Monday, July 27, 2009


Just some basics, things that came up today.  You can look at them at a lot of different levels of magnification, take the principles and play with them.

Move, shoot and communicate.  I was taught this trio as the very essence of small unit tactics.  If you can't move, you can't get to the right place at the right time.  This magnifies from individual combat (Steve Perry very much likes to describe his art as 'positional' and that is one of the keys to making anything work) to logistics.  You need to be able to move as individuals, move your people, and move your gear and supplies.
'Shoot' might be a little narrow, but I learned it in the context of applying force to people who would far rather be applying force to me.  Playing with the principle, this becomes the basic skills to do the job.  A tow truck will take care of the transportation problem, but you still need a mechanic.  Again, this magnifies- from HtH skills up to nukes; and sideways from communication to customer service.  If you can't do the basic job, it very rarely works just to be there.
And communicate.  Teams work.  Most of the time. A team of dedicated professionals devoted to the job who train together and communicate well can accomplish things far beyond what the individuals could do by themselves.  Sometimes you run across a team where one or two members are carrying the rest-- there are bad teams. But a good team is amazing.  A good team composed of good people can do miracles and make it look easy.  That all takes communication.  Sometimes communication = 'shoot' in the sense that for CNT (or other salesmen), communication is the skill that they need to do the job in the first place.  But it is separate from the commo that they need with the rest of the team.  Commo is how people get to the right place at the right time.  It is a primary source of intel, also. Without communication skill, you will never know where and when the right place and time are.
Again, at magnification, it ranges from knowing yourself, being honest with yourself, dealing with your own emotions and limitations; through basic active listening; reading people; communication equipment and all the way up to advertising (and other forms of propaganda.) Move, shoot and communicate.  The three essentials.

Another tripod- people, equipment and intelligence.  The status of these three things define what you can successfully do.  

Select (and work to be) the best people you can find.  Train them as well as you can.  Challenge them and test them and let them know when you are proud.
Then give them what they need.  Not necessarily the cool, gee-whiz stuff (I personally am leery of anything that my life might depend on that relies on batteries, but that's a personal quirk).  But reliable, effective stuff.   Ideally, the team should have easy access to what they might need and what is available can limit the mission.  Cave rescue and dive rescue and fire rescue have different equipment.  In a lot of ways I think equipment is the least important of the three aspects because really good people will find a way.  There is an old saying, "All you need to be a cowboy is guts and a horse. If you have the guts you can steal the horse."  Every high-end team I know has a scrounger or two. 

And intelligence.  You need to know as much as you can about what is really going on.  Why you are needed, what you are expected to accomplish, what you are going up against, what little things like temperature or terrain might be stacked against you.  Whether reading an individual to evaluate a potential threat or responding to a major situation in the next district there is a skill to getting data, to knowing where to get it from, how to prioritize it.  I didn't realize until recently how common it was to wait for pre-packaged (and often out-dated or compromised) intel from above or to decide to figure it out when you arrived.  The transport time that we had always used to establish commo with someone who had eyes on and put together and refine a hasty plan isn't always used that way.  A puzzle.

Just some ideas. Play with them if you want.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

teams have another thing in common. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. On a good team, one members weakness is another's strength, and vice versa. They fill in the gaps in each other's performance profiles so that, together, they are far stronger than they could be separately. Fingers can be easily broken, fists can't.