The Diamond Formation Leader

The term “Diamond Formation Leader” originates from the diamond shape that is achieved when four airplanes fly in perfect formation position in three-dimensional space. I had the good fortune to be part of these diamond formations during my military aviation career.

Getting into that perfect position for a moment is something that can be learned by applying proper procedures. When moving through the airspace, conditions constantly change. Wind is shifting, visibility is changing with the angle of the sun and clouds in the sky. Every little thing, like altitude, temperature, humidity, etc. make a difference in the environment.

Initially, to get establish the basic Diamond Formation requires significant movement and changes to position by each plane. To maintain perfect Diamond Formation position requires constant incremental changes to adjust to the environmental changes and then match the input the leader is giving to the lead plane to reach the destination or goal.

The concept that the Diamond Formation in military aviation is providing for business is to realize that four core, relatively new core aspects of a diamond need to be brought into balance to achieve Diamond Formation Leadership.

Those four corners are:

  • Collaboration
  • Team Building
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Globalization

For each of these four corners there are individual lessons to be written in the future.

As in Diamond Formation flying we need to initially make bigger changes to even get into position and then apply smaller incremental changes to react to the environment and maintain position while we are guiding the formation to achieve our and/or the organizations vision.

The value of maintaining the balance within the formation lies in the ability to direct attention on the specific corner of the diamond. The leader of the formation is providing the guidance and each wingman only needs to line up two points to maintain perfect position. With the formation in this kind of balance, there will be no doubt that the vision or goal will be reached.

Developing the ability to make initially big changes to get in position and then small incremental changes to maintain perfect position and balance leads to success for the whole formation.

For the leader to be in front and lead the formation towards the goal and vision core principles and attributes need to be in place. We have conducted a study to determine what these core principles and attributes of a Diamond Formation Leader are and will describe them in Lesson #6 of this series.

Learning how to make changes to maintain perfect position in the Diamond Formation and bringing the four core aspects into balance is the secret of success. When the formation is out of balance, we need to apply large amounts of energy and focus to get back into position and balance. That energy is lost and cannot be applied to perfect each of the four aspects needed to be successful in our ever changing modern business environment.

Ask yourself what you have done recently to

  • develop and enhance collaboration?
  • contribute and lead to build and improve your team?
  • get a better understanding of the culture, heritage, and diversity of the people following and listening to you and what they need to trust and believe in you?
  • Identify and develop benefits and advantages to achieve the goals and vision of your team and organization through globalization?

If your answer is that there is any one of the four areas that you have not touched or improved for some time, you are probably way out of position and need to make a big change to get back into Diamond Formation.

If your answers indicate that you have been working on these four aspects, ask yourself how you can improve positioning and alignment to make it perfectly balanced. What are the incremental next steps you will take to keep adjusting and improving while moving towards the vision you and your organization aim to achieve.

AMC is an international consulting firm that serves the corporate and private sectors in two prime areas:

  • Project management of change initiatives
  • Facilitation and teaching to implement learning designs

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