Stanley McChrystal, a retired US General, advocates for a culture of sharing knowledge in military operations. He argues that silos of information can lead to catastrophic failures, as seen in the 9/11 attacks. Drawing from his experiences leading the Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq, McChrystal details how a shift from a culture of secrecy to one of transparency and collaboration can significantly improve outcomes.

He highlights the importance of shared consciousness and empowered execution in achieving this. Shared consciousness involves creating a common understanding among all members of an organisation, while empowered execution allows individuals at all levels to make decisions based on this shared understanding.

McChrystal’s approach led to a dramatic increase in the pace of operations in Iraq, from 10 raids per month to 300. He believes this method could be beneficial in other sectors, including business and education.

He also warns of the dangers of over-classification, arguing that it often leads to fewer people having access to crucial information. Instead, he proposes a “need to share” approach over the traditional “need to know” policy. In conclusion, McChrystal calls for a re-evaluation of how organisations handle knowledge, advocating for a more open, collaborative approach.

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