Fostering a learning culture to transform the DoD

Let's talk about what it means to foster a learning culture.

By Rise8


We know that many of you believe, as we do, that there’s a new digital imperative, and those that do not embrace it will be disrupted. And yet today, one of our most important institutions, the United States Department of Defense, risks just that.

At Rise8, we believe that our country can’t afford to be disrupted on the battlefield, and we are passionate about ensuring that doesn’t happen. We are on a mission to transform the DoD into a digital organization, one that can continuously deliver impactful software that warfighters love.

We want the DoD to be able to digitally sense and respond to threats in any domain, any time, anywhere. To do that, we have to move from a model of optimizing for being right with heavy investment and upfront planning to a model that optimizes for learning because it’s the team that can bring together the people process and technology to learn the fastest that has the advantage.

That means we have to hire people with a growth mindset and also create an environment where employees with a growth mindset can learn and thrive. That starts with decentralized autonomous teams that have a bias for action but can’t have everyone taking off for the races without knowing where they’re going.

We need high alignment, which we achieve through goaling systems like OKRs or OGSMs, while always ensuring that the customer and mission are the ultimate focus of each.

Leadership is not exempt from this. If teams align to non customer obsessed OKRs through a distracted company leadership, we’ll see suboptimal outcomes for the customer. The customer is the ultimate arbiter of success, not the highest-ranking or highest paid person. So we need a culture that puts ideas over titles.

And when you put all of that together, you have the start of a learning culture. Keeping it requires constant maintenance and extremely careful hiring.

With Rise8, you get people that understand this on day one and can immediately help you continuously improve.