Innovation dilemmas.

Author:Clarke, Dana
Position:Readers' Forum - Innovations in military

* Several National Defense articles in recent months have expounded the same message: The Army cannot formulate what it needs, but it wants "good, fast and cheap." Interestingly, everyone appears to agree that the answer is innovation.

The challenges are complex and fortified by experience-based skepticism, customers who cannot or are not willing to formulate specific needs because they are afraid it will squelch the innovation. Contradictory requirements are everywhere.

The next question one should be asking is what kind of innovation is required to formulate needs and how innovation should be applied to deliver new levels of capability to the war fighter. It is innovation that is based on having a deep understanding of how a system evolves over decades and gradually becomes better but depletes the technological resources required to continue the system's evolution.

Today's structured approaches to innovation can enable the recognition and visualization of the next emerging steps of a system's evolution. Does this mean that we can see into the future? Yes, but not through a collection of technology predictions but through well-defined...

To continue reading