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In Search of "Disruptive Thinkers" March 9, 2016

The US Marine Corps is asking an unlikely source for help. Commandant General Robert Neller has put out the call for "disruptive thinkers" Marines who live outside the box, who love to challenge the status quo, and who are often viewed as trouble makers.

Neller wants nothing short of a cultural revolution -- a new era in which Marines are encouraged to come up with solutions, and leaders serve as advocates to accelerate those ideas to decision makers.

Here's the link if you missed the article -- http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story/military/2016/03/04/commandant-looks-disruptive-thinkers-fix-corps-problems/81279544/

Pretty strong stuff this. And perhaps something that's needed across the entire societal spectrum, from Government, to corporations and right down to our education system. There's been far too much of "we do it this way because we've always done it this way." At least the Corps is admitting it has "groupthink" problems.  What about our educational system? And equally dysfunctional, our immigration system? Continuing to do things "because we've always done it that way."

But there's the rub. Where does disruptive heckling, complaining and whining stop, and disruptive thinking start? We've all seen those ignorant dumbasses that want to change the status quo to suit their own ignorant, uninformed, minimalistic points of view. These people serve little purpose other than being irritants and time-wasters.

And how do we encourage disruptive thinkers to speak up, without fear of punishment? Read the "monkey-report" at  http://www.psychcongress.com/blogs/leslie-durr-phd-rn-pmhcns-bc/resistance-change-cognitive-behavioral-therapy-irrational-beliefs

The disruptive thinker's first task is to attain a comprehensive and detailed understanding of the current status quo. A full mastery of the facts. And only then, to bring the full weight of his knowledge, wisdom and experience to bear in a critical analysis of the status quo in search of a solution or a range of possible solutions.

Knowledge is the key that separates the "disruptive thinker" from the disruptive. Mark Zuckerberg observed that Google's strong academic culture empowered it to find elegant solutions to complex problems. Tony Zinni said that while knowledge does not always solve problems, it expands the number of possible solutions to unique problems. Let's face it, an informed, considered opinion is pretty hard to ignore.

The biggest obstacle is to overcome our Henry Ford production line approach to knowledge. To get beyond compartmentalized knowledge - your job is to pack widgets in the box -- you don't need to know why, or where they came from, or where they're going, or what they're used for -- just pack them in the box.  And to do this, we need to read. Loads of it. And not just about my own turf, but yours and everyone else in the street, the neighborhood and even the city, state and country. And even that is not enough I received a letter from a Marine Corps Captain, writing from Afghanistan, a student of history, considering the wisdom of the USA attempting to do in Afghanistan what no other nation in history has managed to do, yet using essentially the same groupthink as previous invaders and occupiers. Unrealistic?  Then ask yourself why we still teach our children to read the same way we were taught to read, which is the same way our parents and grand-parents were taught to read? An approach to reading no more advanced than the ox-wagon is to transport.

As critical as knowledge for the disruptive thinker, is timing. Questioning an invasion strategy in the heat of battle is clearly unwise. However, planning an invasion strategy without the input of experienced, battle-hardened and knowledgeable grunts is equally unwise.

True leadership comes from accepting that we don't have all the answers. Being big enough to listen to those with different, even opposing, ideas. Being wise enough to realize that within our work-force we have an enormous well of untapped talent and knowledge. We just need to ask and then listen.


Can't find any PIO in Alabama that knows of this disruptive thinkers program. I think to work with the MC Reserves in Mobile, Al. I have tried to contact the contact agent lance.bacon@hotmail.com but no response.

I want to be the first proto type "Gunny" for an "ASK THE GUNNY" in-house radio (?) program--- Pardon the pun, but a Dear Abby/Gunny.

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