Four Equations Explain Organisational Success

Recently one of my readers recommended to me Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal et al. It is an excellent book. For those time poor, these four equations neatly summarise McChrystal’s views about complexity:

     1. Complexity + Efficiency ≠ Success

     2. More Factors + More Interdependency = More Uncertainty

     3. Problem + Process ≠ Resilience

     4. Adaptability + Trust = Success

In short, the old ways of focusing on efficiency and the introduction of more and more robust mechanisms to manage uncertainty just won’t cut it given how complex our world has become.

In my book DECIDE I write about how developing teams gives you the adaptability you need. (Please see an excerpt here.) I then go on to write about team leaders needing to build trust. However, McChrystal says it more explicitly. He says that the leader at the top needs to build a team of teams that have a “shared consciousness”- where the trust between teams is the same as the trust levels within a team. I could not agree more.