Course of Action Development – Brainstorm or Brickstorm?

By Therese Heltberg and Kare Sveistrup Dahl

The article presents findings from a research study which examined organisational barriers to innovation and co-creation experienced during course of action formation processes in military operational planning. We investigated both classroom and practical experiences of courses of action brainstorm development when conducted as outlined in the NATO Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive. In-depth interviews were conducted and combined with one observational case study that involved continual dialogue with central actors involved. The findings indicate that there can be substantial differences between ideal types of brainstorming and the actual brainstorm processes that unfold during course of action development in teaching as well as in real planning situations. The article coins the term brickstorm to capture elements of this process.


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