Innovation begins with innovators: Attitudes towards neurodiverse and atypical thinkers in the US Navy Eric Vorm, Ph.D.
Monday, December 19, 2022 4PM PST / 7PM EST
via Zoom only
BIO: ES Vorm, PhD is a cognitive systems engineer in Washington, DC. An 18-year veteran of the US Navy, Dr. Vorm has experienced the full range of military activities, from deployments to Iraq as a field medic with the US Marine Corps, to conducting research into robotics and unmanned systems at the Navy’s corporate laboratory. A neurodiverse individual himself, Dr. Vorm has witnessed first-hand the many ways that neurodiverse individuals can struggle to integrate with and make meaningful contributions to large bureaucratic organizations while remaining personally authentic. His research into intellectual readiness for emerging technologies has opened up new opportunities for military and corporate audiences to consider neurodiverse individuals as a strategic advantage towards innovation. Dr. Vorm continues to conduct original research in neurodiversity and is actively developing a research agenda for the Department of Defense to explore the role of neurodiverse individuals in the US Military. You can connect with Dr. Vorm at https://www.linkedin.com/in/esvorm/ or by visiting his website: www.esvorm.com.
ABSTRACT: Neurodiverse people often struggle to successfully integrate in the workplace, especially in organizations with structured hierarchies and rigidly prescribed cultural expectations. There is perhaps no other organization that epitomizes this structure more than the US military. Large corporations and organizations such as the US military all desire strategic innovation, yet structures such as hiring and promotion practices, and selection and assessment protocols often leave out the very people who could spark or contribute to truly innovative ideas. Many individuals are often judged deficient because of their lack of adherence to social mores, when in fact those behaviors may signal significant underlying intellectual capital. This begs the question: how can large corporations adjust their practices to benefit from this unique intellectual capital, and what do neurodiverse people need to survive or thrive in such corporate environments without losing their authentic selves? To answer these questions I conducted a study that investigated intellectual readiness for emerging technologies in the US Navy. My study developed and validated a 12-factor model of characteristics of innovative and creative people, and explored how organizational culture can promote or hinder the expression of these characteristics. In this lecture I discuss the findings and their implications through the lens of the strength-based model of neurodiversity, and lay out paths and justifications for further research into the potential benefits of adopting a strength-based neurodiverse workforce as a vehicle of innovation.
When: Dec 19, 2022 04:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Special Interest Group for Neurodiversity
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In response to COVID-19, we are not going to meet in person until further notice.