Using commander’s intent in the science lab

Earlier this year, I published my thoughts and frustrations about being forced into a uniform mode of thinking in Times Higher Education. This is a notion which I also touched upon in my article about self-branding, in which I advocated embracing the diversity and, sometimes, even contradictive nature of your interests. So I thought to lead by example and recently published another piece with Times Higher Education about one such thought which bridges silo-like scientific disciplines to gain insight from unusual places.

My article is about commander’s intent and how to use it in the workplace in general and academia in particular. Commander’s intent is actually a military concept to ensure flexibility and robustness in the execution of plans during battles. Notoriously confusing due to chaos and short-term changes, the battlefield is a tough place to plan ahead for. By placing the envisioned goal of the maneuver on the top of the specific order a soldier receives, commander’s intent focuses on the ‘why’ of an order instead of the ‘how’. The same concept has great value in the, sometimes messy, world of academic research and potentially in any other failure-prone work area which requires flexibility. Check out the article for more information and how to implement it in your work routine! (registration with Times Higher Education is necessary but everything’s free)

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