Puncturing Circles of Bureaucracy

In my airplane reading this week was the February issue of Defense Systems magazine, with an interesting article on the Department of Defense’s “Rapid Reaction Technology Office,”  or RRTO.

(Also in my reading stack was a hilariously disturbing article in WIRED about the merry pranksters of Second Life, but it has nothing to do with my topic right now.)

RRTO is facing great challenges inherent in trying to innovate DoD practices, and I’d argue some of the problem is evident right there in its title: there’s rarely anything truly “rapid” about a reactive approach to technology innovation.

After I joined DIA in 2003, leading that agency’s efforts at “innovation” in information technologies, I began to structure my thoughts about the impediments to change and improvement.

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