Recognising the merit of experiential learning the business world has taken advantage from staff rides. Management teams who participate in corporate staff rides visit and study a selected battlefield for the purpose of drawing parallels between that military campaign and their own corporate challenges, including leader training, timely decision-making, effective communications, resource deployment and team building. Corporate staff ride is oriented toward middle and high levels executives.
What Is a Corporate Staff Ride
- The corporate staff ride is based on the 19th century-old military training tool introduced by the Prussian General Staff and now used in many other fields. Focused on the role of the senior military commanders, particularly appropriate for today’s senior managers, corporate staff ride integrates the battlefield decisions and outcomes with the executives’ main interests through the case method approach. It does not intend to teach military history, not even requiring specialized knowledge in military affairs. What it entails is only the acceptance that battles can provide useful “metaphors” for decision making under crisis conditions. As an experiential training environment, the actual ground where great conflicts took place has an immediacy and impact that is hard to duplicate in any other forum.
- The business world can benefit by learning from military’s mistakes and successes. There are striking parallels with what the armed forces are required to do and with what managers are required to do: to deliver results in conditions which can be filled with uncertainty, complexity, risk and hostility. Making consistently good decisions in all circumstances demands the resilience and confidence to manage pressure and adversity.
- Executives who participate in corporate staff rides visit and study a select battlefield for the purpose of drawing parallels between that military campaign and their own corporate issues/challenges, including leader training, chain management, timely decision-making, effective communications, and resource deployment.
- Competition. There is no tougher place than a battlefield to enhance leadership quality. In battle the risk is potentially absolute and, as in very teal life situations, there is always someone thinking against you.
- Pressure. Stress in battle is high; therefore problems of leadership stand out in bold relief. While battle is unique, the leadership challenges it exposes are not, and most mistakes are made whilst under pressure.
- Time. The environment of combat is normally fast-paced and unpredictable and decision-makers invariably run out of that luxury called ‘time’. With today’s interconnected global environment increasingly relying upon the quality of data to deliver more accurate information which consolidates decisions, ultimately, success relies upon the speed of that decision-making process.
- Experiential Learning. This triggers intrigue, emotion, and innovation through wider and deeper thinking and on the very ground where the history is unveiled. Experiences are very memorable.
What we Do
We offer a variety of staff rides, all of which showcase vivid and profoundly impressive lessons from history. Our battlefield-based training sessions vary from two to five days in length and utilize classroom and great battlefields as intensive case studies; as a basis for examining and learning about contemporary challenges. As with any management training initiative, it is important that the strategy behind the selection of participants, campaign or battle, and corporate agenda is aligned Some examples of our programs are:
Great Political and Military Leaders: Lessons for Today
This module approaches the question of leadership through analogies drawing from the actions of ancient leaders, offering an entirely new perspective. The historical background allows us to note how they responded to very different situations, and how temperament, intelligence, experience, daring and advice came into play as they dealt with really pressing problems.
The methods the ancients used to implement their decisions are equally instructive, since they illustrate the advantages and disadvantages that inevitably confront leaders of today. Leaders and themes include:
- Taking the initiative: Miltiades at Marathon
- Envisaging the future: the strategy of Themistocles
- The virtue of integrity: the political supremacy of Pericles
- Risking the innovation: Epaminondas at Leuctra
- Taking decisive action: Alexander at Chaeronea
Corporate staff rides are highly customized experiential learning techniques. Greece is the land where some of the most pivotal battles in world history were fought, from ancient to modern times. Therefore, there are many choices of battlefields and we choose the appropriate one in collaboration with our clients. For example:
- Persian Wars battlefields, (close to Athens – many options).
- Peloponnesian War (Various options, senior leadership).
- World War II – Battle of Crete (Complex operations, many issues, team building).
- World War II – Battle of Leros (Complex operation, team building).
Our staff rides provide highly impactful corporate off-site events that build and energize teams.