Commentary

October 19, 2012

Status quo

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. — We have all heard it from somebody or been the person to say, “But, that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Why is that? Is it because it is easier to go with the status quo than try to invoke change? I believe the thought of change tends to scare people. People fear trying something outside the norm or outside their comfort zone. It is easier for people to continue what is comfortable or “the way we’ve always done it.” Change, when done for the right reason, is necessary to make us a better and more efficient force.

We all know about the fiscal constraints the Air Force is facing and will continue to face. We are expected to continue making the mission happen with fewer people, older aircraft and less money. We always make the mission happen, but as resources dwindle it becomes more and more difficult. In order to combat this we need to consistently evaluate our processes and identify ways to make us better. Efficiency is an ongoing process that takes constant evaluation. This is how we ensure the best available options are being utilized. We need to keep in mind that we aren’t the same Air Force we were 20 years ago.

How do we become more efficient? It starts with each Airman looking at their work area to find ways to improve. No matter what job you have in the Air Force, there is something you’ve looked at and wondered why you do it that way. Ask questions, get engaged and find a better way to do it. The greatest thing about this process is anyone can do it. Whether you have been in the Air Force two days or 30 years it is incumbent upon each of us to be part of the solution and find ways to make ourselves better. If you are bored, frustrated or disgruntled, do something about it! You don’t have to be a SNCO or an officer to make a difference.

Challenging times demand bold leadership. We, as Airmen, all have the responsibility of being bold leaders; to identify and fix those areas that slow us down. In today’s environment we cannot afford to be inefficient in our workplaces or with our processes. Take every day as an opportunity to make a difference. Don’t sit back and rest on your laurels because we all know our enemies and future adversaries are not. Be the force of ingenuity and find a way to make a difference.

As we continue through tough times the need for bold and engaged leaders becomes even more imperative. We, as Airmen, need to be able to make the tough calls and call a spade a spade. Our nation demands that we continue to be the greatest Air Force the world has ever seen. To make this happen, we need Airmen to step up and make a difference. Don’t be afraid to make the tough calls and be a voice for change. Bottom line…never be satisfied with the status quo!

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often” – Winston Churchill.




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