As we look over the horizon, we must ensure that our naval fighting capabilities are agile enough to respond to rapid changes in the future operating environment. Here, we examine the role of innovation as the Navy and Marine Corps enter a new era of information-intensive warfare. What role does innovation play in shaping future capabilities? What conditions are important to generate and exploit innovative ideas? How do we instill a culture that promotes bold, creative thinking? To position our naval forces for success in the future we must find solutions that address these questions.
What is Innovation?
The first question to be answered is “what’s in it for us?” Innovation is defined as creativity applied to a purpose to realize value. Innovation expert John Kao goes a little deeper in his “Innovation Manifesto.”
Innovation enables people to adapt to the waves of disruptive change . . . and the rate is increasing. Changes are brought about by new demographic and geopolitical shifts [and] by new and emerging technologies. The complexity of change is beyond most strategic planning.1