Insights

21 JUL  |  Putting Theory to Work: Finding a Framework to Build Elite Teams!

By Jake "Duff" Duffy

I recently read a good book on how organizations can learn, innovate, and compete called “Teaming” by Amy C. Edmondson. I’m also sure most of you have read this book and agree that the insights provided are valuable... Continue reading

25 JUN  |  The Thunderbird Way: 5 Principles of Success

By Chris "Elroy" Stricklin

Across the years, one profession has remained at the top of every prestige or respect poll: military officer... Continue reading

10 JUN  |  Innovation and “Value Creation” in Scrum is born out of Failure and Neuroscience

By Tom "Mad Dog" Friend

Creativity and innovation in application development is, in many respects, a conditioned response to a problem or challenge. Contradicting what most of us learned in school about collaborative brainstorming, respectfully accommodating other’s thoughts is less effective than honest feedback... Continue reading

09 JUN  |  Q3 Is Coming. Is Your Team Ready?

By Joel "Thor" Neeb

After months of extended deadlines, fruitless meetings and Task SaturationSM, you might find yourself at the start of a very long second-half. Now is the time to leverage the STEALTH Debriefing process to assess... Continue reading

05 JUN |  Flawless Execution (FLEX), Your Agile Surf Board for the 3rd Wave of the Internet.

By Tom "Mad Dog" Friend

We are on the cusp of the third wave of the internet. A vast ocean of opportunity lies before us... Continue reading

11 MAY | Debrief? Ain't Nobody Got Time for That!

By Joel "Thor" Neeb

We conducted a Debrief after every one of the more than 2500 Missions I flew as a fighter pilot and trainer pilot. We would discuss what went well, what didn’t, and more importantly, how we would improve our team execution next time... Continue reading

09 MAY | Complacency Kills! (part 2)

By Patrick "Lips" Houlahan

Three weeks ago, we defined complacency as, “a self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.” We also discussed how planning for Contingencies and Red Teaming the plan can keep your teams on the cutting edge... Continue reading

28 APR | Overcoming Innovation Risk

By Aaron "Tuck" Tucker

Managing and overcoming innovation risk is one of the most overlooked risks in today’s landscape. This occurs because the term innovation is thrown around without giving it the credit it is due... Continue reading

21 APR | Failure IS an Option

By Joel "Thor" Neeb

I spent 17 years in the U.S. Air Force as a trainer pilot and fighter pilot. As I gained more experience as an instructor I would find myself frequently paired up with the weaker students in our training program to ensure they had the best instruction... Continue reading

15 APR | Complacency Kills!

By Patrick "Lips" Houlahan

Ask any fighter pilot or military member who has been in the business long enough about “Complacency” and that is what you will hear. Ask a business leader about a challenge their company is facing and you might very well hear the same thing... Continue reading

14 APR | How Agile culture mimics the historical patterns of the rise and fall of Civilizations

By Thomas Friend

When the lessons of the past are forgotten, history tends to repeat itself, with predictable results. As an officer in the military, the understanding of history was foundational for becoming a well-rounded leader. Continue reading

13 APR | You’ve Just Been Commoditized…

By Christopher Gomez

Experience is a Commodity. Wait, a what? What does that even mean? It’s not oranges, gold, or crude oil; how can this be? Well, bear with me a moment... Continue reading

13 APR | Developing A Culture Around Millennials

By Aaron "Tuck" Tucker

During a recent pre-engagement client dinner, the usual topics came up. The year over year CAGR and how they got there, strategic plans and of course how New England was doing (we were in Boston). As the dinner carried on the CEO... Continue reading

11 APR | Mission Command - A Military Concept Winning Big in Corporate America

By William M. Duke

It’s a simple idea; empower and train your front line leaders to make the right decisions aligned with long-term goals. More and more companies are discovering the power of autonomous, front-line leadership... Continue reading

02 APR | How Solid is YOUR Platform? A Fighter Pilot’s View on Standards and Training

By David "Finch" Guenthner

Viper 21 Flight, be advised, we are reporting direct attacks from multiple enemy snipers as well as an enemy mortar team. We have suffered several military and a dozen civilian casualties... Continue reading

31 MAR | Why Won't You Reach Your Full Potential as a Leader? Ask Your Team!

By Joel "Thor" Neeb

When I was a young wingman in the fighter pilot community I learned the value of a Debrief. Sometimes I would land after a frustrating Mission and wonder where to start fixing all of the errors I committed in the sky... Continue reading

15 FEB | Get Out of Your Email - Abraham Lincoln Said So...

By Christopher Gomez

Abraham Lincoln led by walking around. That seems like a basic concept easily understood but much harder to practice... Continue reading

