June 2, 2023
June 9, 2023
As part of PUBLIC’s ongoing work to support innovation training in Defence, PUBLIC team members were invited to visit HMS Queen Elizabeth by the ship’s Commander Medical, Commander Will Sharp MBE, himself an alumnus of the Percy Hobart Fellowship innovation programme. They were also joined by members of the MOD’s Defence Innovation Unit, keen to help explore the challenges of delivering innovation training in operational/at-sea environments.
After some background on high level intent for the MOD to become “innovative by instinct” and what that means in the defence context, Dan Fitter, Director, Privacy, Security & Online Safety at PUBLIC, delivered introductory sessions on two fundamental innovation tools/methodologies, Agile and the Mission Model Canvas, and worked through some examples of how they are being deployed within Defence. Juan Casasbuenas, Lead Curriculum Designer at PUBLIC, then led workshops on defining problems and rapid ideation, before participants from the ship’s company presented their work to the cohort.
Despite the demands of readying for deployment, over twenty members of the ship’s company attended, ranging in rank from Rating to Commander, and provided a highly engaged audience. PUBLIC and the DIU team were able to see first hand the complexity of delivering any training in an onboard environment and the opportunities that exist to leverage the energy, ingenuity, and drive of the crew members to innovate. Being able to deliver this tactical innovation is not only a key component of operational success but also an enormous opportunity to drive the continued improvement of all aspects of work within the MOD, and PUBLIC is delighted to be helping lead the development of innovation programmes in this regard.
Our thanks to Captain Ian Feasey, Commanding Officer HMS Queen Elizabeth, Commander Will Sharp MBE and his team for their hosting and coordination, and to the entire ship’s company for their engagement and hospitality. Also to the Defence Innovation Unit for their support of the initiative.
When I was still serving I had the rare opportunity to spend a few days on HMS Ocean, at the time the flagship of the Royal Navy. Several years later I have had the enormous privilege of visiting the current flagship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, helping trial the delivery of innovation training at the (near) tactical edge. She is an incredible piece of kit, but with an even more impressive bunch crewing Her - the PUBLIC team were not only made to feel hugely welcome but we were blown away by the engagement with those members of the ship's company who joined us, and their hospitality. A testament to the power of partnerships and networking, and The Percy Hobart Fellowship.