I hope you enjoy this talk from Responsive Conference 2016 with former Navy SEAL and New York Times best-selling author Chris Fussell (@fussellchris) alongside Rachel Mendelowitz (@rachelowitz) as they discuss “Team of Teams” and new ways of organizing companies of the future.
Alongside General Stan McChrystal, Chris runs the McChrystal Group – an organizational design consultancy that works with companies all over the world to do in industry what Stan, Chris and the US Military did during the Iraq War. In the book Teams of Teams, Stanley McChrystal and Chris outline how they took the special operations branch of the US Military – a stereotypically bureaucratic organization – and transformed it into a adaptive, agile system.
This video was recorded at the 1st Annual Responsive Conference in 2016.
I am so excited for today’s interview with two guests. Today we are speaking with Anthony Kim (@Anthonx), the founder and CEO of Education Elements, as well as Alexis Gonzales-Black (@Gonzalesblack), a former guest on the podcast and speaker at Responsive Conference.
1:30 How Anthony and Alexis met 4:30 Holacracy at Education Elements 7:00 Check ins and check outs 9:00 Balancing tensions 12:15 Assumptions versus known facts 14:15 Alexis’ background in education 15:30 Recruitment and retention 17:45 Inefficient processes in education 24:00 Team of teams autonomy 27:15 Tailor Responsive concepts to fit your personal teams 30:00 Sharing information transparently 32:30 School structures have not revolutionized enough 36:00 The New School Rules book structure 38:00 Planning and predicting 42:15 How to make change with mini experiments 45:15 Creating better work conditions for teachers 49:30 Safe enough to try 52:30 Contact Alexis and Anthony: Website: The New School Rules Amazon: The New School Rules: 6 Vital Practices for Thriving and Responsive Schools – If you like the book, please leave a review! Linkedin: Alexis and Anthony Twitter: Alexis, Anthony, The New School Rules Anthony’s Website: Education Elements Alexis’ Website: Thoughtful Org
If you enjoyed this interview you’ll also enjoy my first interview with Alexis Gonzales-Black, where we discussed her backstory, rolling out Holacracy at Zappos and much more.
Didier was previously the CEO of Rising Sun Pictures (a leading Hollywood visual effects company) and founder of Rising Sun Research (winner of a Technical Academy Award). What is particularly interesting is what Didier learned about leadership, building a culture first company, and storytelling in his growth from 6th employee to CEO of Rising Sun.
In this interview we discuss what being a “culture first” company really means, and some of the tactics Didier and Culture Amp have tried. Culture Amp has implemented a “Team of Teams” style of management, which Didier describes. He shares why Culture Amp doesn’t pay its sales people via variable compensation, which goes against standard sales doctrine. Didier was also the first person I heard using the phrase Diversity Debt, which he likens to the more commonly understood Technical Debt discussed throughout the technology industry.
I’ve known Didier for 2 year, and in that time been really impressed both with the company he leads, and his own leadership style – which is thoughtful, experimental, and bold.
3:30 How Didier and his wife met 7:30 Work life blend 12:45 Culture first 16:15 Focusing on the people 17:45 Didier’s time working on Hollywood films 21:30 Doing the work you enjoy 25:00 Going in with your eyes wide open 27:30 The start of Culture Amp 32:00 Didier’s unique value 35:30 Storytelling 40:00 Diversity debt 45:45 Removing sales commission 52:45 Team of teams 56:30 Didier’s suggestions to building a cohesive workforce 59:00 Books mentioned:
If you enjoyed this episode with Didier Elzinga, I think you will enjoy the 2nd Annual Responsive Conference. My previous podcast guest, Steve Hopkins, will be telling the story of Culture Amp’s “Team of Teams” implementation at the 2nd Annual Responsive Conference this September 18-19th in New York City.
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My guest today is former Navy SEAL and New York Times best-selling author Chris Fussell (@fussellchris).
Chris is the co-author of Team of Teams and was a speaker at the 1st Annual Responsive conference in September 2016. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Chris over the last year.
Alongside General Stan McChrystal, Chris runs the McChrystal Group – an organizational design consultancy that works with companies all over the world to do in industry what Stan, Chris and the US Military did during the Iraq War. In the book Teams of Teams Stanley McChrystal and Chris outline how they took the special operations branch of the US Military – a stereotypically bureaucratic organization – and transformed it into a adaptive, agile system.
Chris’s new book is called One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams. In it, he outlines the tactics and tools they used during the Iraq War, and are now teaching in larger organizations. In reading the book, I’ve enjoyed tactics like their multiple-thousand person daily video conference, and the emphasis placed on how to build an underlying narrative throughout an organization of diverse and distributed teams.
In this interview, Chris and I also dig deep into what it meant for him to be a Navy SEAL, his upbringing and family, how he and his wife maintained contacted their relationship while he was deployed overseas, and how he thinks of an emphasis on what he calls “physical readiness” happening in cycles throughout life. Chris and I went pretty personally into a lot of aspects of his life in the service that I’ve always wanted to ask about.
Over the time I’ve known Chris, I’ve been really impressed. He’s unflappable, but also humble. He presents solutions to some of the most complex problems facing organizations today, but also talks candidly about challenge and what is need for transformation – whether a single person changing their mindset, or an entire organization changing their operating system.
I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Here is… Chris Fussell.
3:30 Team of Teams and the military 8:30 Navy SEALs 11:30 Chris’s upbringing and training 14:30 Going through BUD/S 16:30 Early experiences as a SEALs 19:30 Being humble and good at listening 26:00 Chris’s remote relationship 33:15 Physical practice 39:30 Outlets 42:30 Closing down emotion 46:30 Transition back to family life 50:00 One Mission 57:30 Operations and Intelligence Forums