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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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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
#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
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'Why We Write' Series: Why I Write

Why I write

Jason Begley


“Pay strict attention to what I say because I choose my words carefully and never repeat myself.”

Dalton Russell, Inside Man

Whenever the subject of communication arises, I am drawn to this particular quote from arguably the most underrated heist movie of the modern era. This single sentence provides a basis of why communication is important, and why writing is such a powerful tool. Why do I say this? Let’s take a closer look...

Clarity is king

GPCAPT Jason Begley
5mins
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'Why We Write' Series: Final Thoughts

Conclusion of the #WhyWeWrite Series

The Forge Editors


Today’s contributions from LTCOL Clare O’Neill and GPCAPT Jason Begley are the last in the #WhyWeWrite series. GPCAPT Begley emphasises the importance of the discipline of writing for refining the thinking process. LTCOL O’Neill’s piece reflects on how far we have come in the ADF in professional writing, in working collaboratively as a team, and the origin story of the Grounded Curiosity blog.

The Forge Editors
2mins
Why We Write Series - Blood, Treasure and Time

Finding Virtue In Violence Or Writing For A Moral Compass In The 21st Century

Finding Virtue In Violence Or Writing For A Moral Compass In The 21st Century

LTCOL Thomas McDermott


‘For we know enough, if we know we are the king’s subjects; if his cause be wrong, our obedience to the king wipes the crime out of us'.

Bates, a soldier, to a disguised King Henry V, Act IV, Scene 1 [1]

LTCOL Thomas McDermott
3mins
Why We Write Series - Blood, Treasure and Time

'Why We Write' Series - WHY I WRITE

#Why I Write

WGCDR Chris McInnes

I find writing difficult and, frequently, not enjoyable. For me, answering the title question typically involves much wailing and gnashing of teeth as I ponder why I keep doing this to myself. But then I will see a new, stronger argument emerge from what I have put down on page or a nice turn of phrase will allow a small glimmer of ‘you can genuinely write’ light into the ‘you’re an impostor, what do you think you’re doing’ darkness.

WGCDR Chris McInnes
3mins