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CHIPS Articles: Marine Corps Warfighting Innovation Symposium “Transforming the Organization"

Marine Corps Warfighting Innovation Symposium “Transforming the Organization"
By DON Innovation - April-June 2017
During this year’s innovation symposium, Marines from across the force and supporting establishment explored Big “L” Learning (i.e., organizational-level transformation). Within that context, the focus was on how the Marine Corps combat development process can be improve. Senior leaders, subject matter experts of the combat development enterprise, advocates, proponents and members of the operating forces came together in Quantico on 31 May and 1 June 2017, where they learned cutting-edge organizational concepts and proposed innovative solutions to enhance the Marine Corps’ combat development process and its ability to meet future warfighting challenges.

The two-day symposium consisted of three keynote speakers who focused on the concept of the Exponential Organization and how its principles could enhance the Marine Corps organizational effectiveness. An Exponential Organization (ExO) is one whose impact (or output) is disproportionally larger when compared to its competitors because of the use of new organizational techniques that leverage accelerating technologies. The Exponential model was presented from various perspectives through plenary presentations designed to give attendees a quick understanding of its potential application to the Marine Corps and the combat development enterprise.

With this understanding participants formed into focus groups to more closely explore potential innovative solutions. Specific focus areas of the groups included:

(1) What would the Marine Corps look like as an ExO and what is required to enable that?

(2) Through the lens of existing organizational processes, what does the combat development enterprise look like under the construct of an ExO?

These groups then presented proposed responses, within the framework of the focus areas, to the Symposium attendees and to senior leaders.

Join DON Innovation and Defense Department efforts with your ideas:

DON Innovation or @DON_Innovation or visit the DON Innovation website at

Marine Corps Innovation Challenge The Marine Corps announces specific challenges periodically. If you have an innovation idea for submission outside of the timeframe of the current innovation challenge, please email:

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