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Harnessing Imagination: The IDF's Blueprint for Change

Lt. General Aviv Kochavy, 2021

at the opneing event of the

IDF College for Innovation Intrapreneurship and Transformation




Greetings to all. First and foremost, I wish to extend my heartfelt congratulations on both your initiative and the significant achievement of inaugurating the college. This is a milestone I deem highly significant.


As Einstein famously stated, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." This is a sentiment I resonate deeply with. While the importance of knowledge is undeniable and forms the bedrock of our human endeavors and existence—particularly in the military—it is imagination that propels us forward. Imagination allows us to see beyond our immediate horizons, even when we're limited to the edge of our current viewpoint.


It's a misconception to equate innovation or imagination to a sudden "Eureka!" moment, as if inspiration strikes while one is lounging in a bathtub. Real-life seldom works that way. While spontaneous moments of insight can occur, true innovation, especially within organizations, requires systematic pathways. These pathways facilitate the cultivation of new knowledge that can lead to groundbreaking innovations.


Harnessing this imagination is a skill that must be nurtured and actively pursued. There's no fixed formula ensuring that combining elements A and B will yield results D or E. Relying solely on spontaneity or intuition is not the answer. The process of creation and innovation often involves rigorous systematic work, sometimes even tedious tasks. Yet, these seemingly mundane efforts can eventually transform into valuable assets, akin to turning silver into gold. This metamorphosis necessitates continuous refinement and acceleration, especially within the IDF.


The IDF stands as a testament to adaptability. In reality, it's among the most rapidly evolving military forces. Despite our achievements, we remain our harshest critics, always aspiring to evolve faster and better. Achieving this demands a collective of individuals empowered to think differently, to innovate, and to drive change. However, having the right mindset isn't enough. It's equally crucial to establish the right frameworks, methodologies, and organizational structures that foster institutional and organizational evolution.


I'm not merely hopeful but confident that the college and its curriculum will serve as catalysts, amplifying the very ethos we aim to instill and nurture within the IDF. It's essential to understand that innovation isn't just about generating ideas. After all, discarded ideas abound. True innovation hinges on the ability to execute, realize, integrate, and sustain these ideas into tangible outcomes. We are doers, not just thinkers.


In conclusion, as I mentioned at the outset, this college symbolizes the transition from concept to reality. I envision it as a hub of inspiration, churning out ideas that will guide the IDF towards becoming an even more formidable, efficient, and adaptive force. Our goal isn't just to be better but to adapt at a pace that aligns with the ever-shifting challenges of our intricate environment. I extend my deepest gratitude and wish everyone immense success. Farewell, and until we meet again.


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