The keynote speaker at the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 2018 Annual Conference encouraged those listening to work toward improving processes across their organization in the style of military precision. Chris “Elroy” Stricklin laid out the elements of his Flawless Execution methodology, which prioritizes communication, teamwork and owning up to mistakes while trying to improve for the future.
Stricklin, a member of Afterburner, is a corporate keynote speaker and executive consultant. He is also a combat-proven Air Force leader. His range of experience combines service as a U.S. Air Force Thunderbird, multiple NATO assignments, White House and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) fellowships and command-experience in the Air Force. Flawless Execution can be applied across industries and fields in all companies and organizations. It is based on military principles, including simplicity of tasks, planning, striving for improvement and holding debriefs after the fact to go over what can be done differently in the future.
“We have a saying in the flying world, which is ‘flexibility is key to air power,’” says Stricklin. “But preparation is the key to flexibility.”
Communicating clearly and checking egos at the door are also important to success, according to Stricklin.
“It’s not who is right, it’s what is right,” says Stricklin. “Remember this to get better as a team. That’s how you turn high-performing teams into elite teams.”
As a follow-up to his keynote address, Stricklin led a hands-on workshop in which every participant chose a goal to achieve with their team in the next 60-90 days. From there, an actionable plan was made for how to accomplish it, including a breakdown of any potential threats to getting the goal completed and ideas for mitigating those threats.
After completing a task or a mission, the debrief step of the plan is crucial for growth and improvement.
“A debrief should be nameless and rankless,” he says. “Set those aside when criticism comes in. Identify your own shortfalls and make a plan to fix them for tomorrow.”