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James Murphy

Debriefing as Continuous Improvement

If there was one trend in the last decade of the twentieth century that anyone would recognize as important, it would be continuous improvement. Whether it was branded the Deming Method or Six
Sigma or a host of other models, ‘continuous improvement processes’ found their way into organizations large and small and have made a major contribution to improving quality worldwide.

In an environment of instant and unpredictable change, most of these models are statistically based and unwieldy. They can bog down a company and delay actions and reactions so much that they become ends instead of means. To survive, thrive, and remain on the cutting edge, organizations must learn to adapt rapidly, which means they need feedback loops that are nearly instantaneous and a process for feeding lessons learned back into the company in near-real time. They must close the gap between what was true about the market yesterday and what the new truth is today.


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About the Authors

James MurphyJames D. ‘Murph’ Murphy, the Founder & CEO of Afterburner, Inc., has a unique and powerful mix of leadership skills in both the military and business worlds. Murph joined the U.S. Air Force where he learned to fly the F-15. He logged over 1,200 hours as an instructor pilot in the F-15 and accumulated over 3,200 hours of flight time in other high-performance aircraft. As the 116th Fighter Wing’s Chief of Training for the Georgia Air National Guard, Murph’s job was to keep 42 combat-trained fighter pilots ready to deploy worldwide within 72 hours. As a flight leader, he flew missions to Central America, Asia, Central Europe and the Middle East.

Will DukeWill Duke is Afterburner’s Director of Learning and Development. His duties include coordination of the development of intellectual property, training programs, and educational materials. He also serves as a consultant to process and continuous improvement management programs. With Co-Author James ‘Murph’ Murphy, he wrote the 2010 release The Flawless Execution Field Manual.

James Murphy

Benefits of Debriefing

The Forces of global change can render professional skill sets obsolete almost overnight. Organizations that fail to continuously revise assumptions about their operating environment (i.e. market) risk obsolescence or irrelevance. It is vital to develop the capacity to learn from your environment. But how is this done? Information overload is the management crisis of the 21st century. We have so many measures, dashboards and performance indicators that acquiring information can become an end rather than a means. The answer is debriefing. In fact, debriefing isn’t just something that is helpful, in today’s environment it’s an imperative.


Hi there! This article is available for free. Login or register as a StrategyDriven Personal Business Advisor Self-Guided Client by:

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About the Authors

James MurphyJames D. ‘Murph’ Murphy, the Founder & CEO of Afterburner, Inc., has a unique and powerful mix of leadership skills in both the military and business worlds. Murph joined the U.S. Air Force where he learned to fly the F-15. He logged over 1,200 hours as an instructor pilot in the F-15 and accumulated over 3,200 hours of flight time in other high-performance aircraft. As the 116th Fighter Wing’s Chief of Training for the Georgia Air National Guard, Murph’s job was to keep 42 combat-trained fighter pilots ready to deploy worldwide within 72 hours. As a flight leader, he flew missions to Central America, Asia, Central Europe and the Middle East.

Will DukeWill Duke is Afterburner’s Director of Learning and Development. His duties include coordination of the development of intellectual property, training programs, and educational materials. He also serves as a consultant to process and continuous improvement management programs. With Co-Author James ‘Murph’ Murphy, he wrote the 2010 release The Flawless Execution Field Manual.