Hawk image

Intellectual Edges: Relating to the Radical

This article explores the unfolding conversation on ‘intellectual edges’ to advance a radical proposition to unpick and gently challenge the thinking established on the topic. The ‘intellectual edge’ is explored in an alternative way, with the aim to open-up new possibilities that have otherwise been missed in the rush to give a type of functionality to the idea.

Matthew Gill
5mins
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Do we have permission for an Intellectual Edge?

This article explores how hierarchical interpersonal permissions generally inhibit tangible innovation within the ADF. This argument is explored through the forced changes due to the COVID-19 situation, and contends that risk-averse leaders usually withhold permission for reform due to a fear of failure. The article concludes that a JPME continuum that seeks to provide an individual Intellectual Edge must also deliver an institutional learning culture that develops risk tolerance and the acceptance of error so that an organisational intellectual edge is pursued in parallel.

Andrew Garnett
6mins
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Six Golden Rules for Media Interviews

Media content is being consumed and produced in greater quantities than we’ve ever seen. That means your chances of being asked to step in front of the microphones and cameras are growing. This article provides six golden rules to assist those in Defence if they find themselves fronting the media.

Mark Beretta
5mins
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Kill them with kindness - Emotional intelligence as a leadership enabler

One of the most important success factors for any military organisation is the ability to identify and select effective leaders. The purpose of this article is to discuss the role that emotional intelligence can play as a leadership enabler for officers and recommend how it can be incorporated into the officer training continuum. The article provides an overview of the current training curriculum and highlights the advantages of developing emotional intelligence from the ab-initio training level to application in real time situations.

Liz Daly
8min
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Understanding the Women, Peace and Security agenda

2020 is a milestone year for the 'Women, Peace and Security' agenda. Chief of Army Scholar, Lyndsay Freeman outlines the basics of this agenda, and how the ADF implements its core principles of supporting women’s meaningful participation in peace processes, prioritising their protection in humanitarian crises, and increasing women’s leadership and decision-making.

Lyndsay Freeman
10min
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A Year in the Life of a Staff Officer and a General

Many field grade officers will serve as a Staff Officer / Military Assistant during their career within a single service, joint headquarters, or in an interdepartmental position. This article offers our perspective on the working relationship between Staff Officer and General. We hope it will be useful to those who are stepping into these roles in the future.

Kate Tollenaar and Ian Langford
10min
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Synchronising Counterinsurgency Ops with Effective Intelligence

All combat operations need real-time, concrete intelligence, but the counterinsurgency operations’ (COINOPS) margin of error runs thinnest. In their fast, multidimensional context, COINOPS demand more comprehensive intelligence at platoon/company levels than conventional warfare does. This article explores the need for tactical unit leaders fighting insurgencies to have more intelligence assets available in the field in order to offer swift analyses to aid decision making in highly fluid environments.

Anant Mishra
6mins
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Scharnhorst and Professional Mastery


To me, being 'professional' has meant striving for excellence at my everyday job. Until I attended Command and Staff Course at the Australian War College last year, I did not appreciate that being good at my job was not the same as being a military professional. The course broadened my understanding; being a professional requires one to embrace continual learning in all aspects of the profession. I became conscious that through professional mastery, individuals, even those in junior roles, can influence organisational outcomes beyond their job.

SQNLDR Agam Sheldon
3mins
Defence Product Innovation Success - Summary

Product innovation success in the ADF – an exploratory study

It is possible for Australian defence companies and the Australian Defence Organisation to achieve greater success and better mitigate the financial, technical and schedule risks in developing new, technology-based  equipment and services for the ADF.

The research leading to this conclusion was based on case studies of 20 successful and unsuccessful Australian defence projects, and addressed three key questions:

Dr Gregor Ferguson
3mins
#WhyWeWrite Series - Why I Write

'Why We Write' Series - Why I Should Write More

‘Share your ideas. Share your thoughts. Tell your story! All of us who have served have ideas. We all have a story to tell. It might be technical, it might be tactical, it might be right, it might even be wrong. But get it out there and let’s debate it.’

                                Admiral Jim Stavridis, USN (ret)

CDRE Justin Jones, RAN
3mins
#WhyWeWrite Series - Why I Write

'Why We Write' Series - Why I Write

Why I write is a good question.  There are many reasons, but the main one is something that took me far too long to appreciate.  I write because it helps my thinking. Sounds simple and obvious, but it took me quite a while to consciously realise that writing ideas and thoughts down forced me to engage my brain first.  Writing lines of argument or facts and figures gives me much greater focus on the intellectual underpinning of whatever I am trying to say and on the accuracy of those facts and figures.

CDRE Peter Leavy
2mins

'Why We Write' Series: Intellectual Preparation for War – It’s a Team Event

LTCOL Clare O’Neill
6mins