Flawless Execution: Developing A Culture Around Millennials


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 and COO made comments about the future of the IT industry and staffing changes. The fact is that their fear was the same amongst most in every industry I have encountered… Millennials, and overcoming the short-lived tenure they seem to have (averages less than two years) at a firm before switching companies.

I thought back to my time in the military, specifically within the special operations community and began to wonder, did we have the same problem? The answer surprisingly, was YES. So, how did we overcome it, and could I transfer those lessons learned to this particular company, or across multiple markets?

That’s when I realized the reason we in the military are so successful when it comes to adapting to the needs of millennials is the same reason we operate so effectively because we plan. At Afterburner we teach a very simplistic military planning based, planning methodology, the same that allowed me to be successful in the SEAL community, and the same that allowed for not only the integration of millennials (in multiple countries, cultures, and languages) but also for them to thrive in a zero tolerance for error world.

First, in order to fully understand why Flawless Execution connects with millennials, I needed to understand why they were leaving from an analytical standpoint. Business Insider conducted a large survey of millennials, and why they were changing jobs at such a rapid pace. What they found indicated it comes down to lack of feeling a part or connected to the organization, a lack empowerment, and that they are not being developed as leaders.

The reasons made sense, but until we determine the root cause (which is inherent to our process) we can’t really take this data and proceed to solve it. In the end, the root cause is communication and leadership.

So why does Flawless Execution assist with retention? What is it we teach and facilitate that connects with them? What I came to realize both as a consultant for Afterburner, and my military experience was by using our Plan – Brief – Execute – Debrief methodology we actually solve the empowerment and communication issues that many millennials complained about.

The inclusion of the millennial workforce within an open planning, and nameless rankless debrief allows for the dissemination of open (duplex) communication as well empowerment. The voice they desire is provided during our brainstorming, and open planning environments allowing them to feel as though they are not only a part of the team but also making a significant impact within the organization and market.

Let a Culture of Flawless Execution Drive Your Corporate Leadership Program

Being as our process is a leadership driven approach, leadership development is a byproduct of Flawless Execution. This is why we as military leaders are being sought out by many large companies to take on leadership roles, and numerous magazines such as Forbes, and Times are now highlighting the fact that what military leadership can do directly carries over to corporate America.

If you or your organization truly desire to thrive in today’s changing landscape and keep up with new workforce needs it may be time to try something different. Something that has been tested and proven over hundreds of years of real world applications. This is just a touch of what Flawless Execution can do for your workforce and organization.