Richard’s new book, Brilliant Manoeuvres: How to Use Military Wisdom to Win Business Battles, is for executives and entrepreneurs who are looking to create and sustain competitive advantage and to lead their teams in the face of determined competition and rivalry. It is intended as a practical guide that will appeal to a wide readership in business and management. It will also appeal to managers and entrepreneurs who must manage risks and exploit change in competitive and increasingly unpredictable environments.
1. How Can Military Wisdom Apply to Business?
War and business are both highly competitive endeavours requiring resolve, resilience, cunning, and leadership under conditions of extreme risk and uncertainty.
2. Offence—Seizing and Maintaining the Initiative
You can only win through sustained offensive action, which requires seizing and maintaining the initiative.
3. Defence—Securing Position and Regaining the Initiative
Defence is not decisive but it is sometimes needed to consolidate gains and buy time before going back on the offensive.
4. Selection and Maintenance of the Aim—The Principle of the Objective
Selection and maintenance of the aim is the master principle of war (and business) because it aligns everyone in the organization to a clear and overarching purpose.
5. You Can’t Be Everywhere at Once—Exploiting Limited Resources
The art of juggling always-limited resources so they can be concentrated at the right time and place to achieve the biggest bang for the buck.
6. No Plan Survives Contact with the Enemy—Planning, Friction, and the Fog of War
The best-laid plans always go awry, and what to do about it.
7. Is Military Intelligence Really an Oxymoron?
The objective isn’t to know everything, as that is impossible, but to know more than your competitors and opponents.
8. Bucks, Bullets and Bully Beef—Logistics and the Sinews of War
Logistics is the technique of rational calculation, and it should be applied to all aspects of business, not just transportation and warehousing.
9. “The Moral is to the Physical as Three Is to One”—Morale, Cohesion and the Motivation to Perform
The real test of morale is adversity. It is based on cohesion and unity and is the main contributor to individual and team motivation.
10. Follow Me! The Art of Leadership
Competence is the heart of leadership. It can be learned, evaluated, and honed through the consistent application of time-tested principles of military leadership.