Agile Business Lessons from World War 1

As an American whose perspective of WW1 consists primarily of reading The Magic Mountain and All Quiet on the Western Front, I mostly think of the Great War in terms of unspeakable senseless carnage and little else. I had no idea that in Canada many consider the battle of Vimy as the start of real Canadian nationhood.

Rob Patterson has blogged extensively on Vimy. His grandfather participated in the battle, and Rob himself is in Vimy, France for the 90th anniversary commemoration. As part of his tribute the Canadian Expeditionary Force, he wrote Lessons From Vimy, an 18-page document outlining lessons from the CEF in creating agile business units and practices. It's well written and illustrated, and the lessons are just as fresh today as they were back then. In fact, I was surprised that I hadn't heard of the CEF and their exploits before. I figured that John Boyd would have mentioned them in Patterns of Conflict, because their actions were a clear precursor to tactics refined by the Germans prior to WW2. But he didn't. So go read about them over at Rob's blog. You'll be amazed at what they accomplished (the impossible to the French, British, AND Germans).

posted by Mike at 2:27 PM


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