In today’s day and age, the corporate world has grown into an intense cut-throat competition where all businesses must plan, implement, and control as per the needs and demands of the market. To be able to survive and thrive, strategic planning and leadership become the most substantial tools for any enterprise.

When we talk about plans and their successful execution, the military is the best example of strategic implementation.. India’s top B-school, IIM Calcutta is offering a 12 months-long Executive Program in Leadership and Management (EPLM) that aims to make leaders who can seamlessly lead through changes, drive performance, and foster a people-first culture of engagement and responsibility. The program equips candidates to think strategically, lead the organization through instability and turbulence, and manage financial relationships and expectations of shareholders.

According to a survey conducted by Korn Ferry, around 8% of the Forbes Fortune 500 companies are run by CEOs who have previously served in the armed forces. The research also revealed that companies led by CEOs with military experience have performed much better than their competitors when evaluated over a time frame of 10 years. Based on this discovery, many researchers have concluded that effective management of stressful military operational situations can contribute to better performance in a corporate environment.

Therefore, one can garner a vast amount of knowledge and skills from the military operations that are necessary for the soaring success of businesses and organizations.

Planning is Everything

It might sound quite simple and obvious but comprehensive planning can transform a business. In the army, military leaders establish backup plans and practice mission rehearsal exercises to prepare for every foreseeable outcome of a given challenge.

In businesses as well, when employees are carefully instructed and thoroughly rehearsed for their roles, they are far more likely to effectively execute a strategy. And preparing for multiple emergencies means there are fewer unexpected outcomes. Also even in some unfortunate circumstances if a venture doesn’t produce the desired result, there are always backup plans to mitigate losses.

According to a study conducted in 2010 on the business growth of 11,046 companies, it was found that planning improved business performance. The same study also claimed that starting the planning process before commencing marketing efforts and talking to customers reduces the likelihood of a business failure.

Mentorship and Training

In the military, army leaders are responsible for carefully evaluating the performance of every individual soldier. Areas in which they excel are noted, just like the ones in which they struggle. Then a plan is formulated to help them maintain their strengths while improving the areas where they lack.

Unfortunately, in the business world, training is generally confined to a welcome orientation that takes place during the first few weeks of employment. Mentorship to employees is usually nonexistent or limited to informal arrangements made between the occasional supervisor and subordinate who happen to get along quite well.

Leaders must take a que from the military and help employess and organizations improve how they handle professional development. Understand the benefits of evaluating employees and creating a detailed plan to continuously improve performance. There needs to be an understanding of personal involvement is an utmost requirement, whether it’s an employee spending time learning from his direct supervisor or senior managers scheduling time to foster mentor-mentee relationships across the company.

Mission First but People Always

Sounding absurd at first, this is one of the most important lessons that business leaders should learn to follow and apply in the daily operations of their companies. In the military, leaders are aware of the importance of building an effective team and in turn, know that it can only be accomplished by taking care of soldiers’ needs and keeping their morale high.

According to a survey, 54% of employees say that a strong sense of community in the forms of great coworkers, celebrating milestones, a common mission kept them at a company longer than they ever planned. The same study also reveals that 99.1% of employees prefer a workplace where people identify and discuss issues truthfully and effectively.

Therefore, it is time for organizations to realize that achieving goals and taking care of the team members are synonyms to each other. In the corporate world, collaboration and teamwork remain one of the most underrated and underutilized workplace tactics. It becomes the responsibility of leaders to make sure that teamwork stimulates creativity, increases productivity, builds a sense of community, improves problem-solving, and leads to groundbreaking innovations and ideas.

Learn all this and more at India’s top B-school, IIM Calcutta is offering a 12 months-long Executive Program in Leadership and Management (EPLM) that aims to make leaders who can seamlessly lead through changes, drive performance, and foster a people-first culture of engagement and responsibility. The program equips candidates to think strategically, lead the organization through instability and turbulence, and manage financial relationships and expectations of shareholders.