to innovation correctness, a podcast, all about innovation and transformation hosted by David Luna, author keynote speaker and founder of gamma digital and beyond David and his guests discuss real-world practical advice on how to best harness the creativity of your employees and go from idea to product giving you unique perspectives and insights into their success all while separating, hype from reality and replacing bullshit bingo. With common sense, let's jump right into the show.
[00:01:17] Host (David C. Luna): Welcome back to another episode of the innovation correctness podcast. I really have a very unique episode for today. One that I'm pretty sure you haven't heard of before and in today's episode, I talked to Tony Ingaldson about how the Swedish army quickly gained the reputation of being one of the most trigger-happy and insubordinate UN units in the Bosnia or, and were celebrated as war heroes.
[00:01:41] Whereas the very disciplined and professional Dutch army forced the entire Dutch government to resign. So Tony has a Ph.D. in political science with a research focus on subcultures, military decision-making and public administration. You also teach us political science and intelligence [00:02:00] analysis, which include tactical decision-making in military and intelligent contexts.
[00:02:04] Counter-intelligence organizational cultures, intelligence, failures, espionage, and industrial espionage as well. He also taught courses on international relations theories on armed conflict, the EU terrorism, and international law. Tony also previously served in the Swedish armed forces where he worked on analyzing AirLaunch weapon system, as well as the Naval command.
[00:02:28] In addition, he also runs a small consultancy and market research company on the side, serving mostly international clients from the security and defense sector. And without further ado, let's go meet Tony.
[00:02:45] Welcome to the podcast, Tony.
[00:02:47] Guest (Tony Ingesson): Thank you. Do you want to introduce yourself to the listeners and explain who you are and what you do? So my name is Tony. I have a Ph.D. in political science and I work at Lund University in Sweden. Uh, so what I do most days is I teach tolerance analysis and political science and on the political science side, I mostly teach methods.
[00:03:10] And, uh, I do research on, uh, these days I mostly do research and intelligence analysis. So I do research on things like espionage and counterintelligence decision-making to some extent. And, uh, previously when I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation, I was mostly researching decision-making in military organizations at the lower levels, so that what we would call the tactical level in a military organized.
[00:03:36] Host (David C. Luna): So the first time I came across you as an author was actually on Reddit where one of your articles was posted. And I found that article extremely fascinating because it highlighted an aspect of military or military leadership in general, that I haven't heard elsewhere because you know, when I think of the military, it's always order and discipline and following [00:04:00] orders.
[00:04:00] And that's why I reached out to you because I thought this would be a very interesting topic for a podcast episode. But before we get ahead of ourselves, do you want to briefly summarize what that article said to our listeners?
[00:04:14] Guest (Tony Ingesson): Sure. So the article is based on, uh, one of the chapters from my Ph.D. dissertation, uh, and it covers the Swedish Danish, and also to some extent, Norwegian, but mostly Swedish Danish, uh, peacekeeping unit that was deployed to Bosnia between 1993 and 1995.
[00:04:35] As part of the, uh, United Nations peacekeeping mission to bars now, um, after 1995, uh, the responsibility for this mission switch to NATO. So the people stayed and the unit stayed, but it was, uh, transferred to NATO command. So I haven't studied it after 95 much just during the UN years, because that's what I think is most interesting.
[00:04:58] And the reason I started this case is that the Swedish Danish unit really stands out compared to the other peacekeeping units that were deployed during the United Nations era in Bosnia. So what you learn when you study peace and conflict studies, and you look at Bosnia during the UN years in the nineties, is that it was generally regarded as, uh, a huge failure, uh, to be honest.
[00:05:24] So it was one of the things that really, uh, had a, had a massive impact on the reputation of the United Nations and how the United Nations organized peacekeeping because it really didn't work. At all basically, but the Swedish Danish units on the other hand did things very differently and, uh, not at all the way they were supposed to.
[00:05:45] So they had disregarded orders and they did things the way they thought they should be done, which was way more aggressively and using more force. Uh, and in, so doing, I argue that they. Quite a bit more successful than the other [00:06:00] units, precisely because they did things their own way. So that's what I was interested in looking at.
[00:06:04] And I wanted to look at the organizational culture, uh, that fosters this kind of decision-making and, uh, and how, how these people thought about the situation they were in and the priorities they had and yeah. What made them act the way they did basically, before we continue, I think it might make sense for those listeners that were maybe too young or don't remember what the Bosnian war was all about to kind of briefly summarize what that conflict was all about and how it started.
[00:06:36] Host (David C. Luna): So that listeners have a sound basis of the conflict that we're talking to.
[00:06:40] Guest (Tony Ingesson): Yeah, sure. It is. It is, uh, uh, quite a long story, but I'll try to really give you the brief version. So, uh, there was the Yugoslavian Federation, uh, which was created after world war II and it United these different parts of the Balkans, these different countries that had existed in different forms for quite some time.
[00:07:03] And they were United into yoga Slavia and for quite a few decades that worked quite well. Uh, I think, uh, I mean it wasn't democratic or anything, but it, it, it worked in terms, um, that it wasn't, there were no hostilities, it was a peaceful country. But then in, in, uh, in the late eighties, early nineties started to fall apart.
[00:07:23] It was Slavia. And in 1991, first of all, Slovenia and Croatia wanted to be independent. They no longer wanted to be part of the, uh, it was login Federation and there was a brief. Uh, with Slovenia, but Slovenia managed to extract themselves quite successfully and quite quickly early on from the rest of it was Slavia and it's stayed pretty much that way.
[00:07:48] Uh, there were also some skirmishes involving Croatia, but which did not end quite as quickly. And then in 1992, we get to the situation in Bosnia, which is what I've been looking at. And in [00:08:00] 1992, Bosnia had been looking at Slovenia, looking at Croatia and seeing how they declared independence and then Bosnia too wanted to be independent, but then things didn't turn out so well.
[00:08:10] So, um, instead there was a, what we would call an intrastate conflict, which is, you know, civil war and regular phrasing. Uh, and the war in Bosnia had three sites, three main sites. So there were the Bosnians or the Bosniaks as they're usually referred to, they wanted, uh, an independent Bosnia. Then there was the Bosnian Serbs army, which is used to usually referred to as the VRS, uh, which was based the, in the Serb parts of Bosnia called Republika Srpska.
