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Military Personnel As Innovators: An Unrealistic Expectation?
Calls for innovation from United States military leaders reverberate throughout the ranks. In an organizational culture that reinforces self-restraint, rewards groupthink, and treats white space as wasted space, these leaders have unrealistic expectations of their military personnel. An examination of the requirements for innovation along with recent neuroscience and organizational psychology research provides valuable insight into how the checklist mentality of the military inhibits creativity and innovation. Recommendations to counter these barriers include recruiting creative personalities, training in divergent thinking, providing time for incubation, and promoting innovative leaders. Adoption of these recommendations will embolden military members to be more creative and will cultivate a culture that champions innovation.

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Photo by: FAIR, LESLIE S GS-11 USAF AETC LEMAY CENTER/AUP |  VIRIN: 180403-F-QR584-002.JPG