The Agile Tribe

Business is like War ..

on May 3, 2010

Author: Robert McDonald

I think in many ways business is like war… There are strategies, success, failure and casualties. This quote from Napoleon on war I think has some relevance to business.

“An army’s effectiveness depends on its size, training, experience, and morale, and morale is worth more than any of the other factors combined.”

A key part of Agile is PEOPLE, and how they interact and how they see and feel about themselves as part of a bigger picture. Basically I think that the level of morale is a lead measure of the success of any business.

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2 responses to “Business is like War ..

  1. Dean says:

    If one considers “morale” an analogue for “culture”, then yes.

    BTW, I think using the war metaphor is questionable. Armies are command and control hierarchies which value obedience and conformity.

    Also perhaps not the best way to get more women interested in technology, as another recent post discusses?

  2. Robert says:

    Appreciate the comment Dean. I don’t know that I agree with you though. Not all armies value hierarchies above success and in fact the most successful military command structures have emphasis on initiative from the lower levels.

    It is true that business is different to war in many ways but in some ways it is similar, and a focus on people is one of those areas where I believe it is similar and likely to engage many different people including women.

    The difference I see between culture and morale is that culture can impact morale (and often does). Culture (and many other things) are the levers that provide a force so strong on morale that makes it even more effective than just by itself, so culture is in fact a “force multiplier” (apologies for using another military term) for a business.

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