Disclaimer: The below text references the US lead war in Iraq and is only meant to create a better understanding of managerial structures. In no way is the text meant to be biased and does not support or condemn actions during this war.
TEACHING SOCIETY TO TOWARDS A COMMOM GOAL
It’s no secret that in any field, small teams using guerilla tactics have many advantages—they can respond quickly, communicate freely, and make decisions without layers of bureaucracy. Large organizations on the other hand need management practices that can scale to thousands of people.
Any virus acts just as decentralized as these small guerrilla teams and we, as a society, act as a slow and usually well organised structure. The more developed our structure is the harder it hits us. (Decisions take days, implementing regulations takes weeks, jobs are lost because helpful actions might even be illegal in our structure)
General McChrystal led a hierarchical, highly disciplined machine of thousands of men and women. But to defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq, his Task Force would have to acquire the enemy’s speed and flexibility. Was there a way to combine the power of large military numbers with the agility of their enemy network? If so, could the same principles apply in civilian organizations?
A NEW APPROACH FOR A NEW WORLD
McChrystal and his colleagues discarded a century of conventional wisdom and remade the Task Force, in the midst of a grueling war, into something new: a network that combined extremely transparent communication with decentralized decision-making authority. The walls between silos were torn down. Leaders looked at the best practices of the smallest units and found ways to extend them to thousands of people on three continents, using technology to establish a oneness that would have been impossible even a decade earlier. The Task Force became a “team of teams” - faster, flatter, more flexible.
HOW DOES THIS TRANSLATE TO A PANDEMI?
1. Share goals not just regulations:
For a long time people where helpless, not knowing how to act. Most goverments only published simple rules without sharing what the actual goal or motivation behind them is.
Instead goverments need to share goals and what they want to achieve. In our case of COVID-19 it was to flatten the curve to not make our health system collapse. As soon as people understood the WHY they acted responibly sometimes following the rules but - and this is more important - DID WHATEVER NECESARY TO BRING SOCIETY TOWARDS THIS COMMON GOAL.
2. Flexible metrics and a good feedback loop to discover small success or failures quickly:
Currently there is no way for experts to know how emergency regulations positively or negatively affect the future of a pandemia. There is no feedback loop in place other than infection numbers going up or down.
Randomn successes like the south korean drive through test model was adopted in the US by pure chance because of its media coverage... but WE NEED A BETTER FEEDBACK LOOP BETWEEN PEOPLE AND DECISION MAKERS TO FIND BEST PRACTICES QUICKLY.
If we can find a way to do this we could harness everyones individual creativity and act as one.