What Manufacturers Can Learn from the Commandos

The world of manufacturing and the soldier seem very far apart at first glance, but they both operate in uncertain and rapidly changing environments. The workforce goes to work, while the military goes to war. Thankfully, in the work environment, people do not often die, but companies can fail and people’s livelihoods can be destroyed through bad decisions.

Despite a tough climate, globally, manufacturing has continued to grow over the past year — albeit only a slight growth. However, there are always complex problems which can lie just outside the industry’s control ready to work against them. 

Whether it’s problems caused by a sudden change in exchange rates changing costs and profits; or the disruption and reputation damage from recalling a faulty production run; or even a major crisis (for instance, the recent horsemeat scandal and processed meat product makers); or a competitor bringing out a ground-breaking product, manufacturers can find their business in turbulent and highly competitive situations.  

In the face of adversity many people freeze or go into denial. Military training is all about enabling people to think quickly and respond to rapidly-changing events despite uncertainty. Strong values are an important part of this as they create a unity of purpose and culture.

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