Friday, March 14, 2014

Executive Officer Tip #2013-050

I've gone back in the history books to look for help for you both.  I found "On His Watch: Admiral Zumwalt's Efforts to institutionalize Strategic Change".  The scale of what you and the CO must do is not as large but the approaches he took provide some great lessons.  You have already probably taken advantage of the first lesson and that is "get started" before you have to start.  He and a small staff began their work about 30 days before he became CNO.  You're preparing yourself now for your new responsibilities.  Zumwalt called his effort "Project 60" which included 22 discrete initiatives he planned to undertake within the first 60 days of becoming CNO.  As you discussed at CLC PXO school, the CO has about 100 weeks in command.  Those 100 weeks are valuable and can't be wasted.

You and the CO will be looking at:
1) What might be done?
2) What can be done?
3) What should be done?
4) What will you actually do?

Once you come up with your 100 week plan, you should share it with the command.  Be bold and share it with your ISIC and higher command.

Zumwalt said the best advice he received from the former CNOs was to "have a follow-up system on what has been done to carry out your plans, otherwise they just won't get done.
Work with an eye toward building repeatable process and procedures that will sustain the command and her Sailors when you are going.  Get everyone there working toward consistent incremental improvement.  A huge goal can be achieved with small steps if you are moving things forward 24/7/365.

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