Tuesday, November 19, 2013

We've all been assigned to that great command and marveled at how much fun it was to be a part of its success.

And then you hear from your Shipmates who are there now, that the once great command is no more. How does that happen?  It's actually easy to understand.  Sailors make a command great and it is a rare time indeed when you get just the right Sailors in the right command at the right time with the right leadership.  With Sailors transferring in and out on a continuous stream of PCS orders, it doesn't necessarily have to be this way.  The great command can remain great and the suffering commands can get better.

Patrick Lencioni suggests that commands not wait for "right Sailors, right leaders, right time" moment but rather build an organizational health which can sustain excellence over a long period of time.  To paraphrase him for the Navy model:

Organizational health is about making a command function effectively by building a cohesive leadership team, establishing real clarity among those Navy leaders, communicating that clarity to all the Sailors, Chiefs, civilians and contractors within the command and putting in place just enough structure to reinforce that clarity going forward.
The advantage of organizational health is undeniable and massive. Commands get more done in less time. They avoid losing their best Sailors, Chiefs, civilians and contractors. They identify problems earlier and solve them faster. They fill the gap for low performing commands which waste time, money and energy fighting among themselves, which ultimately drives away good Sailors, Chiefs, civilians and contractors.

You can read more about his ideas HERE.


Anonymous said...

NIOC Bahrain - 2000-2004

HMS Defiant said...

It's synergy and without good leaders you simply don't have it no matter what else you have. To go to the next step, even the best leaders in the world cannot make silk from sows ears. This one of the leadership lessons that was so clear in all of W. L. Lederer's books.

I don't know about building commands but deployable commands can be gutted by the loss of just a few key leaders at any level and they have zed control over any of the external factors that the author mentions.

Anonymous said...

HMS Defiant,

You got this nailed Sailor in your first sentence; “without good leaders you simply don’t have it no matter what else you have.” And I must modify the second sentence to express the full measure of its meaning “even the best leaders in the world cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” If you do not have the crew or the ship to do the job the job will never get done. And it is never simple until you have your crew trained and the ship or command ready for the mission, not half ready, but fully ready. The idea of keeping everything simple is ludicrous, the technology of today’s Navy becomes more complicated with each passing day, there is no way to keep that job simple It will forever remain highly technical because that is the way that Navy weapons have evolved over the years. In order to have control over these technicians the Division Officer and Department Head have a fairly simple job to determine which of their personnel are the best qualified to perform their jobs, if they are able to determine they do not have the qualified personnel, the job then becomes complicated.


Anonymous said...

Not NIOC Hawaii now....we wonder when the long national nightmare will be over.

Anonymous said...

November 22, 2013 at 4:20 AM

You must be joking, the national nightmare has just begun, and we citizens of the US would certainly like to think that you IW folks are on top of things, but if you folks do not know, who does?