[00:08:42] Uh, and they wanted to, uh, basically, yeah. Reinforce and to establish Serb influence over Bosnia. And they were supported by the former Yugoslavian army called the J and a, uh, which was served dominated. So that's how it could shift over to mostly supporting the Serb side. And then the third part was the Croatian H V O, which were local Croatian units fighting for Croat influence in Bosnia because there were Croats living in Bosnia as well.
[00:09:12] And they were supported by the Crow main Croatian army to put it simply you had Bosnia was instilled as a multiethnic state. So you had Serbs Croats Bosniaks, and these three sides basically competing for influence in the territory. And that's why they were, there was a war in Bosnia and to make things more complicated, there were also a number.
[00:09:34] Paramilitary units were active during the war. And they were led by mostly warlords or various unsavory characters. Uh, so sometimes these paramilitary units would be slightly more under control and fight for more strategic or political goals. And sometimes they would be more roving kind of bands of criminals.
[00:09:56] Uh, they would loot and steal from civilians. They [00:10:00] would rape and kill civilians. Uh, they would, uh, try to establish smuggling routes, uh, things like that. So some, some were more in line, some were more on the purely criminal side and they were quite unpredictable and difficult to control and they made things a lot more difficult.
[00:10:18] So for the peacekeepers in Bosnia, you had three main sites, the Bosniaks, the Bosnian Serbs and Croats to, um, to handle. And then you also had these paramilitary units that, so the quite a complex situation on the ground, right? So then nor bad too, which was, I believe a Swedish Danish tank battalion arrived in Bosnia, uh, as part of the UN peacekeeping mission.
[00:10:43] And what I found most fascinating about the article was the fact that they quickly gained the reputation of the most trigger, happy UN unit in Bosnia, and apparently on multiple occasions, utterly disregarding orders from its highest political authorities. And now their listeners might have, you know, the question is okay, was this just one particular unit?
[00:11:05] Was this a, an example of a bunch of bad apples? Uh, what was the case? Uh, so just quick correction first, it was a tank company and Norbert too was a battalion. So there was a Danish tank company within the battalion, and it was technically a, what is called a mechanized battalion. And I would say this was not an example of bad apples, maybe good apples, and that case.
[00:11:30] So the thing we have to keep in mind is that perhaps the main reason the rest of the UN mission was having such difficulties operating and white was everything was working so badly is that political leaders back home in all these countries that were deploying peacekeepers were trying to micromanage things.
[00:11:51] And what they were most concerned about was avoiding risk for their troops. And this is also something that people may not [00:12:00] find easy to relate to today because. We are used to things like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria. So we are used to these conflicts today where troops from Western countries are also, uh, facing significant risks and taking losses.
[00:12:16] But in the nineties, people weren't used to that sort of thing. And national governments were very worried that if even 10, maybe peacekeepers were killed, that that would cause major backlash for the, for the entire government. So at all costs, they wanted to avoid any kind of risk for their own peacekeepers.
[00:12:35] And that's why they were trying to micromanage. And in the case of not, but to. The commander in Bosnia, uh, the battalion commander, identified this situation as being one that it was quite risky if you wanted to actually achieve something. So if you wanted to achieve what he thought were the mission goals, the mission objectives, which was to protect civilians.
[00:12:59] And that is also something that was specifically written into the instructions for the UN troops, that they were supposed to protect civilians and to, uh, separate keep the sites to the parties, to the conflict, separated, to prevent, uh, the war from escalating, basically. So he, his assessment was that if you want that, if you want to protect the civilians in particular, then you have to accept risk.
[00:13:23] Otherwise, you're not going to be able to accomplish that mission objective and the way things worked and still work. Uh, and the Swedish armed forces is that if you are the one on location and you know, what's going on and you are able to tell what's needed in order to achieve the mission objectives, then you're supposed to do what you think is best to solve the problem to achieve those mission objectives.
[00:13:48] And that includes a mandate to disregard orders because people. Who are far away and much higher up in the hierarchy. They are not going to be able to give you good instructions [00:14:00] because they don't know what's going on. They don't have up-to-date information. They can get a complete view of the situation.
[00:14:05] So he was basically doing what the Swedish armed forces were trained to do. And the army in particular, what the army was trained to do was to try to identify what's going on. What is the local situation? What are the mission objectives? What are, what are these strategic objectives? And then take action to, to see to it that these objectives are.
[00:14:27] Host (David C. Luna): Okay. So there are quite a few things that I would like to unpack here for the listeners. On the one hand, I see a lot of similarities between the military, which is a larger organization, and large corporations in the private sector. But then I also see what seems like a contradiction, at least in terms of how we civilians like myself, that never been to the military view of the military, which is there's a strong and large hierarchy.
[00:14:50] There's a chain of command and it's all about following orders. Then what you described Norbeck too made a lot of sense too, which is basically you don't tell the individual soldier or the general, doesn't tell the individual soldier where to shoot, where to run to, because he's the one with the most information, he's the one in the battlefield.
[00:15:09] So you wouldn't really tell him what to do similar in large corporations where you don't hire smart R and D people, for instance, and then basically tell them what to do. So there, I see similarities, but again, how civilians view the military, we think about it's all about order and discipline and following orders.
[00:15:27] So I think it would make sense to give the listeners maybe a quick rundown or simplified version of how decisions are made in the military and why a certain leadership style is used.
[00:15:39] Guest (Tony Ingesson): So there are huge differences between first of all, between different nations and the kind of traditions and military culture they have, but there are also differences.
[00:15:50] Within nations because of different military units, different branches, they have different needs, different cultures, and different structures. But the most [00:16:00] typical managerial, uh, structure, uh, I guess is the, it's the top-down hierarchical one. So, uh, you have, um, generals or such at the top and they have the strategic and political objectives.
[00:16:14] And then. What to do, what, to what they need to achieve. And then they try to convert this into something more practical, something more concrete, and then they provide this to their subordinates, perhaps in the term, uh, in, in the form of plans, operational plans, operational objectives, and then their subordinates take this information and then they create more detailed instructions to pass on to their subordinates and so on and so on.
[00:16:40] So that people at the bottom end of this chain, they get very concrete instructions, such as, you know, attack at this hour too, in this direction and secure this on this location. And then the people at the top, try to maintain us as best they can. I kind of situational awareness and then they adapt as things change.
[00:17:00] Given you give out new instructions. So that's basically the, the simple way of explaining it. So from, from, from top to bottom, instructions are issued and then the people at the top try to, uh, cope with changes and issue new instructions, and then they traveled down the chain. It should also be, be emphasized here that when it comes to things that require a high degree of coordination, specifically, anything that involves aircraft.
