Fjord Fika: We chat with Dan Ward
Episode 20: Dan Ward served in the U.S. Air Force for more than 20 years where he specialized in leading rapid innovation projects, and retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Today, he’s a consultant and writer, best known for his book, “F.I.R.E.: How Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained, and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation.” F.I.R.E., at its core, is about how constraints foster creativity. Innovation, Ward says, doesn’t have to be expensive, take long or be so complicated, and constrained budgets (versus big, bloated ones) get you the best results.
Dan explored these ideas during tours of duty at military research laboratories, the Air Force Institute of Technology, the Pentagon and on the ground in Afghanistan. And time and time again, he found that the most successful project leaders in both the public and private sectors delivered superior products with a skeleton crew, small budget, and rapid schedule.
In this Fika break, we talk to Dan about his time in the military, the concept of “stormdraining” (the opposite of brainstorming), and how being fast, inexpensive, simple, and small is the secret to innovation.