No, not the kind you’re thinking of. In the late 1980s, Boyd come up with a list that he originally called “principles of the Blitzkrieg.” It wasn’t long, though, before he renamed it “an organizational climate for operational success.” The climate consists of:
- Mutual trust, unity, cohesion (Ger. Einheit)
- Intuitive competence (Fingerspitzengefühl)
- Mission “command & control’ (Auftragstaktik; Boyd preferred “leadership & appreciation”)
- Focus & direction (Schwerpunkt)
- Mental agility (Behendigkeit)
You can use this climate, or whatever culture you fancy, as a Schwerpunkt: Whenever you’re making choices, try to move in the direction that improves the climate. If anything, obsessing on climate may be more important — in the sense of requiring more of a leader’s resources — in business than in war.
With that in mind, check out the latest LinkedIn post by Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten: The Real Role of Leadership is Climate Control.
I work in healthcare. Before that transition, I spent 18 years in aviation. Both complex industries to be sure, but healthcare is unique in that real leadership is a rarity. The American system of healthcare is “allopathic” meaning that it is driven by the MD. ( the other two systems are “osteopathic”, and “homeopathic”). One of the primary conflicts in the system is due to the fact that while physicians are highly educated, most lack the didactic background to lead a business. In private practice, the daily nuts and bolts of the financial aspect are performed by non-physician professionals, who are able to navigate the intricacies of operating a business. The same can be said for the hospital environment, but the resultant disconnect is far greater in that setting.
Let me just say that one of the most glaring problems across the spectrum in the industry, is the attempt to superimpose productivity metrics from other types of business over the underlying purpose of healthcare, which is treating the patient. People get sick or injured and require medical interventions. But attempts to measure productivity of the workforce or predict patient trends are problematic. There are numerous organizations in the healthcare field that attempt to do so with varying degrees of success, but it is always retrospective, and any predictions of future trends are highly speculative. In all fairness, as we have mentioned before, “business plans” are presumptive, and if one is looking to anticipate the sales of automobiles, the predictions can be made with a higher degree of confidence than to estimate how many patients will admit to hospitals with influenza. Without going into a lot of detail regarding the variables at work in healthcare, I would like to address a problem I feel is endemic in the setting of acute care (hospital) environment, and the resulting disharmony in climate.
All of the hospitals I have worked in have had what is known as the “silo” form of management. In other words, each department within the organization is territorial at the rank and file level through usually mid-management, and often the only communication between the departments occurs at the upper echelons of the organization, where little (if any) Schwerpunkt gets back to the operational level. This creates a wide range of “climate” in a single organization. To date, the attempts to foster a sense of “Einheit” have been puerile slogan campaigns involving the “mission statement”, which is usually a narcissistic reference to why the organization views itself as “serving those in need”. To say that the form of management within the healthcare system is outdated understates the problem.