Admiral James “Sandy” Winnefeld discusses innovation and its role in war. He breaks down three horizons of innovation and how federal primes are world-class with first and second horizon innovations but struggle with third horizon innovation.
The technology is changing so fast, you have to be at the leading edge of innovation in a fight. If you aren’t on the leading edge, you’re going to be left behind very quickly, and you aren’t going to like that.
The first horizon is incremental improvements to an existing problem. The second horizon is a step change applied to an existing concept. The third horizon is rethinking the entire problem.
It takes a lot of courage to innovate at the third horizon. You have to think about what is coming next, and you have to be willing to completely rethink the problem.