Cohort 4 Coming Soon

AIM-HI Senior Leader Executive Session

Join Dr. Jeff DeGraff and the Kelly Johnson Innovation Center in a half-day senior leader innovation seminar to explore the operational impact of the innovation ecosystem. Challenged by emerging near-peer threats, AIM-HI is dedicated to expanding innovation partners across the DoD and industry. The evolution of the Guard as an agile component of the Air Force inspires rapid innovation of our talented ANG force to shape industry partnerships and military operations.

Innovation is a critical priority at all level of senior military leadership. As stated by Gen Brown (CSAF), “We need both innovative Airman and their supportive leaders to achieve ‘over, not through’ approaches for the 21st century. This takes innovative ethos, this takes courage and creativity-this takes you!”

Accelerating Innovation

The AIM HI program is an abbreviation for Academy • Industry • Military • Hybrid • Innovations. The program connects top shelf research universities, entrepreneurial companies, United States Air Force, and National Guard to develop creativity and innovation skills, facilitate problem solving, break barriers, anticipate the future, out-compete existing and new adversaries, and accelerate decision cycles.

How It Works

The AIM HI program focuses on creating the infrastructure and tools for collaboration of diverse entities to facilitate the rapid transfer of knowledge and technology to solve real problems faced by Airmen and Guardsmen everywhere.

Guided by the Innovatrium curriculum and certified coaches, diverse teams work through cycles of experiment, review, revise, and repeat to develop dynamic solutions.

Upon successful completion of their final pitch to their sponsors and senior leaders and academic requirements, they will become Certified Professional Innovators.

Ongoing Projects

Sponsored by the Michigan National Guard and ARCWERX, the first AIM HI cohort consists of four diverse teams from Air National Guards, Army National Guards, Air Force ROTC, active duty Airmen, and Department of Homeland Security Officers from across the US. The teams collaborate to solve different issues from recruiting to advancing the “Accelerate change or lose” mindset. To learn more about each team, click the button below.

Interested in being a part of the next AIM HI Cohort?


The AIM HI’s mission is to democratize creativity and innovation, which means to develop creative members of the US military to build cohesive diverse teams that out-think, out-innovate, and out-compete anyone in the world. Developing a creative military means developing the essential four components of the US military:

  • Creative Mindset

  • Creative Culture

  • Creative Capability

  • Creative Community

Cohort 1 Teams

Team Higher Appeal:

As we seek to recruit and retain the best talent, how do we continue to make the National Guard an appealing career choice? Team Higher Appeal is reexamining how guardsmen can leverage a hybrid approach to in person, virtual, and asynchronous work habits as they modernize the “drill weekend.”

Team Blue Maze:

In response to “Accelerate change or lose,” units are seeking ways to harness the innovative power within their ranks. Team Blue Maze is imagining what an “innovation franchise” might do to deliver the culture, competency, and community tools that our service members need to perform at their peak.

Team Short Circuit:

Team Short Circuit is wrestling with a problem we have all faced: how do we get in touch with the person who has the information we need? By exploring creative ways to categorize and display organizational relationships and expertise, this team hopes to “short circuit” or accelerate the seek-and-find process.

Team Agile Warriors:

Covid has upended our work habits and unlocked the possibilities of remote work. Team Agile Warriors is exploring when and how to codify many of these new work arrangements to best serve the needs of the guard unit and guardsman alike.

The Innovation Code Teaser

Learn about one of our newest projects, AIM HI, which stands for Academia, Industry, and the Military Hybrid Innovations, on their journey discovering the Innovation Code with an upcoming video series this Fall.


Innovation Assessment:

Each of us learns in a unique way. Taking this assessment identifies what type of innovative leader you are. Remember, you can understand others, once you understand yourself. Please use "AIMHI" to register.

AIM HI Description Brochure:

AIM HI is a program about increasing innovation in academia, industrial, and military efforts in democratizing creativity and innovation. Learn more about how the multiple areas are coming together for the shared vision of accelerating innovation.

Innovatrium Design Playbook:

Discover the importance of designing a collaborative space for innovation and creativity based on your needs.

Project Mercury:

Learn about how Project Mercury is developing the innovation culture, competency, and community in the USAF to outcompete anyone in the world.

Air Command Field Guide:

A guide to create a Collaborative Open Innovation Network in the Air Force ecosystem.

The Innovation Code ebook:

Written by Jeff and Staney DeGraff, this book shows how you can create the constructive conflict needed to develop an innovative solution.

The Innovation Code Audiobook:

Written by Jeff and Staney DeGraff, this book shows how you can create the constructive conflict needed to develop innovative solution.

The Creative Mindset eBook:

The companion to the Innovation Code, this book shows that everyone can master the six creative thinking skills: Clarify, Replicate, Elaborate, Associate, Translate, and Evaluate, or CREATE.

The Creative Mindset Audiobook:

The companion to the Innovation Code, this book shows that everyone can master the six creative thinking skills: Clarify, Replicate, Elaborate, Associate, Translate, and Evaluate, or CREATE.

Thinkific Platform:

Looking to start a course? Check our Thinkific page to learn more about the different courses we offer.

Innovation Genome:

The Innovation Genome is a way of thinking about and strategizing growth within yourself and the Air Force.


The ARCWERX is devoted to educating, connecting, and facilitating Guardsmen and Reservists to engage with a culture of innovation. Learn more about their mission by visiting their website.

Email [email protected]