As I listened, my mind questioned the premise... everyone's for defense innovation contracting. Is that true? How would we know? What would be the indications a defense organization thoroughly understands and actively advances its Equity Interest in Innovation?
Let's start with leadership publicly and persistently professing they want innovation, and lots of it? Ok. That's an indication. What else?
What would those same leaders say when asked what exactly they have done to draw out the best talents of innovators? How have they established and continued to foster a culture that defaults to "yes" rather than "no," especially when the organization's executives don't understand the innovation themselves? What about the organization's policies mandating transparency and encouraging collaboration that promotes "what if" thinking, recognizing collaboration is essential to innovation? How exactly do they protect their innovators and shelter nascent innovations, if at all? Maybe an indication is the willingness of defense contractors to expend scarce R&D resources with confidence that resulting innovations will survive or fail on their own merits?
"The story of innovation has not changed. It has always been a small team of people who have a new idea, typically not understood by people around them and their executives." -- Eric Schmidt, Chairman, Google
How about leadership actively supporting business practices that recognize new ideas come from anywhere, and must be looked for everywhere? How about employees and support contractors who emphatically state they are inspired, and have enough autonomy and latitude to explore outside their box?
May I ask, what else? I'd very much appreciate your thoughts and opinions. We all recognize there are very few Googles out there when it comes to thoroughly understanding and actively advancing their equity interest in innovation. But how far away from Google can an organization be before losing credibility when professing they value innovation, and what consequences might result?
Thanks in advance.