11 MAR | Debriefing Revisited: Accelerate Your Performance in Twenty Minutes A Day

By William M. Duke

It is known by many names. In the U.S. Army it is called the after-action review or AAR. In business it often goes by the unfortunate name of post mortem. In psychology and military aviation, however, it is known as a debrief... Continue reading

11 FEB | The Waking Nightmare

By Joel "Thor" Neeb

Once the anesthesiologist hooked me up to the nerve block last night it was like I never even had surgery. I didn’t fully understand it, but it sounded like they basically short circuited my nervous system on both sides of my abdomen so I couldn’t feel the surgical trauma... Continue reading

11 FEB | Why Afterburner is one of Forbes Best Small Companies in America

By David "Finch" Guenthner

This month, Forbes Magazine named Afterburner one of the top twenty-five Best Small Companies in America - a great honor that we truly appreciate. For those of you unfamiliar with our organization, I'd like to use this opportunity to explain who we are, what we do, and why we were named to this distinguished list... Continue reading

10 FEB | It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It: Four Ways to Improve Your Training ROI

Think back to your last on-the-job training or even back to your college days—what comes to mind? For many of us... Continue reading

04 FEB | The Most Difficult Decision of my Life...

By David "Finch" Guenthner

I remember lying there for hours, staring at the ceiling and thinking – stressing - through the thousands of possible outcomes. Here I was, a combat-tested and proven fighter pilot with almost 2,000 sorties under my belt... Continue reading

04 FEB | Run for Remembrance

Executive Consultant Joe "Gusto" Connolly leads a team in a month-long mission to draw support for transitioning veterans... Continue reading

01 FEB | Is Your Strategy Playing Checkers When it Should be Playing Chess

By Aaron "Tuck" Tucker

Many believe the ‘big’ move is what wins a chess game. Movies such as, “Searching for Bobby Fisher,” or “Life of a King” depict a huge finish in the last minute of play... Continue reading

20 JAN 2016 | Star Wars Scrum: Rebel Agility vs. Empire Command and Control

In the Star Wars saga, the Empire is clearly a traditional waterfall, top-down, command-and-control based organization. It's characteristic corporate bureaucracy is dedicated to positional authority, power, prestige and predictable outcomes...Continue reading

18 JAN | Desert Storm and Flawless Execution

By Charles "Chaz" Campbell

Sunday, 17 Jan 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm. "The initial opening attacks of Desert Storm really signaled radical departure from the conduct of warfare in the past," Retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula, dean of the AFA's Mitchell Institute, told Air Force Magazine... Continue reading

15 JAN | Afterburner Turns 20: A Message From Founder & CEO, Jim "Murph" Murphy

Hello! Jim "Murph" Murphy here, proud founder & CEO of a twenty year old company. Twenty years. Two decades. Half of my... Continue reading

07 JAN | Let's Go Flying!

By Joel "Thor" Neeb

Today, I’m going to illustrate the power of the Afterburner Flawless Execution model for you. To do that, I’m going to teach you how to fly. Yes, you. And not just to fly – to do things most veteran pilots only dream of... Continue reading

06 JAN | Setting the Tone in 2016

By Jim "Murph" Murphy

Combat is a world of high-stress and low margin for error that is fueled by adrenaline. The manner in which military aviators... Continue reading

05 JAN | FLEXible Meetings: How Flawless Execution (FLEX) Can Keep Your Meetings on the Road to Success

By Tom "Mad Dog" Friend

Meetings matter because they are the heartbeat of an organization's culture. They are the time and settings in which teams have... Continue reading

09 DEC | Lessons Learned From the Field: Actionable Insights for High Performing Teams

It takes a strong team and a mission-first mentality to hold a nameless, rankless debrief but once your team experiences the power of... Continue reading

19 NOV | Flawless Execution Zen via "Implicit Guidance and Control"

By Thomas Friend

As a boy I, spent many fall weekends on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake at the hunting retreat owned by my stepfather and a select group of his fellow Eastern Airlines pilot friends. Most had formed their friendships while flying in Vietnam... Continue reading

17 NOV | The Drumbeat of Execution: Why Rhythm Matters in High-Performing Teams

Take two metronomes and place them at opposite ends of a room. Set them in motion and watch what happens. Both tick away in each... Continue reading

11 NOV | Got Veterans? Five Key Areas of Impact for Military Leadership in Your Business

Over the last two decades, a significant shift in military strategy has given rise to a generation of elite military professionals whose... Continue reading

05 OCT  | 16 Reasons Why You Need Flawless Execution in 2016

Not sure if FLEXSM is the right solution for your 2016 mission? Here are 16 signs we have your key to a successful 2016... Continue reading

