Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines

Author: David H Freedman
This Month Hacker News 1


by harryf   2020-09-10
If I remember right Corps Business talks about this

...otherwise - being a bit of a history nerd - I’ve run into the idea many times in discussion of how military units have evolved over time. Much of the thinking about ideal squad sizes began in WW2 - don’t have single thing I can point you at though

by harryf   2019-07-12
Two books well worth reading in this context are;

- Getting More by Stuart Diamond - . On the cover it’s about negotiation but most of what a leader does involves negotiation. Rather than try to convince you, I’ll just say Google engages Stuart Diamond to trail engineers in negotiation. There’s a talk by him here at Google that might convince - - about how the US Marines do management. The big thing you can get some this book is expressing projects and tasks in terms of the _end goal_ instead of the steps required to get there. Make sure teams collectively understand the end goal and let them figure out how to get there is the basic message. That implies you need to put your effort in being good at story telling and presentation

by harryf   2018-08-29
Most organisations structure power in hierarchies, meaning a small number of people at the top of the pyramid are responsible and supposed to be ultimately accountable for ALL decisions being made under that structure.

This naturally leads to a situation where those working at the top are being overwhelmed with demands for their attention and decision making approval.

A conscientious person - arguably a good _leader_ - will take this responsibility seriously, and devote their time and energy to handle all those demands as best they can.

But another type of person - a "player" - will realise that the work of decision making actually _detracts_ from their success within the organisation. A "player" will figure out they should avoid the work of leadership as much as possible and instead devote their time to fostering their own image, gaining popularity, claiming responsibility for other peoples good decisions and generally working their way up the pyramid.

For me hierarchical power structures are the root cause of the problem here, not human nature - the "player" is really acting rationally, taking the path of least resistance to achieve their goals.

The problem IMO is we're using legacy approaches to organising ourselves groups that stems from military theory of the 18th century - that most armies themselves have now moved beyond - see

We need smarter ways to organise and we probably need AI at some level to help us scale up to higher volumes of effective decision making.