I attended “Accelerating Performance Through Flawless Execution” presentation by Matt “Whiz” Buckley with Afterburner, Inc. Matt was a US Navy Hornet Pilot who quickly acknowledged that you will not attain flawless execution but strive toward this end. It is easy to see the need for great execution when flying a multimillion dollar supersonic aircraft.
The planning is probably the most important phase and Matt describes creating three groups. Each group is tasked to come up with a plan and one of these groups is designated to be the “out of box” group meaning they create a plan with no resource limitations. This allows the third group to be more creative and may come up with something that is implemented. The three groups would come together to create the actual plan from the three plans. Once the plan is vetted a fourth group would “Red Team It” – they would not have been part of the plan but would listen to the plan and criticize it by looking for holes. In this step it is important for the initial three groups who created the plan to just listen to the feedback and not argue. They need to just say thanks and record the information. Once the Red Team has left they would scrutinize the feedback and use it when it makes sense.
The other area I liked that Matt discussed was the de-brief meeting. The importance of getting everyone together after the mission and reviewing what went right and what went wrong. This step is all too often skipped. The ground rules for the de-brief are:
1. “It’s not who is right, it is what is right”
2. Everyone is an equal in the de-brief meeting
3. What is said in the room stays in the room – except of course lessons for the future
Afterburner Website Link: