Think about a simple thing like ‘contact with foreign nationals’. Have we amended the Navy Order knowing that every time you go on Internet you are in contact with foreign nationals? Or AC cars for Commodores and above only; knowing that these days, even if a Ag SubLt wants to buy a car, there is hardly any choice but to buy an AC car.
Are armed forces resistant to change but at the same time expect that its people would think out-of-the-box?
“Ah, but there is ample scope for innovativeness even in the strait-jacketed atmosphere of a hierarchical structure. Some officers really turn out to be innovative” is the oft heard refrain of some senior officers. The answer is, “Sir, we don’t want a handful to become innovative. We want a larger percentage to be thinking out-of-the-box. And, in any case, Sir, those who turn out to be innovative do so not because of the system but despite the system.”
We don’t want out-of-box thinking as an accident or aberration. We want it as a norm. For this not only that we have to start thinking of it at fairly early stages (formative years) of officers careers; but, also send signals that it would be rewarded just as, if because of it, we land up into failure, we shall not do witch hunting.
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