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 The idea here is to eliminate waste or legacy processes that are no longer applicable to what you do today.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 June 26, 2015

Legal office closure The base legal office will be closed for legal assistance July 2. For more information, call 661-277-4310. Lt. Col. Promotion Team Edwards is cordially invited to a promotion party 4:30 p.m., June 26 at Pancho’s in Club Muroc to celebrate the newest lieutenant colonel selectees. The selectees are: Michael Batchelor, 412th Aircraft...
 
 

Leaders: the good, bad, and forgotten

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas–It’s been my Air Force experience there are three categories of leaders- the Good, the Bad, and the Forgotten. Everyone reading this probably thinks they’re in the first category, but we know that’s not the case. Airmen who work for you certainly wish that were true, but not every leader’s an...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

AFTC needs to be ‘agile, ready, right’

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, hands the Air Force Test Center guidon to Maj. Gen. David Harris June 18. Harris assumed command from Maj. Gen. Arnold W. Bu...
 

 

Enhance teamwork, effectiveness, significance and leadership skills!

Comprehensive Airman Fitness is comprised of a multitude of targeted programs and activities as well as resiliency skills taught to enable Airmen to make sound choices. The program’s goal is to build and sustain a thriving and resilient Air Force community that fosters mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen....
 
 

AFMC Employee Assistance Program services

Personal problems can affect the lives of employees both at home and at work. To help prevent, identify and resolve potential stressors or issues, Air Force Materiel Command partners with Federal Occupational Health to provide our Employee Assistance Program services. EAP services are offered free (limitations apply) to civilians and their family members. The EAP...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Patric Lovato

Annie Banannie dazzles during summer reading program

Air Force photograph by Patric Lovato Balloons come to life during Annie Banannie’s story time for the kids at the base library June 19. The story’s hero utilizes laser vision, just one of his many super powers, to combat t...
 




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>