Company leaders should always maintain an attitude of nimbleness to respond quickly to market place changes, competitor moves, and customer needs. Responding quickly to demands from whatever source is what often gives a smaller company a competitive advantage over a larger organization. This next statement may sound like a contradiction to what was just stated. Structure is the key to maintaining responsiveness and flexibility. Without structure there is chaos, no accountability, less growth, and lower profits. Why is structure the key?
By structure I mean “the quality of something that is carefully planned, organized, and controlled (Merriam-Webster On-Line Learner’s Dictionary).” No organization embodies this quality more and uses it any more effectively than The Navy Seals. The Seals are one of the most distinguished organizations of our United States military. As a special forces group they must be nimble, quick, and responsive to changes in the environment at a moment’s notice. They are extraordinarily effective accomplishing the various missions on which they are called to perform. The reasons for their effectiveness were described in clear detail in a book I read several years ago called Leadership Lessons Of The Navy Seals. This is a book I highly recommend for those in leadership positions.
Foundational to the Seal’s high rate of success as revealed in the book was their emphasis on structure and systems. In chapter two of the book on Organization, the authors said,”if there is no structure, a mob mentality will develop that will eat away at an organization’s resources, profits, and success.” They also stated that “people aren’t born ready to work in a given system. They require guidance to provide them with specific parameters, substantial direction, and definite goals (Cannon, Cannon, 2003, p.61, 59).”
Having structure and the right systems in place are not options for a company to be successful, they are a must!
*Cannon, Jeff & Jon, (2003), Leadership Lessons Of The Navy Seals