There are many parallels we like to trace between business and military operations. Some I think are overstated. Most of the time, comparing our rather relatively inconsequential dealings with what our fine men in uniform do, putting their lives on the line, is almost ridiculous and borderline offensive; but there is one military strategy that businesses could all learn from.
I encountered this in THIS ARTICLE, and according to it, when stakes are high, the military commands operations from what they call an “operating room”. This is were experienced strategists monitor the conditions on the ground and issue commands to the troops (please forgive me, I am simplifying here!). We probably have seen the Hollywood version of this. The command center with drone imagery, etc. But where I am trying to get to, is that -in parallel- they have a “plan ahead team”. The mission of this team, is to assess the possibilities forward and prepare logistically for those possibilities.
There is an important overarching function that the plan ahead team has to fulfill, and it is to take care of the incoming intelligence that is not immediately actionable so that the people in the operating room don’t get distracted and focus on the issues at hand. In turn, the plan ahead team, is not measured on immediate impact either.
Separating responsibilities according to the time frame they are to be delivered makes perfect sense. That’s why we have 24/7 tech support, and an account team; and we have Sales, and Business Development. One is not more important than the other for the mission.