Innovators Are Found, Not Made

Air Force leaders at all levels need to find, encourage, mentor, and defend airmen willing to take risks to build our future force because innovation cannot be trained, said Air Force deputy chief of staff for ISR James? Clark. “You can’t institutionalize innovation, there’s no [Air Force Instruction], there’s no regulation—either you are, or you are not” innovative, he said during a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event in Arlington, Va., July 23. Col. Moody Suter, the father of Red Flag, which turns 40 years old this year understood this, Clark said. “He saw these broken toys … and he realized that we had this certain knack and talent if you just nurtured and grew that,” he noted. “You need to find those characters out there, you need to give them top cover” instead of putting people in a room and asking for “five brilliant ideas by close of business,” stressed Clark.