Article Review

Length: 4 Pages 1020 Words

If one considers that the prime mission of management is to ensure the continuation and success of the company, then it is very easy to see how British Admiral Horatio Nelson's once-unique method of getting his captains to wage his kind of battle is applicable to the modern corporation. Vincent writes: … Nelson knew that it was the prime responsibility of the commander himself to invent the strategy€¦. Nelson would not be out of place in the company of the most sophisticated of modern managers. He could probably teach most of them a thing or two about strategic vision, communication and collaboration, trust, delegation and empowerment, all underlying ideas of mission command, all relevant to all organizations (cq), and all part of Nelson's actual management style. [1] Vincent makes the point that this is all essential modern management theory, but he is very careful to note the ways in which Nelson accomplished the accord that handed him his victories. It was not a ‘woo woo' pie-in-the-sky dependence on the convergence of planets or mystical meetings of the minds. Nor did he do it by creating a maj Continue...


We shall aim first for a knock-out blow and then a mopping-up operation. We shall immediately attack the enemy and immediately get close to our target. Managers are not necessarily deployed according to their strengths and then given a green light to go forward without double- checking. 5 It would be well for modern managers, including those in my own company, to pay attention to this. Nelson achieved a lot more than that not by expecting perfection, but by arranging matters for the best possibility of the best outcome, and then stepping aside, knowing he and his captains had prepared and had their jobs to do. But the definition of success is to win 51 of the time. Neither in Nelson's day nor in modern corporations would that be sufficient to win the war or the corporate contest, however. These days, we are saddled with great numbers of meetings at which the company mission statement is read, like a mantra, and everyone is then expected to make all their comments based on that. Rather, like Nelson, they are getting agreement, abuy in' if you will, to the mission already determined by the leader. It is not an endless negotiation, but rather a succinct explanation and an expectation that the answer will be: I'm with you. Vincent concluded that: We can be certain that he concentrated not on detailed plans for each of a wide range of hypothetical circumstances but on the principles he saw as applicable in all circumstances. Forget the formal Order of Battle, we shall form up as most convenient at the time. or aplaybook,' with various possibilities and scenarios laid out with the various responses of each captainmanager aprogrammed' as well. Of course there will be failures, just as Nelson occasionally was defeated.