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Inspiring military leaders to think the unthinkable

by Carley Bowman

Leading successfully through change was the theme at the Centre for Army Leadership’s annual conference last week.

Our directors Nik Gowing and Chris Langdon were there to share TtU findings with the audience of 900 at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

Our message on the scale of disruption leaders face, how they can handle it and thrive on change was well received.

@colton_gregoryj was inspired to tweet about the importance of understanding and managing disruption.

@thearmyleader highlighted former head of the army General Sir Nick Carter’s description of the scale of the challenge.

Gen Carter was interviewed on-the-record for our new book Thinking the Unthinkable: A New Imperative for Leadership in a Disruptive Age.

Along with other global leaders, he identified “maverick thinking” and risk-taking as key to transforming leadership. This resonated with the audience as you can see from this series of tweets.

@digi_tech_guy connected with the Maverick = Visionary message…

… as did @leedavidson22.

@thearmyleader posed the question on Twitter: How wacky and non-conformist are you willing to be?

@Leadersforward also picked up on the theme tweeting one of our presentation slides: Wacky = Wise; Maverick = Visionary; Bonkers = Bold.

They also shared some of the other key TtU themes from challenging conformity to thinking the ‘unpalatable’.

Another of our slides was highlighted by @west_response – CEO of Centrica Iain Conn’s warning about leaders’ struggle to cope with the pace and scale of disruption.

The theme was echoed by @thearmyleader.

We’re delighted our presentation had such a positive response and seemed to hit a nerve, as @Coscorobian…

… and @Bhanitam tweeted.

Along with the other guest speakers David Marquet, Margaret Heffernan and John Manzoni, we hope we delivered an inspiring message to the leaders and aspiring leaders in the room – and some practical advice on next steps to transform leadership in an era of digital disruption and thrive on change.

We’re looking forward to seeing the file of questions from the Centre for Army Leadership. Thanks for inviting us!

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