Innovation by Developing New Ideas and Escaping Old Ones

Posted Apr 01, 2019 by
Tim S.

Innovation is critical for every organization trying to survive in a rapidly changing business environment. Innovation itself does not necessarily require exotic new technology but rather an adaptive, creative, and flexible culture within the organization to help foster innovative ideas for challenging problems. Economist John Maynard Keyes knew innovative ideas required a paradigm shift by famously stating: “The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping old ones.”

The Defense Innovation Board (DIB) was established in 2016 to help bring innovative ideas and best practices of Silicon Valley to the Department of Defense (DoD). DIB’s membership includes Valley veteran Eric Schmidt (Alphabet Inc. CEO), Neil deGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist) and other successful science and management luminaries. As part of their advisory efforts, Board members have traveled throughout the world seeking innovative ideas from U.S. servicemen and servicewomen involved in military operations to improve military processes in use in all theaters of operation. DIB identifies and works with “sponsors” inside DoD to take action in creating a sustainable foundation for successful ideas to take hold. You can read more about DIB here.

To date, DIB has delivered 16 recommendations to DoD across three major challenge sets: people/culture, technology/capabilities, and practices/operations. One particular DIB recommendation dealt specifically with innovation: Recommendation 11 - Reward Bureaucracy Busting and Lower Barriers to Innovation. This was DIB’s call for DoD to eliminate sclerotic bureaucracies, improve/eliminate inefficient processes, and reward thinking outside of the box. DIB believes DoD could achieve greater success by establishing incentives for process simplification, reducing paperwork, alleviating reporting burdens, and instituting “bureaucracy busting” activities to help increase performance/efficiencies, save time/money, and reduce impediments to DoD’s missions. The Board also recommended that DoD leaders constantly repeat a mantra of simplification throughout the rank & file and remove obstacles to new thinking. You can read more about this and other DIB recommendations here.

St. Michael’s has demonstrated experience and expertise in working with DoD and other government agencies to develop efficient, compliant, and sustainable business practices within the confines of Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) Guidance. You can find out more about our services in back office support, finance & accounting, and audit readiness here

As a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB), we help government agencies achieve socio-economic contracting goals.