[00:17:26] So when you have planes, you can't let planes fly around. However, they like, because then there's a very high risk of them colliding if nothing else, and also various other problems. And they can't land all at once and such. So for example, things that involves aircraft or ships, then usually you want a high degree of control, centralized control because you need to coordinate all of these units.
[00:17:49] You can't let them do whatever they want. Whereas in, in a, in an, in a ground forces situation, uh, you can let them act more independently. Not always, but you, [00:18:00] you, sometimes you may think that letting them act independently, Is a better trade-off than trying to coordinate them.
[00:18:07] Host (David C. Luna): Makes a lot of sense. So essentially we could say that the military is a very large hierarchical top-down organization that say has a general at the top that then has some overarching strategy.
[00:18:18] He breaks that down into tactics and orders for the individual soldier to follow and execute, which kind of reminded me of a time in high school, where I worked for a retail organization called AAFES, which stands for, I think army and air force exchange service essentially is run by the military and their leadership style is very military oriented, but employees, civilian.
[00:18:41] And I remember one time where I asked the boss's boss for some advice. And later that day I got reprimanded by my direct superior for not following the chain of command. To me, that was very unintuitive and I tend to go the direct route and circumvent certain rules that I don't find sensible to follow.
[00:19:01] There there, the question I would have here is why don't more militaries and armies around the world. Looking at conflicts today, that are more volatile and more dynamic, give the soldiers more autonomy.
[00:19:12] Guest (Tony Ingesson): I would say that there are two main answers. So the first one has that. The rational one, if you like, is that if you give people that kind of autonomy, then you will not be able to coordinate them and you cannot expect them to coordinate themselves either because at least not in a, in a, in any kind of scale.
[00:19:31] Uh, so for example, if we compare this to the Soviet or Russian version of the command, which is almost the opposite, that is when you really give people very strict, uh, instructions, and you do not want them to take initiatives and act independently, but that gives you another advantage. And that is that if everything works.
[00:19:50] Which it doesn't always, but if it does work, then you can pretty much set the clock, uh, after these units. So you can, for example, you can have huge numbers of people act in [00:20:00] synchronization, which can be quite effective if that's what you need. For example, if you have a, it doesn't have to be a Soviet kind of managerial style, you could also have a Western kind of army, but perhaps you want to maintain some kind of synchronization because you have very complex logistics chains or things like that.
[00:20:17] You can have people runoff and then lose track of them because it becomes too difficult to manage. So that's why maybe you want a higher degree of control, but, uh, and this is an important point, is that for, for Sweden, it made more sense to adopt a solution that was based on autonomy, because we expected here in Sweden to fight the Soviets when this was developed.
[00:20:40] And we expected that the Soviets will have such a huge advantage, uh, in numbers and in firepower and such that they will probably cause massive disruption to, uh, to the information flows to the chain of command and such so that if people need instructions, They will become passive and they will become easy targets for the Soviets during the initial onslaught.
[00:21:02] So the whole structure was that people need to be able to act independently because then they will not, they will need to have a chain of command that is always perfectly operational. So if the chain of command is disrupted, they will still know what to do and be able to remain efficient until the chain of command can be reestablished.
[00:21:19] And, there are two other interesting examples, of the same kind of philosophy. And perhaps the most interesting, in some ways is the Germans during world war II, because at the tactical level, they were the ones that they are, the ones that are usually associated with this, I should say. So they did.
[00:21:35] This kind of thinking during the last year of world war one, and then they refined it during the thirties, and then they implemented it during world war II. So they had a pretty sizable, I mean, they are a huge army and they still had this kind of autonomy, but that also in some cases, Difficult to, to keep things synchronized organized and to keep logistics working smoothly and such.
[00:21:55] So it is a bit of a trade-off, but in a military situation, [00:22:00] the the thing that would determine your decision would be how much, how much, what are you expecting in terms of, of kit? Not perhaps chaos, but friction as we would call it. So how many. Unforeseen events are you expecting? What do you think is going to happen?
[00:22:15] And the more unpredictable the situation is going to be, the more you will gain by providing autonomy and vice versa. So if everything is always going to be very predictable, then you don't do the people won't really need that much autonomy, but if things are going to be unpredictable, then autonomy is going to be very valuable.
[00:22:32] Host (David C. Luna): Um, seeing, seeing a lot more similarities from the military, if we compare it to say large corporations and startups, you know, I always tell my clients, you shouldn't look at the method. You shouldn't look at the tools that you want to use, but you should look at the environment you're in. The context is what's actually important here.
[00:22:51] So a large organization can ever become a startup. The simple reason is startup is in a different environment, in a different context, and therefore it needs different. Set of tools and resources and mindsets. So a startup has to still find its product-market fit in a larger organization that already has that.
[00:23:09] So it's not so much about the tools that are used, but the context and, uh, this whole debates, uh, also about agile versus waterfall. And that's not really that relevant. The relevant part is here is the context you're in. You don't need to go to the bathroom in an agile fashion. It's always the same sequence.
[00:23:27] You go in, you do your thing, you wash your hands and you're out. You don't need to iteratively try something new. It's always the same, very predictable pattern. And if you're in a very predictable environment and you're in the military, maybe you want this high degree of coordination. So you have the scale and can essentially steamroll the enemy.
[00:23:46] So essentially it's about what environment you're in what context, and then you select the most effective tool for that objective.
[00:23:53] Guest (Tony Ingesson): I could add that. One of the advantages of having this kind of autonomy is that it cuts down on your response [00:24:00] time. It gives you the ability to respond very quickly to changes, and that might be valuable in some contexts.
[00:24:07] So I've, I've looked at some, um, back when I was doing this, when I was writing my Ph.D. thing, I was looking at some business examples just to see how kind of track, how transferable this kind of logic would be to a business context. And, um, for example, I was looking at the early years of, of personal computing, uh, late seventies.
[00:24:26] Well, actually you can start the even early seventies if you like. Uh, so you had a company like Xerox, uh, and it was creating these credible innovations, which were way ahead of their time. And you had this, this new market that was developing that no one had ever seen before and things were moving very quickly and then Xerox completely failed to, to make use of these incredible gains.
[00:24:49] They had achieved technologically, uh, and instead as we all know, IBM and apple stepped in because they well, IBM, perhaps isn't known to be the most agile, quick reacting organization, but apple surely. Fairly small, fairly responsive, able to quickly move, uh, in the eighties, got a product on market, really, uh, make it make an impression.
