Military Discipline vs. Creative Laissez-Faire
I've been thinking for a long time about the environment that gets the best out of people.
In my short working life so far I've worked alone by myself, alone in a room full of others (undoubtedly the worst scenario) and together in a team (perhaps the best). Through all of this, I've found there's like a spectrum of creative vs. discipline - especially in the creative writing industry I work in.
I wondered to myself - are creativity and discipline really poles apart? Does structure tend to stifle revolutionary ideas?
More and more, I don't think that's the case. In fact I believe a bit of military discipline could help anyone who wants to be more creative. And if you other creative types reading this are anything like me, that will make you uncomfortable and hopeful at the same time.
The more I think about it, discipline and structure by themselves don't mean much. It's more about creating a culture that appeals to the highest ideals in humanity.
It's best illustrated by a section I read today in my latest review book, The Battle of Long Tan (as told by the commanders). It's written by 2nd Lieutenant Dave Sabben, commander of 12 Platoon, Delta Company:
"My memories of OTU (Officer Training Unit) are mostly about struggling just to keep up. In later years, I found that most of the others felt that way too. If there were good times at OTU, I missed them. Yet I relished the course. I had never been so challenged before, and I had a vision of the end result. I recognised that this experience was building a better 'me', and I actually found the development deeply satisfying.
"...'Suppress the ego; maintain the output.' I could put up with whatever was thrown at me because I knew we were training for situations where worse would be thrown and I'd still be expected to throw my weight."