Tuesday, May 5, 2009

CNO Leadership Summit - Opening the Twenty First Century - 8 years ago

Looking to create a new model for the 21st Century, in 2001, the CNO Leadership Summit in Monterey, California identified 8 values: integrity, trust, honesty, respect, pride, hope, compassion, and loyalty. Over 260 participants (representing every paygrade from E-1 to O-10) used Appreciative Inquiry (AI) methods to focus on their high point experiences in the Navy.

After discovering commonalities and desired outcomes for the future, they referenced these strengths to create ‘provocative propositions’ and to generate pilot action plans for positive change.
Tangible outcomes include over 30 pilot projects such as 360-Degree Feedback, E-Mentoring, a Leadership Portal website, a Center for Positive Change, and additional summit work came out of these activities.

This summit also created a shared vision for the kind of leadership the Navy wants the participants to be; established a method to collect examples of exemplary leadership stories; focused on the importance of ‘self-talk’ and AI as a change management tool for leaders; empowered participants with an awareness of AI and the summit method; demonstrated the value of the methodology (four separate summits will address other complex issues); and helped participants leave with a heightened sense of possibilities that have a positive effect on retention.

The Summit enabled every voice at every level to be heard. The senior leaders present encouraged the junior people present to speak up and then they listened to what these junior people had to contribute. This encouragement allowed all voices to be heard. The real power came from everyone being willing to listen. Also, the CNO championed a quality process that engaged every level in the Navy in a conversation about one of the cornerstones of success—leadership. And then, the conversation went silent... SPEAK UP !!


suspicious to the max... said...

Oh my.

I seriously thought my head would explode as I read this.

Many many questions emerged. Like how the eight (eight?? eight?) values in the model relate to much more compact trinity of courage, honor and commitment?

All eight look like perfectly fine values. Well, except for "hope". What's that mean? I hope the hatch is secure? I hope we pass the inspection? I hope we don't run aground? I'm not sure of my level of comfort with an an organization that "hopes" it's performing at a high level).

Of course, any gathering that begins with "commonalities" and "desired outcomes" makes me want to start hugging the other participants. I worry that "Appreciative Inquiry" is the latest in series of trendy process tools (think TQL, think Lean Six Sigma). The question is not if it will be replaced by some other approach --just when.

I'm not sure what the AI Commons business model is at Case Western Reserve University. But I see the 2009 World Appreciative Inquiry Conference is taking place in --and I swear I'm not making this up-- Kathmandu. Yeah, that one...the one in Nepal. I wonder how many people the CNO will pay to travel there (and wonder how many of those will be in the E-6 and below range?.

Color me jaded about of and suspicious of this...

less suspicious than earlier said...

OK, I feel better now:
I just read the *whole* item a second time...and realize it's from the back of the rack: a 2001 event. Hopefully, this didn't become a trend:-)

Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

This really sounds a whole lot like the Boy Scout pledge, I had the feeling while on Active Duty that we were there to eradicate the enemy as our primary mission, when called upon to do so, and to train continuously for that event. I do not see any of those 8 values pointing in that direction. I tried also to see if obeying a direct order had anything in common with those 8 values—I felt I found little if any connection. Maintaining control of the high seas requires a Sailors knowledge and skill, and these other 8 values have little to do with that, a Sailor might HOPE that the ship hits some good liberty ports on the long cruise it is presently undertaking. And the Sailor sure HOPES that the LPO or Chief does not catch that Sailor in some minor dereliction of duty, and if that Sailor is caught involved in some infraction of the UCMJ he then wants COMPASSION.

These 8 values are very honorable points in the human experience, but the reality of life in the Armed Forces of the United States today and at anytime in our nations history is still kill or be killed, and none of those 8 values really fit into that equation.

I had been retired from the Navy for nearly 30 years when I was contacted by my former Executive Officer on an FBM Submarine and we had dinner together. I was the supervisor of the weapons system on that Submarine and was under his direct military control during those times. The first question he asked me after those 30 years was – Master Chief would you have pulled the firing key if I had given the order? There was no hesitation and I said truthfully “yes sir, I most certainly would have obeyed your orders”. There would be no consideration of the 8 values, the action would have been to obey orders, and perform the part of my countries mission that I had been assigned.

Very Respectfully,