The blueprint for a better military

How architectural innovations deliver strategic competitive advantages

Meeting the unknown challenges of the 21st century depends more on the creativity of those in uniform to see new connections and opportunities than it does on any killer app or new technology.

What technology can (and cannot) do to create an enduring asymmetric advantage

​When the tank was used in isolation in older doctrines, it was only marginally successful. However, when new doctrine established new connections between the tank and other technologies…it became revolutionary. These connections, or architectures, are the true source of innovation.

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Looking for a few good technologies

Facing a myriad of issues across the globe that challenge existing military capabilities, the US Department of Defense has launched the search for the Third Offset, a strategic plan to regain and expand the military’s competitive advantage over near-peer nations.

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Can’t buy victory

​The basic tenet of an offset strategy is that technologies alone cannot provide an enduring asymmetric advantage–you can’t buy victory. Instead, enduring advantages are architectural, not technological.

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How to find and nurture the right innovations

​Creating new, high-level architectures is incredible difficult. That is because everything in an organization from the equipment, to the training manuals, to the promotion structure was created the best serve the old doctrine, the old architecture. So to get innovations off of paper and onto the battlefield requires more than platitudes about start-up culture and failing fast. It takes top to bottom organizational change.

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Concrete steps to make the visions reality

​We now have a host of examples and insights from which to draw structure and proven next steps that can help to identify the way wars will be fought for the remainder of the century.

  • Look outside for technologies, look inside for architectures
  • Create new organizational forms
  • Experiment
  • Sell the change

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