22 SEP  | The Strategic Corporal

Long before strategic execution became one of the top concerns of business leaders and even before a very real... Continue reading

15 SEP  | How Flawless Execution (FLEX) Accelerates DevOps Transformation

DevOps (short for development and operations) is a business driven software development approach that uses a.... Continue reading

09 SEP  | Audentes Fortuna Iuvat: How a Great Mission Plan Builds the Courage to Execute

Inaction is one of the most vexing problems in modern organizations. It's rarely appropriate to wait until the optimal course of action... Continue reading

18 AUG | Why Military Veterans Make Great ScrumMasters

By Thomas Friend

Military Veterans bring sound technical skills from the service but more importantly life skills that can be utilized in the role of a ScrumMaster. The following comparison is provided to make this point. Continue reading

07 AUG  |  Going the Distance

An interview with Afterburner Executive Consultant and recent Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Army War College, Patrick "Lips" Houlahan... Continue reading

03 AUG  |  The Mindful Team

It has been 26 years since the publication of Ellen J. Langer's groundbreaking work, Mindfulness. Although powerful in its impact upon the management and cognitive sciences, few leaders have even a simple... Continue reading

07 JUL  |  Time For Pie: Improving Collaboration

Have you ever been invited to a brainstorming or collaboration meeting and felt like you weren’t contributing your best ideas? Perhaps later that evening... Continue Reading  

28 MAY  |  Decision Making Under Fire: How's Your Situational Awareness?

Have you ever noticed how some people handle stressful decision making with remarkable composure? While it could be great... Continue reading

17 APR  |  Improving Culture, Building Leaders: Four Steps to Effective Leadership With Flawless ExecutionSM

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but what does it take to develop a leader? Debates weigh natural ability versus purposeful development but the truth of the matter is that both are key...Continue reading

07 MAR  |  Change Leadership Solved: It's Just Leadership

First there was change management, where organizations tried to temper the unpredictable forces of change through structured processes and rigid management styles. Then there was change leadership...Continue reading

03 FEB  |   Where Continuous Improvement Ends and Flawless Execution Begins

The idea of continuous improvement is one that has made the rounds in organizations of all sizes and types since before the mid-twentieth century, bringing processes like Six Sigma, Lean...Continue reading

19 JAN  |  Agile Marketing: Your 8-Step Super Bowl Game Plan

This year’s Super Bowl match-up is yet another chance for old school to be schooled by new knowledge. In less than two weeks we will know if a legendary heavyweight is able to capture...Continue reading

11 DEC 2014 | STEALTH DebriefSM: The Ultimate Performance Review

Now that you're aware of all the Pros of Debriefing, you're likely wondering how to go about conducting one. The process of Debriefing is as important as the Lessons Learned that...Continue reading

17 NOV 2014  |  The Pros of Debriefing (Because We Couldn't Think of Any Cons)

It happens time and time again. A project or endeavor comes to an end, be it successful or otherwise, and the team...does what? Of course, the "what next" is generally determined...Continue reading

08 OCT 2014  |  Mutual Support and the Wingman Concept

Mutual support, what military teams call the “Wingman” concept, is a collection of teamwork principles that have proven to be highly effective in developing high-performing teams. Mutual support is less about...Continue reading

07 AUG 2014 |  Six Ways to Fight Task Saturation

Task Saturation is nothing new. Overflowing inboxes, full schedules and mounting priorities have become a way of life for many professionals today–and there lies the problem. Today’s businesses have...Continue reading

09 JUL 2014  |  The Step You Might Be Forgetting (or Just Don't Know)

Deadlines are extended numerous times, Task Saturation smothers productivity, or contingencies occur without notice, leaving the team scrambling to recover...Continue reading

14 MAY 2014  |  Infographic: Create the Future

While you can't predict the future, you can create it. Complexity and an accelerating rate of change have formed an unforgiving battle field in the fight for market share. Your team has...View Infographic

07 MAR 2014  |  The Six Steps of Combat Mission Planning

Planning.

In February we defined it and in March we described it. Now, as the anticipation has reached a dull roar, we will tell you how to do it (at least, how we think you should do it)...Continue reading

06 MAR 2014  |  The 13 Elements of Great Planning

Last month in Planning: What it is Why We Do It, and What Great Planning Looks Like, we revealed the in’s and out’s of a process millions of organizations around the world do every day. Some do it well, others….don’t...Continue reading

12 FEB 2014  |  Planning: What It Is, Why We Do It, and What "Great" Planning Looks Like

 

All organizations plan to some extent, but not all planning is performed to the same standard. As the first step in the Flawless ExecutionSM model, and one of the most...Continue reading