Jeff Baxter, a highly-valued consultant for the private sector, Congress and the national security establishment, discussed ways you can use strategic, out-of-the-box thinking to view the future not as a time of uncertainty and anxiety, but as an era of opportunity and growth.

He discussed his transformation from a famous guitar player for the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan to national security consultant. It began in the mid-80′s, when Baxter started researching music technology. He sat down at this Tandy 200 and wrote a paper about how to convert the Aegis weapon systen into a mobile platform, giving the US a new role in NATO in the 21st century. You might wonder why Jeff Baxter was able to take the skills he learned as a musician to apply successfully to his new calling? He comes at problems and challenges that the national security system faces with a very different perspective.

Break the problem down into its smalles bits and reassemble them into new pieces.

Most people look at problems from the point of analysis, they often forget the synthesis part. What if you take the pieces and assemble them in new ways? Artists are hard-wired to look at problems in new ways. That’s a required skill for organizations to survive in this rapidly changing economy. When he compared credit unions with banks, he likened banks to the General army and credit unions to special forces. Banks are unmovable objects, credit unions are agile and should apply the OODA loop concept: observe, orient, decide and act, as developed by John Boyd.