[00:25:11] And then Xerox, they really lost momentum. And, uh, once they were trying to catch up, it was too late. So they have, cause they had a huge bureaucratic top-down organization and that really didn't work out for them, I would say.
[00:25:21] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah, totally agree. I mean, there are so many more examples. Like if we take Blackberry versus apple as an example, and we try to understand why.
[00:25:29] Legacy companies failed due to a more innovative competitor than a lot of decisions that the CEOs of the field companies made make a lot of sense. They were rational decisions that the CEOs made, and I'm pretty sure that a lot of the listeners would have made the same decisions. Now we have to go back and try to understand why that's the case.
[00:25:49] Now it comes down to a couple of factors and the main one is risk, or the risk averseness back bear back then was a huge, very successful company. And they had a huge cash cow. [00:26:00] So they were like printing money. And now imagine this employee comes by and says, Hey, I got this new idea for this innovative new technology it's upcoming.
[00:26:08] And you as a CEO ask, well, how big is the market? And you're like, well, we're not really sure, but it's really small between one and five minutes. As a large organization, Blackberry was these small markets do not satisfy the large growth demands of large companies. Now you're supposed to pull resources from your cash, cow people money, put it into this new market.
[00:26:29] That's a very uncertain, risky, and it's very small. And then you're supposed to go back to the shareholders, a CEO, and then tell them this crazy story about this one employee that thinks he's innovative and wants to invest all the money, basically in this new technique. Now, from that perspective, it makes a lot of rational sense that they'll see you as feel companies made brings me back to what you were saying about the UN and all too, where the UN was just very bureaucratic, but a lot of decisions that they made a lot of sense.
[00:26:59] It's kind of reminded me of an example about David Mara. K. He was a former us Navy captain of a nuclear submarine fleet, where he turned one of the worst fleets into one, the most successful ones by essentially changing the leadership style. He explained how he did that. He says that most hierarchies operate in the following cash and where people at the bottom have the information, but they don't really know.
[00:27:21] I have the authority to make those decisions. So we essentially create a system to channel that information up to authority up to the top and people at the top then make the decision. And it comes back down to the people at the bottom in order to execute. And he says that this is the incorrect way to use a hierarchy and thinking organs.
[00:27:40] And the correct way based on his assessment is we take the authority for making decisions and push it down to the people with the information. And he says that not only creates a more resilient, agile, and responsive organization, but it also makes the people and the employees happier too. So here's, my question is expensive.
[00:27:59] It seems [00:28:00] to mirror that of the Swedish military culture of mission command. Did he steal that maybe from the Swedish or what's your take on?
[00:28:08] Guest (Tony Ingesson): So it's, it's pretty, uh, interesting and a bit funny that this example of yours concerns submarines because submarines is what I wrote about and another chapter, uh, in my, in my Ph.D. dissertation, but it was world war II submarine.
[00:28:20] So it's not exactly the same, but an important aspect of submarines that still holds true is that suburb. Among Naval units, submarines are among the ones that are most independent. I would say they are one of the kinds of Naval vessel that require the least, uh, degree of, uh, of coordination because they, they are supposed to operate independently.
[00:28:43] To me, this makes sense, because as I said before, if you want cordon if you need coordination, then you may not want to give too much autonomy because that makes coordination difficult. But in this case, you probably don't need that much coordination. So it becomes worth the trade-off instead of giving them autonomy because it makes them more efficient.
[00:29:00] Uh, so it makes perfect sense. And I don't think he, I don't think he got it from Sweden. I think if anything, he probably got it more from, from the Germans, because that's the, that's the classic example. So the Israelis are also famous for this, but Israel is, I think also some inspiration from the germ, the way the Germans handled tactical command during world war II.
[00:29:18] So it has developed differently in different places. In this case, it makes a lot of sense. It should be added again, that if you have surface ships, then you need them to travel in a, in a formation, for example. So have you seen, um, this recent movie Greyhound where you have a yeah.
[00:29:36] Host (David C. Luna): Um, with, uh, what's his name?
[00:29:37] That Tom Hanks.
[00:29:38] Guest (Tony Ingesson): Yeah, exactly. A great movie. If you have a huge number of ships and you need them to travel across the Atlantic, then you need to keep them coordinated. Right. Because you can't let every ship do whatever it feels like in every situation, because they would either they would get lost or they will collide, or, yeah, that's an example of where you probably need more direct [00:30:00] control, centralized control just to make things work.
[00:30:02] But for us. This makes a lot of sense. And one of the things I've been looking at is that sometimes it's easy to look at these situations where you have either this or either that then I can recommend, okay, so here you need to give them more autonomy because that will make them more efficient. Uh, it will cut down on the response time and such, make them more, more able to handle, uh, um, situations that you couldn't predict.
[00:30:24] And sometimes I say, okay, so here are you need more, more coordination. But I think that one of the more important lessons here is that if you have a large organization, you may need a mix of this. You may need some people to have autonomy and some people to be more coordinated. If you manage, to mix different kinds of cultures, then they can complement each other.
[00:30:48] So you can have a kind of a synergy effect that it makes the organization as a whole much, much more, more effective because the people who need autonomy have autonomy and the people who need coordination have coordination. So of course it's difficult because you need to be able to identify what kind of culture you need to have, where, but in my experience in, in organizations, cultures tend to grow organically.
[00:31:10] So you need to keep an eye on what, what is actually going on within your organization. What kind of culture sure is growing here. And it might be good, a good call because it may be, it has adapted to the situation and maybe, yeah. Develop a way to become effective, but it could also be detrimental because sometimes organization or organizational cultures develop in a different direction and then they actually can become quite damaging to the organization as a whole.
[00:31:33] Host (David C. Luna): And that comes back down to, uh, what we had before, which was looking at the environment and context you're in looking at what is the objective that you're trying to achieve and then deciding what type of organization you'll need, what type of mindset, people, culture, et cetera, and not put the horse before the cart, so to speak.
[00:31:52] Oh, while remembering that what might work in one context might be a complete failure in another. And going back to Norbet [00:32:00] too, from everyone correctly, the approach that the commanding officer whose name was Wolf Henriksen, uh, took, well, let's say he had a mixed review. On the one hand, you had commander Michael Rose from the UN press Corps who was very impressed by his robust approach.
