Small Wars Journal

military innovation

Military Innovation and the Tower of Babel

Several months ago, I began researching how the military uses the term “innovation” only to find while we are using common words, we are not using a shared language. Not only does the various Department of Defense branches use the term “innovation” differently, the different definitions utilized in other allied nations and in civilian industry only adds further confusion in the use of this term.

About the Author(s)

Innovation in the Military

Four concepts about innovation in the military are introduced in this paper. The first is called the Military Innovation Framework. It is used to determine what kind of innovation is desired, and why. The second tool is called the Military Innovation Engine, which describes who needs to participate for innovation to catch fire. The third concept is the Military Innovation Pathway. It is one way—not the only way—to let innovation happen organically in the military unit. Finally, the fourth concept describes special considerations needed for disruptive innovation to survive in the military environment.

About the Author(s)