Gunfire at Sea
Gunfire at sea 1. Summary events and developments: Before 1898: the gun pointer estimated the range of the target and elevated the gun barrel (loop) to a height so that the shell could reach the target at the estimated range, done by a small wheel on the gun mount (bevestiging). When the pointer wanted to fire, he had to wait until the right moment of the roll and fire a bit earlier to compensate for his firing interval. In 1898 Admiral Sir Percy Scott introduced continuous firing, after seeing a man of his gun crew unconsciously working his elevating gear back and forth.
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The elevating gear and sighting were improved what meant a huge increase in accuracy and productivity. He shared his findings with Sims, an American junior officer. Sims tried the system out on his own ship and starts looking for a way to expand this method to the whole Navy. After being ignored by the Washington Office, he sends a letter to president Roosevelt himself explaining his finding, documented with proof from exercises. Roosevelt was intrigued and Sims was installed as Inspector of Target Practice.
After this he was universally acclaimed as “the man who taught us how to shoot” by the US navy. The lessons I think there are three lessons here. First is that innovation does not necessarily come from the great inventors but from the people who have the energy and skills to convince all the others of the greatness of the innovation. It is more important to be an entrepreneur than an inventor. Secondly, recognition and acknowledgment of the idea are necessary to spread it.
Finally one should remember that people in higher ranks might refuse to accept that a lower ranked person can have greater ideas than them. 2. What is continuous firing and how does it differ from the past Continuous-aim firing enables the gun pointer to keep his sight and gun barrel (loop) on the target throughout the roll of the ship. The gear ration in the elevating gear was altered so a pointer could compensate for the roll by elevating and depressing the gun. Secondly the telescopic sight, invented by Fiske, was mounted on a sleeve so the gun barrel could recoil without moving the telescope.
What explains the development of the continuous aim process by Scott Scott developed this idea by watching his gun crews at work at deck and seeing one of them being more accurately by unconsciously working his elevating gear back and forth. He developed this idea and made all pointers trained technicians. The innovation wasn’t planned but came coincidentally. What is your opinion on Sim’s approach to change? Sims is very persevering and even aggressive in his way to convince his superiors. If the would have quit after the first rejection the system would never have been optimized in the Navy.
The innovation process has taken place because he was such an entrepreneur and persistent person. I think being persistent is one of the main necessary characteristics to obtain change. Is the innovation process something that can be managed? The innovation itself came coincidentally but the process of implementation could have been managed in a better way. In this case it only took place ‘cause one man was convinced of his ideas and stayed persistent. Ideas for innovation from the people ‘in the field’ should be given more consideration too; they are the practical specialist and have the most experience with the processes.