Thursday, April 11, 2013

The latest thing

When the winds of change blow hard enough, the most trivial of things can turn into deadly projectiles.

Tell me how typical this story is...

(First, thanks to for providing great words of wisdom.)

A friend of mine a while back called me to let me know that his new commanding officer was a submarine officer, in what was typically an NFO job. I told him he'd see the following:

- In the first six months, his CO would say everything was terrible.
- Then he'd spend a year "fixing" all the problems.
- Then the last six months would be talking about how great the "new" system is.

...But the reality would be that nothing much changed. I told my friend to take notes now of how things run now, and compare what it looks like in two years. Sadly, he called me a year and a half later...and I was right.

A lot of Navy bureaucracy and instructions are built on years of experience. Too many times, we try to build something new because we can. A new tracker, a new training instruction, a new database...all in the desire to have a good FITREP bullet or say you "created" something.

Perhaps the reality is you're making something new that really isn't needed.

What about executing the established processes well? There is something to be said of the DIVO that gets awards routed properly because he knows the SECNAVINST 1650.1H. There is something to be said for the Department Head that lines up that lines up EVAL bullets with the E-7 precepts.

I think Seth Godin says it best here:

"I can't describe the value we deliver, I'm too busy integrating this new technology into my workflow!"

Focus on using the Navy's established instructions and processes well first before you decide to change something.