[00:32:16] But then in Sweden at home, his approach, didn't go down all that. Well with some of them accusing him of being very triggered, happy, and too aggressive, but then ultimately the proof was in the pudding Henriksen's approach resulted in being codified in the Swedish peace support operations doctrine in 1997, and Hendrickson and his soldiers also became known for redrawing the rules of international peacekeeping by aggressively protecting civilians tactics, not really popular among UN officials back then, can you give us some more insight into why the commanding officer with Henriksen of Norbet two had such mixed reviews?
[00:32:55] Guest (Tony Ingesson): Yeah. So I would say that while things were still unfolding, uh, in Bosnia, Swedish politicians were basically acting the way politicians were acting in a lot of other countries that had deployed troops. So they were concerned because they noticed that, okay, things are moving fast and Bosnia and things are, it's more of a dynamic and more difficult and a more hostile situation than we expected because Sweden had deployed peacekeepers to a number of missions before during the cold war.
[00:33:25] And they were quite peaceful compared to Bosnia, not that much happening, but in Bosnia, there was a war still going. There wasn't a piece to keep in a manner of speaking. So they wanted to, they wanted to ascertain some kind of control because they were mostly concerned with what would happen if there are Swedish losses, and Hendrickson, he, he didn't believe in that kind of, that kind of mentality because that would make it impossible for him to operate, which is also what happened to the other UN units.
[00:33:52] So is that he basically did what he thought was best. And after some time had passed this Swedish politicians [00:34:00] had to realize. That his solution was giving was producing much better results than what would otherwise have been the case. So if so, if they had had their way, the politicians then things would probably have turned out quite differently and much worse.
[00:34:14] And that would have been a bigger problem for the politicians afterward, but some of them were a bit petty. So Hendrickson, I think didn't quite get the promotions he had deserved afterward. Some people probably held a bit of a grudge secretly, but of course, the Swedish politicians they could, um, They, they could sit back and relax and say, well, this went quite well, especially compared to what happened in the Netherlands and all the, uh, all the years debate that that happened in the Netherlands after we had been Anita.
[00:34:41] Uh, so we didn't have, we didn't have that. The Bosnia mission was not even during the UN years was not that controversial here, not after the fact when people had seen what had happened. So people here were quite proud of the mission and they felt that I mean, of course it wasn't like a brilliant success because it was more or less an impossible mission to start with.
[00:35:01] But given the, under the circumstances, the Swedish Danish unit did more than anyone could have expected. They achieved more than anyone could have expected. And of course, some of that glory, if you want also reflected on the politicians afterward, so they, of course, they did, they didn't criticize handlings on after this when they realized that he had been right all along.
[00:35:19] But some people held a bit of a grudge. Yeah. And you can't really argue with what he achieved. And I believe. Hendrickson. And his soldier also saved the lives of 200 civilians that were detained in a school. And they apparently named a school after him in Bosnia as well.
[00:35:37] Host (David C. Luna): So what I found very frightening, and I think it was mentioned in your article.
[00:35:42] Which was the fact that you and the soldier were not allowed to shoot back, even though they were shot upon. And to me, as someone as a civilian that has never been to war or has been in the army, that sounds very peculiar. And you know, if I'm being shot at, in [00:36:00] my objective, my mission is to protect the civilians.
[00:36:02] Why am I not allowed, to shoot back in self-defense in protecting these civilians? So maybe you can kind of explain the logic behind it.
[00:36:12] Guest (Tony Ingesson): Yeah. So the UN had it also reflects the UN as, as a top-down hierarchal organization. So that the basic mandate that was decided upon, uh, in the UN that the overall strategic objectives, they were fairly robust, they didn't set these limits.
[00:36:30] What happened was that farther, slightly farther down the chain. People started adding more and more of these complicated rules for when you're supposed to do what. So in practical terms, it became very difficult to respond to anything I think. But what this reflects is that farther down the food chain, uh, in the UN they didn't want to escalate things.
[00:36:53] They didn't want to provoke anyone. They didn't want to be seen as, as, uh, as they were taking sides and, and they wanted to be as cautious as possible. And that just wasn't a good solution here because these, these main sides, as well as these paramilitaries, they learned very quickly how to exploit them.
[00:37:14] So they realized that, okay, so this is how they act. When, if you push them, then they will start to fold. So, they didn't just randomly start shooting and attacking you and units because that would have probably forced the UN units to do something. So they were more clever. So they would add all these obstacles, make things difficult, perhaps some random shooting that you couldn't see where it came from just to scare them and things like that.
[00:37:38] And then they started adding more and more of the, uh, of this kind of force and, and. Adding obstacles, making things difficult. So what the suites did was that they realized Swedes and Danes realized from the start that we have to be able to move freely. For example, if, if we allow these parties to the conflict, to prevent [00:38:00] us from getting anywhere, then we won't be able to achieve anything.
[00:38:03] So if they set up roadblocks, then we have to find a way to get through them. Uh, we can't let them delay us and stop us all the time. So sometimes it wasn't a matter of shooting back. Sometimes it was a matter of having the courage basically to escalate a situation in order to avoid a more difficult and more negative outcome for down the road.
[00:38:23] Whereas the UN basically wanted to be very, very cautious and because the UN hadn't really faced much along these lines before the UN was used to being well more or less welcomed, more or less accepted by the parties to the conflict. And here they weren't. At all. So what Hendrickson's approach was that when all three main sites in the conflict, when all three submitted protests against the actions of Norbert, he said, well, here's the proof that I'm not taking sides.
[00:38:49] Here's the proof that I'm, that I'm impartial because everyone is protesting my actions. That means I'm impartial. Uh, so, and the other ones were basically, they didn't want any protests because that might look, give the impression that they were being partial.
[00:39:01] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. That reminds me of a quote that costs something like the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
[00:39:07] And that seems to kind of mirror what happened here with the UN. And it was very understandable from the UN side, not to take sides, to be impartial, but then also the side of nor bad to disobey certain orders in order to protect the civilians. If that's my objective, What I found ironic though, is that the two governments of Sweden and the Netherlands, which you kind of mentioned as an, had very different outcomes for the government officials on the one hand side Sweden's governments was vindicated, so to speak and government of underlines, I believe in early two thousand had to resign over.
[00:39:46] So, can you kind of highlight that as well? Because I found that very fascinating. If you follow the rules, in this case, that leads to a bad outcome and the way that the Swedes and the Danish, uh, reacted helped actually the Swedish.
[00:40:00] [00:40:00] Guest (Tony Ingesson): Yeah. So in the Netherlands, the government officials started micromanaging even before they deployed troops to Bosnia.
