Showing posts with label history buff stuff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label history buff stuff. Show all posts

Friday, September 9, 2016

3 Business Lessons from the Start of WWI

WWI is an interesting war. Fought between 1914 - 1918, its somewhat glanced over in U.S. History classes. Maybe this is because we didn't join the fight until April of 1917 with the war ending 1.5 years later in November of 1918. Maybe its because the war itself is just so darn confusing.

Got 7-min? Check out The Outbreak of WWI on YouTube.



Seriously, through a series of alliances of "who has whose back," WWI is a power play of countries using this backup to take things too far.  As promised, here' those 3 Business Lessons from the Start of WWI.

1) What 'Team' Are You Aligning With?: Business can get highly political at times. It can be hard to stay neutral, and sometimes you're pushed to pick a side. Like a high school lunch table, having such an alliance can be beneficial. It can also cause problems (see #3). It's important in business to not only know IF you want to align with someone, but ALSO whom else that person is aligned with. Is it someone that you would also align with? Are they the exception to the alliance, or are you?

2) Consider Bias In Opinions Speaking: German generals were nervous about the growth of Russia's rail system. Given a few years, a strong rail system combined with Russia's endless population of potential soldiers could cause trouble. These generals wanted a proactive war in 1914, thinking not doing so would cause doom in coming years. The population of Germany disagreed and generally didn't want war -- life was good at the time, a good portion of the population was socialist and anti-war. Germany was an industrial powerhouse and the center of learning for Europe. In the coming years London would take over this position.

3) Sometimes You Need to Call Out Your Friends: Austria wanted war baaaaad. They tried 20+ times prior to the assassination of Assassination of Franz Ferdinand. This is why the outbreak of war likely is confusing, Franz Ferdinand is a scapegoat. Post assassination Austria-Hungry gave Serbia a list of demands -- total of 15 -- some that made sense, others designed to provoke the situation further. An example being Austria-Hungry demanding trials in Serbia (their land) with Austria-Hungry overseeing. Lunatic request. Not agreeing to this gave Austria-Hungry a reason to declare war. Demands were easier to make because they knew Germany would have their back. Ironically an hour before war was declared, Germany expected the issue resolved without war because of what Serbia agreed to. The lesson, Austria-Hungry knew it could be unrealistic and extended itself because Germany would have it's back. We've all got friends like Austria-Hungry... sometimes blind alliance is a dangerous thing. Good reason to require a 'heads up' from your friends before pulling you into something like that.


What is so fascinating is the domino effect that alliances can have and what happens when friends call in favors you never thought possible.

Alright, back to business lessons from WWI. Reflect on someone you don't always get along with professionally. Is it a different of opinion, or are they your Franz Ferdinand?