Way ahead in a VUCA world: innovation as a strategic tool
Today’s complex environment, and the recent coronavirus is challenging sustained organizational growth. Retaining as well as recruiting the most talented service personnel, sustaining top tier performance, while undergoing a digital transformation is a crucial challenge for Special Operations. Reacting to the crisis and the culture change, that is required to constantly be the “tip of the spear” requires relentless focus, and never-ending experimentation with new ways of leadership, training, and organizational methods. The dynamically changing environment, requires a technology focus, as well as a mental wellbeing focus at the same time. Most organizations pay attention to the former and less to the latter, and the result is lack of motivation, burnout, low retention rates, and overall a failed cultural change effort. Having motivated, committed and resilient service personnel is not a J1 issue, this is one of the key tasks of the Commanders. Sustained peak-performance, that is based on long-term vitality is one of the best forms to achieve competitive advantage in a complex and rapidly changing environment. Thus innovation should not only focus on modernisation (equipping the force) but also on searching for better ways to adapt for humans (education and cognitive welfare) - this is how we van sharpen the sword every day.