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28 April 2015

A Task Force for Innovation

In a recent message to the fleet the honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, discussed innovation in the navy and his vision of the coming years for Task Force Innovation.  

“Turning bold ideas into operational reality this tradition, more than any piece of equipment or technology, gives us our competitive advantage.” Are the remarks the secretary used before leading into his outline of five essential elements for Task Force Innovation:

1.      Build the Naval Innovation Network.
The Naval Innovation Network (NIN) will be a collection of forums available to the Fleet. The site will be a location of best practices and ideas can be exchanged between commands helping innovative ideas reach a broader audience.

“Right now, there are examples of innovation occurring in pockets all over the Fleet. We owe all our Sailors, Marines and civilians a platform by which their ideas can reach the decision makers.” - Secretary Mabus

2.      Manage the Talent of the DON Workforce Better. 
Not only is it essential that the skills and training of Sailors is known, but it is essential Sailors know the career paths that are available to them.

“When our team draws on the talent, dedication and skills of all our Sailors we will remain the finest Navy in the world.”- Admiral Greenert, CNO

3.      Improve the use of DON Information.
The Navy has a LOT of information but it is sometimes hard to find or almost imposable to get to.   The sharing information between organizations has been made imposable by institutional bottlenecks.  For an innovative society to thrive there must be free flowing information between organizations.

“Someday, on the corporate balance sheet, there will be an entry which reads, 'Information'; for in most cases, the information is more valuable than the hardware which processes it.” - Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

4.      Accelerate Emerging Operational Capabilities to the Fleet.
When we have something that does a job better, faster, and easier that tech needs to reach the fleet to ensure optimum capability.

“Too many new assets are mired in outdated bureaucratic practices that were developed for another era. As we enter the age of cyber, unmanned systems and advanced manufacturing, we cannot allow these overly complex, form-over-substance, often useless, and too often harmful, practices to slow or prevent development of some game changers, while simultaneously giving our potential adversaries the competitive advantage.” - Secretary Mabus

5.      Develop Game-Changing Warfighting Concepts.
The diverse threats that face our military cannot be fought with one warfighting approach.  Many concepts of warfighting need to be developed to provide commanders effective options for any military action.

“We will aggressively develop concepts of employment for alternative platforms that are consistent with mission requirements and platform capabilities.” - General Dunford, CMC
This idea for innovation does not rely on the Task Force alone, instead it relies on the joint contributions from E1 to O9.  With our combined innovative efforts a force as knowledgeable, capable, and willing as the Navy we can develop into a military organization that will lead the world through the 21 century.

For more information go to on the five essential elements for Task Force Innovation Click Here.

If you have questions or thought please put them in the comments below.

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