[00:40:08] So they were interfering with things like what kind of equipment do the, did the Dutch peacekeepers bring? So they said, for example, uh, we can't bring a lot of heavy weapons because that might seem provocative. So they should have only, um, the bare minimum of, of, of weaponry and, uh, when the UN asked them.
[00:40:26] So, uh, how about guarding this enclave of Srebrenica, which was even when they were deployed for the first time, you could immediately see that it was going to be difficult because it was surrounded by Bosnian Serbs units and they were controlling. The roads going in and out of this enclave. And of course, they made maximum use of this, the Bosnian Serbs.
[00:40:45] So they were constantly interfering with the freedom of movement for the Dutch and they were starving them of supplies and diesel and food and everything. So in Sweden instead, what happened was that when it was decided that we were going to deploy, they gave the task to the military organization and the military organization did what it was used to doing.
[00:41:04] So it said, okay, uh, here's some battalion commander. Then they asked the battalion commander, what, what do you want, what do you think is appropriate to bring? And he said I want a lot of firepowers. He said because of this CA this could get difficult. And if I have tanks and if I have, uh, support weapons, if I have a, a strong mechanized battalion, then I'll be able to hold my own.
[00:41:26] To some extent, and this wasn't uncontroversial at the time, especially not that he wanted a Danish tank company, because there weren't a lot of vehicles like that being deployed under UN flag to Bosnia, but he said, no, I got to have those tanks. I got to have this, this strong battalion because otherwise, I won't be able to do what I need to do.
[00:41:45] And since the military was used to working independently, the head of the Swedish army said, okay, you'll get what you need. You'll get what you want. And there weren't really any. Structures are in place to allow the politicians to override that decision. [00:42:00] Whereas in the Netherlands that the politicians and the senior management of the military were much more entangled with each other and more attentive to each other, even the, there was a conflict, even in the Netherlands between the, uh, the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of defense over what kind of equipment they were allowed.
[00:42:18] And once the Swedish unit was on its way to Bosnia, the UN also asked Sweden actually, um, do you want to take responsibility for Srebrenica? Uh, this was before the Dutch were deployed to and the HENAAC Saul said, well, if I am going to take responsibility for stripping it, so I need the full battalion and I need the tanks inside the enclave.
[00:42:38] Otherwise I cannot protect it. And they said, well, the Bosnian Serbs, I'm never going to agree to that. And he said, well, then I don't agree to, to be stationed there because it's, it's impossible if I cannot have these resources. And that's why that's one of the reasons I should say. That's one of the. The sweets did not end up in the seventies.
[00:42:54] And the Dutch did because the Dutch said, okay, the UN wants us here. So fine. Again, they were making a lot of decisions that would later have catastrophic results. And I think that even if they did play by the rules set up by the United Nations, the public in all of Europe and the rest of the world, basically, they quite rightly realized after the massacre, instead of in it, so that these rules were counterproductive and they contributed to this, to these horrors that occurred in Bosnia.
[00:43:24] And if we hadn't had these rules, if we had instead had a much more responsible, responsive, and capable organization, then maybe a lot of people wouldn't have had to die. So I think that the political backlash, even though it was to a very large extent, default of the UN, there was, there were also blame on all sides, which I think is quite correct, because if you try to micromanage something like this, it's, it's not good.
[00:43:48] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. Unfortunately, you can see a lot of this blame game in large organizations as well. And it reminds me of a lot of board meetings in companies, especially in Germany, where they try to [00:44:00] micromanage everything. And I'm always really astonished and asked the CEO. Sometimes I'm like if you're trying to micromanage every single thing, then basically, you know how it's all going to pan out.
[00:44:10] And I'm like, okay, how do you know this? Do you have a glass bulb? Because I don't know, or the fact that they want agile project management, but then they want a hill plan for the next six months. And I'm like, that's not going to work because it's going to change on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. We have to adapt to the environment.
[00:44:28] So if the environment is very linear and everything's predictable, Hey fine, then micromanage the shit out of it. But if you're in an unpredictable volatile environment, That's not going to work. It's like the old German saying so essentially saying, I want to wash, but I don't want to get wet.
[00:44:45] That's just not going to work. So looking at the current wars that we have, these very asymmetric wars, wouldn't the Swedish mission command model be more effective at fighting these wars. And let's just disregard if we should even be there fighting these wars, but wouldn't that be more effective?
[00:45:02] Guest (Tony Ingesson): Well, I think it's, it's always difficult to say that it's difficult to say that this would be like a catch-all solution to everything.
[00:45:08] But I would say that in general, there's always a bit of tension between what people probably realize is the best way to get things done as opposed to the way incentives are created in an organization. So people want to, they may feel compelled to maintain control over things that they are responsible for.
[00:45:30] Because they don't trust people. And I think that trust is, is the keyword here. So the thing that makes this kind of command structure work in this case in order to is trust. So the fact that the head of the army trusted the battalion commander Hendrickson, he said, well, I trust you. I trust your judgment.
[00:45:49] I give you this autonomy. Precisely because I trust you. I know that in a situation where I don't have all the facts, you will make the correct decision. You will know what [00:46:00] to do. And trust is also somewhat interesting that in, in, uh, in political science circles, we usually say that there are high trust societies and low trust societies.
[00:46:11] And Sweden is, is traditionally a high trust society, but people trust each other and people trust, for example, the government. And I think this helps because there's this, it makes it easier to also have trust within organizations. But ultimately I think you need to have this kind of trust. You need to be able to trust people and you need to have people who have the right kind of skills and you need to be able to take a leap of faith as it were and to give people as much autonomy as they need, precisely because you trust them to be able to use it wisely.
[00:46:41] And sometimes people make mistakes and in the Swedish culture of mission, This is also something that is part of it that you realize that people are probably going to make mistakes, but you also know that there are going to learn from these mistakes. So you don't punish them unreasonably for their mistakes.
[00:46:57] Of course, they have to have consequences for mistakes, but you also allow people to learn from it. And if you don't, then you have a very passive organization where everyone is very afraid of making it, uh, taking drastic action, for example, because they're afraid that this will haunt them, but if you have trust and if you learn, allow people to learn from their mistakes, I think that is usual.
[00:47:18] A very good kind of basic outlook on how to keep an organization running. Even if things, even if unpredictable things happen. And even if you need to have a quick response time, this will, this will give you a lot of flexibility.
[00:47:31]Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. It also comes back down to how you view humans. Do you view them in a positive light or a negative light?
