The RAF have led the way for their 100 year history.
Challenging orthodoxy, encouraging creativity and cutting through bureaucracy have been a key part of their history.
Now they seek ways to keep the innovation and motivation in the era of big data AI and swarming drones.
This short two minute video was when I gave a talk at RAF Halton to the chief of the air staff CAS and their top group captains.
I found it was a fascinating evening mixing with some of their brightest and the best. We had a variety of conversations about piloted aircraft versus drones and aircraft without pilots which undoubtedly are the future. In this case the pilot can be anywhere in the world sitting in an office and piloting the remote vehicle to do the most difficult missions with reconnaissance and attack tasks. The pilot is traditionally the most vulnerable part of the aircraft. They get tired, they make mistakes they get ill and if they’re hit or injured it takes huge amounts of money to replace them. Not only that but the human cost of an injured pilot or a captured pilot as a propaganda tool to be used – as the North Vietnamese did with American pilots is incredibly damaging.When a pilot is downed either through a fault in the aircraft or through being hit by a missile the effort and human cost of mounting a rescue operation to save them is enormous.
Flying a large cargo transport aircraft such as a C130 which can open the back doors and send out hundreds of miniature drones smaller than your hand which can then swarm and attack aircraft ships and ground-based systems is the way of the future.
The desire to develop coaching and mentoring in the role RAF is stronger than ever with people needing to work remotely and be encouraged in a virtual world to think for themselves within the overall guidance of the mission. Mentoring by senior leaders of junior leaders and reverse mentoring by junior leaders of the seniors both are incredibly helpful.
So coaching and mentoring has great merit whatever your organisation.