Commentary

July 12, 2013

Leading change

Lt. Colonel Rodney Jorstad
Tyndall AFB, Fla.

How many times have you been waiting in a line for service wondering why something takes so long when it seems like it should be an easy process? Or worse, you waited in line and finally get to the customer service representative and find out you are missing a document and must come back later?

You leave frustrated and wonder why someone doesn’t fix the process, or have a way to let you know you needed the document before you waited in line.

Finally, you compose yourself, get the needed document and return to stand in line the next day. You’re are prepared this time! You wait in line again, get to the front of the line and feel obligated to tell the new customer service representative at the window the situation from the previous day only to find out you really didn’t need the document after all.

Does this describe where you work?

How do we change our processes to be less frustrating for the end user of our services or products we supply as Air Force members?

Change starts with you. You are trained to be an expert in your field: use your expertise to critically review how you do your job and the functions you perform daily.

Utilize an “outsider” perspective to determine if steps in a process are value added for the end user or an internal requirement. If a step doesn’t add value, determine if it is required by law or instruction. The idea here is to eliminate waste or legacy processes that are no longer applicable to what you do today.

Identifying waste and developing solutions to improve your day-to-day processes is a great way to achieve a deeper understanding of your specialty and develop leadership skills. It can be done at any level.

Your leaders are looking for people to find ways to be more efficient by cutting wasted time and money on unnecessary processes, or steps in a process. Leading change can be challenging, but starting early in your career with small projects will help develop the skills needed to affect change on a larger scale.

How do you get started leading change in your organization? First, realize the need to change and determine how to improve your job or efficiency.

Most problems in processes are communication issues, especially between organizations or sections. Determining the communication breakdown and developing a solution is a great way to get started improving your workplace.

Next, discuss your idea with a few trusted peers, get their input and adjust fire as needed. Technology is not always the answer; remember to keep things simple.

Your new process or change needs to be sustainable.

The challenge is the few people who refuse to change after most people are ready to implement your plan. If they are not on board it can cause mission failure for your new idea to improve your work area.

Determine why they are not behind the plan. Some people are only motivated by the “what’s in it for me” mentality. Highlight how your change will make their job easier or how it improves your customers’ satisfaction or saves money or time.

Learning what motivates people and how to get them to change will develop you as a leader.

The most difficult part of leading change is sustaining the improvements made. Most of us are in organizations that turn over personnel on a continuous basis, so having the new process written down and captured in operating instructions is paramount to ensuring your change doesn’t revert back to the old way of doing things. There is a reason it was broken in the first place, and many times you will find it is because the process was never written down and people have developed their own way of completing their tasks.

So the next time you are frustrated at a process or standing in line, think about your job. What can you do to lead change in your organization and create a better experience for your customers?




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs July 2, 2015

Freedom Fest Freedom Fest is 4:30-9:30 p.m., July 4 at Wings and Roberts Fields. Event highlights include fireworks, Euro Bungee, 25-foot tidal wave water slide, eight pony carousel, balloon artists, 25′ gondola ferris wheel, Rockin’ Tubs Ride, double swing chair ride, Timberland Wrecking Ball, inflatable Slip & Slide and laser tag. All rides and entertainment...
 
 
afmc-cc-message

Be proud of your role this Independence Day

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, starting the colonies on the path to freedom. The next day, John Adams wrote to his wife, describing the time as “the most memorable epoc...
 
 
tw-cc-message

Happy Fourth of July!

Team, This Independence Day weekend, we celebrate the day our great nation declared independence for the original 13 colonies and thus the birth of the United States of America. The Declaration of Independence is the nationR...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara

AFMC commander talks resilience, future of command

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, Air Force Materiel Command commander, addresses Team Edwards during a commander’s call in the base theater June 19. Pawlikowski offered insight into the Air Fo...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Seminar provides expert advice for smart home buying

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber The Housing Management Office offered a free Home Buyer’s Seminar June 17, at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. Whether you are a first-time home buyer or looking to purchase an inv...
 
 
summer-safety

Summertime fire safety

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Summer is upon us! This means lots of fun with family and friends. At the Edwards AFB Fire Department we want your summer to be fun, memorable and safe. Here are a few tips to help keep you...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>