[00:47:37] If you viewed them in a negative light, well, then you need to control everything. You need to give them orders and they just need to fall because you know, they can be trusted. And on the other hand, if you have a positive worldview of, of people, then yes, they'll make mistakes, but they'll do more right than wrong.
[00:47:52] But you have no speaking in political terms, which is, I think more libertarian is you have no moral right to [00:48:00] intervene because it's their personal decisions or an organization to can give them the autonomy. Because if you don't give them that, then you don't give them trust. And then my question would be.
[00:48:09] If you're hiring or have soldiers that are highly qualified, then why did you hire them in the first place? So I guess that goes kind of hand in hand. And also the the fact that this one size fits all approach is it's always top-down and it always has to be more nuanced in a sense, okay, what is the objective?
[00:48:28] What is the war? What is the mission we're trying to accomplish? And then determine what type of organization, what type of people, the culture I need to most effectively achieve that outcome. So going upon this, what are maybe some other things that maybe companies could learn from good military leaders?
[00:48:47] That they might be lacking. Yeah. Maybe have some examples or insights where private institutions could learn from the military.
[00:48:55] Guest (Tony Ingesson): Maybe not learning from the military in general, but learning at least from specific military examples like this one, I think that for organizations, like we mentioned, first of all, build an organization that is based on trust.
[00:49:06] So you have people that are, are sufficiently qualified to be able to handle that kind of trust. And then you need to look at what, well, what are my mission objectives here? What kind of degree of coordination do I need and, and how to flex. Do I need to be, are things going to happen quickly or are they going to happen slowly?
[00:49:23] And then you need to be very mindful of the kind of, kind of culture that you're creating within your organization. Because what I usually tell people, uh, in a business context is that you must understand that you will have a culture, whether you foster it or not. If you don't care about culture, you'll still have a culture.
[00:49:40] It's just going to be one that you have no idea what it is. And you're probably going to have different cultures within a big organization. And if you don't know what they are and how they interact, then you may have, there may be problems because maybe they have, maybe they will develop hostilities towards each other and start to undermine each other and create all kinds of difficult situations [00:50:00] that are not in the interests of the company.
[00:50:02] And one example that I, I was looking at a few years back and then I never got around to actually publishing about it. Uh, I never. The article and published it, but I've been using it as an example ever since, uh, when I've been giving presentations and, uh, and talking to people in businesses that you should look at how NASA handled the Apollo program in the sixties.
[00:50:25] Because, I mean, it's not, it's not that it was like a military organization, but it was. Uh, an example of what you can achieve when you have a diverse mix of cultures in an organization, and you have this kind of trust that they will know what to do. So you had people who designed rockets, the German engineers, and they built in all these margins in their rockets because that's what they were taught to do.
[00:50:48] So they built more powerful rockets than the specifications required. So when they developed this idea that, okay, you need this kind of power, they added a bit of extra margin safety margins. And then you had the astronauts who are going to ride to the moon and they were pilots. And, uh, well, if you know pilots, then you know that they like to be in control of, of their vessels.
[00:51:10] They don't like to be passive passengers. And the engineers didn't like the pilots, the astronauts, because they wanted things to be automated. They wanted to build a machine that they can trust because they didn't really want to trust people. But the restaurant set. We either get, to control this thing or we're not going along.
[00:51:27] So they, okay. They had to relent and then they had to give the, uh, astronauts a way to control, for example, that the Lander that was supposed to land on the moon. And then you have the third, final piece of this puzzle was that you had people who, uh, who they brought in from the, uh, the nuclear. Program the, um, the people are a bit developing nuclear missiles and they were moving very, very fast.
[00:51:47] They were used to working very quickly because they had to constantly push out new designs, new products just to keep step, with the Soviets. So they, they said that these missile people, they said that we need [00:52:00] to very quickly get things launched and tested. And if it works, it works. We don't have to test it a hundred times.
[00:52:06] We test it. And if it works, then we move on to the next stage, uh, because we will never be able to test anything, a sufficient number of times to get, you know, statistically reasonable results. We just have to make things, make things work quickly, and all of these three are very different. Kind of cultures.
[00:52:23] They work together. And because of this, when, when they had to operate the rockets, they needed more powerful rockets than the German engineers said, well, they all already are sufficiently powerful because we added these margins from the start so they could avoid a costly delay. And then you had these Misael people and they were pushing the schedule ahead because they needed to land on the moon within a fairly short timeframe.
[00:52:45] They only had until the end of the 1960s. So they had until 1969 because that's what President Kennedy had said. So, and also because they wanted to get there before the Russians did. And thanks to these missile engineers who keep pushing the launch schedule, they were able to meet this goal. And finally, when they were landing on the moon with the first, the first live landing with Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, They ran into a problem they hadn't predicted.
[00:53:10] And that was that the moon Lander was about to crash into a piece of rock that they hadn't predicted. And then Armstrong as the astronaut was able to take control and, and steer away from this and avoid a crash and land safely. So all these three diverse cultures. Together, it made it possible to land on the moon and get back safely.
[00:53:29] And I think that if either of these three elements had been missing, then it probably either would have been too late or it would have ended in a disaster, which would have had huge negative consequences, I think. But I usually say is that don't try to emulate military organizations because they look like they are efficient or because they look like they are able to handle these difficulties, look at what's underneath.
[00:53:51] And in some of these cases, well, you have these cultures and these cultures, when things go well, you will often find that it is because these cultures are well aligned with [00:54:00] the strategic objectives, with what you are looking to achieve. And sometimes you need a mix and sometimes maybe you don't, but you need to be attentive to the two cultures.
[00:54:08] I think that's, that's the key lesson here, I would say.
[00:54:10] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. And I'd just like to add, especially, with Corona, we have an excellent example where Corona was not the cause of the supply chain disruptions, but it was just a symptom because you always have supply chain disruptions. And the thing is that most companies just don't want to realize, or they just fail to understand is they just digitalized because everyone else was doing it.
[00:54:32] And they think, well, being more efficient is, is better, but actually overdoing digitalization makes the company more vulnerable because what happens now, you've, you're producing just in time because you digitalized everything. You have no slack, you have no inventory because again, everything's just in time.
[00:54:49] Now what happens if you have some type of disruption, tsunami, earthquake, whatever, it could have been. Anything. There you go. You have absolutely zero flexibility, but everyone was doing this, this hype with digitalization, just digitalize, because it makes sense everyone's doing it being more efficient, but not really understanding in what environment, in what context is my company actually in.
