ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Aug. 21, 2023) – Twenty-eight Army employees of various backgrounds and disciplines completed a recent course aimed to make changes to established norms to improve workflow through out-of-the-box thinking and creativity.
Adam Bogner created the Innovation Course in 2014 and serves as an instructor.
“We seek diversity for the class and solicit across all the disciplines, it makes for a better course and better participation by the students,” said Bogner, an Army Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center employee. “When people see the course announced, they think this is for engineers and then we work to explain it is for everyone including leaders and managers.”
The C5ISR Center is an element of the Combat Capabilities Development Command.
The current course was co-facilitated by Bogner, who was joined by four C5ISR Center prior student-instructors, Adam McCauley, Kimberly Foor, Jessica Hall and Anthony Hamilton.
The course includes reading assignments that follow the IDEO design and innovation company’s practices as presented in the book “The Art of Innovation” by Tom Kelley, discussions based on articles or podcasts on industry and the DoD, field excursions, guest speakers, and project-based learning of rapid prototyping techniques/hands-on team exercises.
C5ISR Center program support specialist and course student Tyler Hill said, “We did practical exercises that are common in industry, such as Amazon’s Working Backwards method, among others. In that exercise, we created fictional press releases, dated at some point in the future, that articulated what product success looks like. That was really interesting because you can visualize the end state and align the team.”
The final projects identified problems, applied thinking skills, and designed a solution to an organizational problem. The final prototypes/methods were briefed to C5ISR Center leadership and have been further carried to development and implementation in the past.
The teams will take the skills and thinking process back to their respective organizations to improve efficiency and create a culture of open-minded collaboration.
“In terms of the things that changed the path of my career, this course has changed my outlook of what the Army civilian career path can offer,” said electronics engineer Zachary Noakes. “This gives me faith that there's hope for engineering, logistics and others to expand, change and grow instead of being stable.”
The C5ISR Center is the Army’s applied research and advanced technology development center for C5ISR capabilities. As the Army’s primary integrator of C5ISR technologies and systems, the center develops and matures capabilities that support all six Army modernization priorities, enabling information dominance and tactical overmatch for the joint warfighter.
The C5ISR Center is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. Through collaboration across the command’s core technical competencies, DEVCOM leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation’s wars and come home safely. DEVCOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.