Leadership & Ethics
CAAL Podcast Series Episode #1: Application of Innovation, Risk Tolerance, Opportunism and Leading through and beyond failure within the Australian Army - Brigadier Ian Langford:By The Centre for Australian Army Leadership November 9, 2021
The CAAL aims to inform, educate, connect and advance Army’s professional discourse on leadership, character and ethics. We also undertake efforts to optimise Army’s culture and solidify Army as a profession, entrusted by our nation. Our people innovate and develop their leadership ideas across every work environment. Army will reach its potential by harnessing these ideas and sharing our best leadership initiatives across the profession. CAAL doesn’t have all the answers; however, we have reached wide into our Army and civilian professional network to get the best subject matter experts, in order to elevate these initiatives from their organic start points into deliberate improvements to Army leadership.
Even though a podcast is a one-sided medium, it helps in building effective relationships with CAAL’s listeners. It gives the feeling that you, as listeners, know the person speaking. In doing so, helps build trust and encourages you to be associated with what CAAL is trying to impart for Army and our wider listeners. Hopefully, this in turn leads to improved conversation.
Podcast #1 Brigadier Ian Langford DSC and Bars, Director General Future Land Warfare
Application of Innovation, Risk Tolerance, Opportunism and Leading through and beyond failure within the Australian Army
In a dynamic and unpredictable world, which we refer to as an environment of Accelerated Warfare, leaders must be prepared to embrace opportunity and act fast. This can be achieved by establishing a vision, but accepting that detailed planning is not always possible. The vision allows the team to ‘think big’ and to take the smallest executable step by ‘starting small and moving fast’. The team can then assess the initial outcome, adjust effort where required, and then take the next executable step with minimal delay. The team may encounter some risks and setbacks to work through, but if the leader; establishes the right environment, encourages creativity, enables adaptation, manages risk and maintains a bias for action, then success may be realised sooner.
Leaders must empower their people to learn through boldness, innovation and the inevitable failures and setbacks required to achieve ultimate success. The commitment of resources and reputation can be progressive, and risks can be consciously embraced and mitigated. This approach encourages people to seize opportunity and act in uncertain environments, knowing they are supported by leaders who have set the right environment and are willing to lead them through and beyond failure.