Station Hypo’s own LT Jason Knudson is getting some attention over at the U.S. Naval Institute Blog  over his recent post on the CNO’s Rapid Innovation Cell, building a culture of innovation and what he calls the “frozen middle.” The article has gained traction after being mentioned during a question and answer session with the Chief of Naval Operations at the USNI and AFCEA sponsored event, WEST and is rumored to be a part of discussions as far up as the SECNAV level. 

[Edit: Some have noted problems with the above link on modern browsers – alternatively try the mobile version at ]

Artist rendering of what the “frozen middle” might look like.

A teaser for you all:

“The problem is, the Navy as a business enterprise is not able to take advantage of low cost, disposable solutions. The Navy enterprise is made up of people and people make decisions. In the aggregate, the decisions the Navy makes are not leading to a leaner, more lethal force. The current culture of the Navy is designed to reinforce maintenance of the status quo.”
The article goes on to talk about how the “frozen middle” makes it difficult for innovation to make it from the deckplates into reality.
Questions to ponder:
Where is your “frozen middle?” Are all in your organization able to promote change when its warranted?
Are you writing about and sharing your problems and solutions with the world or are you keeping them to yourself? Which has more power?
 If you look around and see no frozen middle, is it because you are the frozen middle? What can you do to “thaw” yourself and encourage others to “thaw?”