[00:55:09] And that makes companies much more vulnerable and less resilient or much more fragile. That's the thing that people fail to understand or companies need to look at just because something looks cool or sounds cool that that's not going to work. You have to look at why is this working? Why is a certain country using this method, using this tool?
[00:55:29] And why does it work? Because oftentimes the context or the environment makes sense with that specific tool. So what might work for one company might not work for another, or what works in one country might not work in another due to certain factors due to the impact. And if you're in a volatile environment, then you want to inventory.
[00:55:51] So you have flexibility. If you don't have inventory though, then you're not flexible. So to kind of wrap up this episode, if there are people that are interested in the [00:56:00] subject that are active military or veterans, what books, articles, or publications would you recommend they read or could read? Yeah.
[00:56:08] Guest (Tony Ingesson): Sure. So if you want the short version of, of what we've been talking about in Bosnia, there's the article that you mentioned at the start that I wrote and, uh, I'll you have the link to that already, and then if you want. Go deeper into these issues of organizational culture and strategy, how they can be connected to strategic objectives.
[00:56:31] Then I would recommend looking at my Ph.D. dissertation and, uh, I'll give you a link to that. And it's freely available, uh, in its entirety as a PDF file. You can also buy it in print in Sweden, but there's really no reason to do so. I don't get any money if you buy it at imprint because it's, it's just being printed on-demand in that case, but the PDF has everything.
[00:56:51] And if, if you look at the PDF file of my dissertation, you will find that there are a number of, uh, of, uh, citations. So I cite literature from psychology, sociology, and business management. And if there's anything you think is particularly interesting, you can always look up these books and articles that I, that I cite and that could give you some extra inputs.
[00:57:11] Uh, so I think that that would be a good and a and easy way to find a repository of a lot of literature and, and, uh, things you can use to, to delve deeper. Yeah, I'll be sure to include all those links in the show notes.
[00:57:24] Host (David C. Luna): So obviously I want to be very respectful of your time. So is there something that I didn't touch on or forgot to ask you that I should have mentioned?
[00:57:33] Guest (Tony Ingesson): No, I think you covered it, but I think if, if we're going to summarize everything very shortly, I think it is that trust is good because you are never going to be able to know everything you need to know, to decide everything in advance and to react quickly enough when things change. So if you trust people too, they're on the ground or closer to where things are happening, they will be in a better position to know what to do.
[00:57:58] Then you are, if you are in [00:58:00] senior management, I think trust is, is the key here. Yeah. Okay. And if people want to get in touch with you, what's the best way of doing so you can find me on Twitter where my handle is at Tony Ingwerson. So Tony Angus in a single word, if people are listening who are Swedish speakers, you can also listen to my podcast, my Swedish language podcast on intelligence, which is called support, done in a single word.
[00:58:26] And it's on Spotify and it's a well everywhere, apple, um, yeah, wherever you find your podcasts, you'll find that as well.
[00:58:31] Host (David C. Luna): Perfect. I'll be sure to link all those in the show notes as well. So thank you Tony. Again for being on the podcast and taking the time out of your vacation or holiday and speaking to our listeners.
[00:58:44] Guest (Tony Ingesson): Thank you very much. It was a great episode.
[00:58:47] Host (David C. Luna): Wow. I hope you enjoyed this very unique episode, just as much as I did. And as my loyal listeners already know, at the end of every episode, I try to summarize the key takeaways along with some practical tips, if you haven't already done. So I can highly recommend you read Tony's article titled trigger, happy, autonomous and disobedient nor bad two and mission command in Bosnian, which I also included in the show notes.
[00:59:12] Of course, it was fantastic. Fairly short for all those busy folks out there. And it was also the inspiration to make this whole episode. So now let's try to sum up and give you some of the key takeaways. So if you remember, during this episode, I mentioned the example of the former nuclear submarine, captain David Marquet, who advocated that you shouldn't push information up to authority but push authority down to information, meaning your impact boys.
[00:59:40] So the way you can implement this is exemplified by the quote from the CEO of a Chinese white-label manufacturer called hire in the past, employees waited to hear from their boss. Now they listen to their customers. What this means is that markets today move at a much faster, uncertain pace than say [01:00:00] 50 years.
[01:00:01] You're like, okay, no shit Sherlock. So the time, all the information about the market, the customers, the competitors, and so on move through the hierarchy, the market and customers have already moved on. Thus, it only makes sense to give your employees the freedom, trust and autonomy they need in order to quickly respond to that change of the market.
[01:00:20] And I always found it very odd that no matter the type of context or environment, the military is not the same type of hierarchical command and control structure is used. So top-down decisions with essentially a strict adherence to rules and regulations. The reason why I've found that strange is the fact that it assumes that the CEO at the top has all the information and intelligence to make the best decision at any given moment.
[01:00:46] Even if it's an environment that has a high degree of uncertainty. Which kind of reminds me of one of Parkinson's laws, which says the delay is the deadliest form of denial. So the environment and the context, and should really dictate what culture people, organization, and resources you need in order to effectively accomplish your objectives.
[01:01:07] And you should never use a one size fits all approach to anything in life. Instead look at why a tool, a method, or even a mindset is being used. And why along with the context in which it's being utilized, I personally believe that it should, it should be common practice in the laundry. It, those rules are allowed to be broken.
[01:01:30] As long as it's done to achieve the overall objective. Yes. Certain rules hinder your employees from say achieving their objectives. They shouldn't be, they should be allowed to break them. No questions asked because remember rules don't exist for their own benefit, but to generally make things run smoother, we all acknowledge well, unless you're a bureaucrat, of course.
[01:01:51] So first and foremost, this obviously requires that you trust your employees and give them the autonomy that they need so they can make the [01:02:00] best possible decisions. This in turn will lead your employees to make mistakes, which you should not punish. Also, that should be obvious as this will create very passive and risk-averse employees.
[01:02:12] And in the worst case, they'll become spineless politicians or managers that completely lack any sense of ownership and responsibilities. Essentially, people, we all love to hate for not being willing to do that. Then why in the hell did you hire our employees in the first place? If you don't fully trust them to do the right thing and occasionally make mistakes and learn.
[01:02:34] Now, granted from the manager, this isn't an easy task as they have to grasp the fact that their role has to fundamentally change and this type of environment, and they will have to give up authority and power and the false sense of control because lets be honest, we're never really in full control of anything.
[01:02:54] There's power and control that can often take the form of title positions and so forth that often represent influence. And for some, they're also status symbols. And for many senior managers, that's not really easy to give up, especially when you're so accustomed to it. So they too will have a very steep learning curve.
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