Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines

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9780066619798: Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines

Fast. Motivated. Hard-hitting.

That's what every business wants to be. And that's why the U.S. Marines excel in every mission American throws at them, no matter how tough the odds. In Corps Business, journalist David H. Freeman identifies the Marine's simple but devastatingly effective principles for managing people and resources -- and ultimately winning. Freedman discusses such techniques as "the rule of three," "managing by end state," and the "70% solution," to show how they can be applied to business solutions.

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Review:

Several business bestsellers in recent years have been books about warfare strategy and tactics. Sun Tsu's Art of War and Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings are titles widely recommended for insight and inspiration preparatory to corporate battle. In Corps Business, author David Freedman examines the organization and culture of the United States Marine Corps and sees "the best management training program in America."

For this book Freedman, a senior editor at Forbes ASAP and author of Brainmakers, trained with the Corps and interviewed scores of marines of every rank to discover 31 management principles "built around simple truths about human nature and the uncertainties of dynamic environments.... The Marines are used to facing entrenched enemies, short time-frames, chaotic conflicts, and unfavorable terrain --all of which have come to be hallmarks of the New Economy." Some of the ideas that Freedman encountered include Principle No. 1: "Aim for the 70-percent solution. It's better to decide quickly on an imperfect plan than to roll out a perfect plan when it's too late"; Principle No. 13: "Manage by end state and intent. Tell people what needs to be accomplished and why, and leave the details to them"; and Principle No. 21: "Establish a core identity. Everyone in the organization should feel they're performing an aspect of the same job." It's hard to argue with two centuries of battlefield success, and the wisdom and time-tested management philosophy dissected here should be a valuable prescriptive for any organization hell-bent on winning. --Scott Harrison

About the Author:

David H. Freedman is a journalist specializing in business and technology. He is a senior editor at Forbes ASAP, and his work has appeared in Inc., the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times, Wired, Science, and the Harvard Business Review. He is the author of two critically acclaimed books on artificial intelligence and (with Charles C. Mann) on computer hacking.

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