Recent announcements by Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, regarding the development of Defense Innovation Units Experimental – in Silicon Valley, Boston, and now Austin, have inspired many in the Department of Defense, including myself, to consider how we too can deliver innovation. Given the need to modernize American military forces after nearly two decades of continued warfare, many hope that DIU-X units will bring new ideas for systems, roles, and processes to the DoD. As exciting as these possibilities are, however, I would like to offer that leaders should not wait for innovation to be delivered to them. Instead, they should begin building their own local flavor of innovation. Begin at each installation. The talent, mentorship, and resources to deliver extraordinary results exist at many bases already – the only thing lacking is the leadership to bring it all together.
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