Director of Innovation. Volume 5, June 2010
OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH ARLINGTON VA
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The Navy, like most other large organizations today is increasing the drumbeat for innovation. Innovation is not only a top priority for the current Chief of Naval Operations, a recent IBM survey places it as a top priority for the majority of fortune 500 CEOs. The reasons are both obvious and compelling. Companies in the private sector are facing escalating costs, unpredictable economic environments, and technology that is increasing at the speed of light. Just when a company thinks it has invented the best mouse trap someone comes around the corner with a better one. Our military is also facing a turbulent geopolitical landscape, huge pressures on cost reduction, and an enemy that is exceedingly clever and often uses very low-tech weaponry. All of us who have tried to introduce and then implement something different understand that innovation is an easy word to say but a hard thing to do. In fact, many large and established organizations are often innovation killers despite their best intentions. Suffocating bureaucracy, risk aversion, control systems out of control, the not invented here syndrome, slavish cost cutting, and idea censorship are a few of the causative factors for the failure of many innovative initiatives. But some large organizations - including military ones - have succeeded in inducing greater innovation despite the odds that are often stacked against them. While there is still no prescriptive code for innovation like there is for Lean Six Sigma, certain trends and enablers are starting to emerge as common across some of the winners.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science
- Unconventional Warfare