Here I will agree and disagree with Lind.
He's absolutely correct about the "formalized" process being obstructive to clear thinking and negative toward new ideas that question comfortable assertions. The effect that would be derived here in such a hierarchical setting is the construction and continual affirmation of the official " box" in which all thoughts must occur - exactly the opposite of the brainstorming, horizontal thinking, informed speculation and analytical challenges to sacred cow premises required for an insight-generating, creative, debate. The likely end-product from this kind of process would be group-think and increased isolation since the social incentives would be built-in to make potential options narrower ( "safer"), rather than broader ("risky").
On the other hand, Lind is putting far too much emphasis on Powerpoint as a cause of the lack of innovative thinking. Powerpoint has its strengths and weaknesses like any other tool or format for the presentation of ideas. Plenty of mediocre, muddled, empty or damn fool ideas have been committed to paper or were presented orally and were nonetheless considered persuasive by virtue of their eloquence. Bad powerpoint briefs might still easily be translated into bad journal articles and we'd be no better off. The failure in either case stems from a failure to think effectively and an undue passivity on the part of the audience that should approach orthodox ideas of their institutional " received culture" with as much skepticism as they do new ones.
What powerpoint does well is communicate deep ideas quickly and effectively by engaging the visual centers of the brain by offering representational models. It enhances cognitive "connection" to concepts. Anyone who has taken physics or geometry, certainly fields with as much depth as military theory knows the importance of the diagram in teaching concepts -although poorly explained visuals can also mislead (recall your elementary school diagram of an atom as a miniature solar system). Powerpoint slides can make poorly conceived ideas "look" better, no argument, but they cannot change the substance.
"Here's how to break this: an open source movement within the junior ranks. Put the seeds of new doctrines in wikis and build a community to flesh it out. Build blogs to share ideas. Network them. Technology can be of service here to build a knowledge network that outpaces the formal network in quality, speed and flexibility by an order of magnitude or more. Route around the gridlock by making the efforts public. Get congressional sponsors. You could even get individual and corporate sponsors to pay for the platform development (under the condition that they leave it alone) -- there are patriots out there that care."
" The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances as though they were realities" -- Machiavelli