Doctrine authors are encouraged to avoid using the latest catch phrase as an adjective to modify simple nouns. In the past three years, "full spectrum" appeared - incorrectly - to modify almost anything. Modifying nouns with trendy adjectives, such as full spectrum, decisive, full dimension, distributed, agile, and dominant, rarely adds meaning and often shortens the shelf life of otherwise good doctrine. Authors should strive to use concise, direct, and straightforward language. They should call things by their simple names and avoid lengthy or soon-to-be obsolete catch phrases that do not enhance meaning.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
I really don't get this disruptive thinking concept floating about the blogosphere recently. I certainly get the complaints of many of the pro-disruptive types, but I'm not sure I understand what's unique about the concept of applying entrepreneurial thinking to military thinking. This has been done in many ways over the past decades in the U.S. military. I get that a lot of disruptive thinking centers around young guys who think they have at least some of the answers to our biggest strategic problems and they want to be heard. Got it. I don't disagree.
I think my problem with disruptive thinking as a concept is that the modifier "disruptive" isn't necessary. We'd all love for the military to listen to the great ideas of young lieutenants and sergeants if they're good ideas. But it's not disruptive. It's merely thinking. I would go so far as to suggest that adding "disruptive" unnecessarily to what you're suggesting you want to do may cause current leadership to dig their trenches a bit deeper and add overhead cover.
I don't like the term and I don't think the concept is new. I'll continue to watch it, but I'm just not convinced it has merit as "disruptive." Maybe we should just push for more "thinking" in the military and that might solve a lot of our problems. I'll end this short post with some advice from Combined Arms Center's Doctrine Update (December 2011):
So say we all.