Two years into his tenure as Lockheed Martin’s CEO, James D. Taiclet is keeping the world’s biggest arms maker on an even keel. But Taiclet wants to do more than deliver solid financial performance. He wants to redefine what it means to be a leading defense enterprise in the current moment. The vision that Taiclet has advanced is grounded to some degree in his previous experience as head of American Tower, and to some degree on what the joint force says it needs to prevail in the future. The vision, which Taiclet calls 21st Century Security, begins with the application of digital networking to the challenge of integrating the force across all warfighting domains, but goes beyond that to the centrality of building partnerships with commercial tech companies to speed delivery of new innovations. Taiclet is not about reinventing the wheel: he wants to take what the tech sector has to offer, and adapt it to defense missions. But there are other applications that show promise too, such as combating proliferating wildfires more effectively. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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