Certainly the Navy is not perfect. As in any organization, there are egos and frustrations and resentments. And people make mistakes, and bad things happen. Not everyone agrees with every decision made up the chain of command, or back in Washington, DC. The Navy understands that it is not well-served by squashing free thought, but everyone in the Navy appreciates that there is a time and a place for debate, and the deal is that you are signed up to do what the organization needs you to do once you are on the line.
Not every entrepreneur wants to model his or her organization and culture on the Navy. For many entrepreneurs, indeed, that is a very unappealing concept, but that’s because they don’t really understand what makes the Navy one of the most effective organizations on the planet. Like any other successful organization, it’s about the people, not about the technology. The key is harnessing the incredible potential of every individual through inspiration, training, and teamwork.
Honor. Courage. Commitment. Not bad principles for any company.
Bill Reichert is a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures , a seed-stage venture capital firm based in Palo Alto, CA. His post in its entirety on USNI BLOG
Guy Kawasaki also gets it. You can read his blog about NIMITZ here.