Military Mindset & Agile Mindset

Lessons From The Australian Defence Force & Corporate Enterprise

“Doing agile” takes practise, and ‘being agile’ takes a mindset. By applying a military approach to techniques and training you can build a strong, disciplined and respected team – one without parallel – dedicated to the task at hand, with an understanding of the complete vision and expectations and one that is truly self-organising and cross-functional. By helping your team develop a deep tool-kit, filled with options and actions-on, they are then able to tackle any situation that may come their way. Furthermore, by creating an environment that allows for learning, they will begin to see failure as simply new information to be used for continuous improvement. They will learn to identify risk, manage it, adapt, hold themselves and teammates accountable, make better choices and ultimately be a more satisfied and happier team. Taking a military agile approach can help strengthen resolve, build resilience and teach teams to focus on the root of the problem while working towards a viable solution that meets all intent.

When things get difficult, people don’t rise to the occasion…they fall to their lowest level of training.

– Military Saying

The Military Approach

The Australian Defence Force has been utilising agile training to ensure its members are not only able to adapt to any change in circumstance but to anticipate, prepare and embrace this change. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) motto is – “Per ardua ad astra“ which means “Through adversity to the stars”. Challenge and change are the things that we must master in order to be successful, for it is through this mastery we develop the skills and strength to open our minds to becoming agile. The lessons I have learnt and taught were developed using a comprehensive psychological approach, built around empowering the team, making informed decisions, building from failure, understanding the importance of camaraderie and solving problems at the root cause. These tried and tested methods, combined with many other inspiring and successful approaches, methods, techniques and processes will help grow your leadership understanding and drive improvement in your team’s performance.

Focus & Convergence

The military has long moved away from Command and Control (C2) after WWII and has replaced this with Focus and Convergence.  Understanding military leadership and how leaders are created in all levels and ranks and in all roles can help shape effective, purposeful and respected corporate leaders. True leadership is measured by influencing people you have no authority over.

On Deployment in Afghanistan (2009) with Commander of Australian Forces in the Middle East Area of Operations Major General Michael Simon “Mike” Hindmarsh AO DSC CSC

Military Agile

The Agile Manifesto draws many of its Values and Principles from military training.  Understanding the problem, identifying a solution and putting it into action are key elements to a successful mission – the Australian Defence Force is respected by many countries, as its members are encouraged to think for themselves, solve for problems and trained to be cross functional in all basic areas of combat.

Being agile takes practise and grit – you can learn by doing but you will need to grow and have an open mindset to further the journey. 

– Martin Alderette