Developing Strategic Leaders: Innovators versus Operators
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Developing strategic leaders is a process that begins in the early stages of a career. The Army must make deliberate efforts to develop innovative strategic leaders capable of identifying future transitions in the ways wars are fought through targeted broadening opportunities for high potential officers that are identified early in their careers. Strategic military leaders have historically been unable to predict the nature and challenges of the next war. By increasing broadening opportunities for mid-career officers, the Army will better diversify the characteristics and strategic leadership skills of the future general officer corps. In the corporate world, successful businesses drive and adapt to market transitions. They make deliberate efforts to identify and develop leaders who are innovative. Businesses constantly strive for the right mix between competing priorities of innovation and operational excellence. The Army is skewed toward operational excellence and must take steps to increase the innovative skills of their strategic leaders to balance these two competing priorities. A corps of strategic leaders more driven by innovation instead of operational excellence would greatly enhance preparedness for the next war.
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