In my latest story for JNS.org, I interview Sgt. Ilan Regenbaum, a member of the Israel Air Force’s (IAF) Innovation Department, which takes problem-solving techniques from hi-tech giants, and injects them into the Middle East’s most powerful air force.
This fascinating department is made up of former employees of companies like Google and IBM, who were working on cutting edge technology. Now, they’re setting up a culture of innovation in the IAF, which means linking up soldiers from any rank who see problems, or have ideas for solutions, with officers who can make that happen.
A special computer system, known as the innovation platform, has already led to some significant changes.
The department also runs an in-house IAF accelerator, made up of teams that study core problems, before drawing up solutions. The technique has been borrowed from the hi-tech eco system.
“While different in many ways, we view the air force as being, at the end of the day, an organization with tens of thousands of people,” said Regenbaum, “with challenges, like other organizations.”
This kind of out of the box thinking can only benefit the IAF. Regenbaum’s units has its sights set on big goals, hoping to spread to the general army and the navy too, eventually.