Advisory Council Briefing with ADM Thad Allen
18 May 2007
the major points that were delivered to the Commandant:
Issues from the Field
- Completed analysis in November 06 of
Organizational Assessment Survey data relative to the Leadership and
Management School (LAMS)
- Forwarded a recommendation
to make LAMS completion mandatory for advancement to E-6
- Analyzed the role of the sector CPO community in LAMS implementation.
We envision them as advocates and coordinators, but not instructors.
other military services' practices in training requirements for
- Validated the idea of continuing the LAMS course length at one
- Continues to
draft a Coast Guard Leadership Manual, COMDTINST M5351.2. We’re about 70% complete and have written and collected the individual parts, with initial editing now in progress.
- Reviewed the 2000
Civilian Needs Assessment and sees a need to continue implementing several of the recommendations from that report.
Also recommends that we do not conduct another Civilian Needs Assessment, but rather use the 2000 assessment to identify civilian needs.
monitor the results of the Mid-Grade Officers’ Needs Assessment and
Organizational Assessment Survey data relative to the Senior Leadership Principles and Skills course.
- Met their marketing and promotion goal by providing several articles for
The Leadership News and
Coast Guard magazine.
the LAC meeting, CG-12C issued an ALCOAST soliciting input from the field on leadership related issues. Each member of the LAC also solicited ideas from their local units.
We had a total of 38 items, many of which were related to
two overarching issues:
- Although messages have been sent out regarding the transformation, members of
Team Coast Guard are still trying to interpret the personal and organizational effects.
- Junior officers are uncertain about the future of their career paths.
- There is concern about improving Reserve integration at unit level.
- Civilians are concerned where they fit in.
- Auxiliarists are concerned
with their position/function in the new org.
- The deck plate
members are concerned about the effects on their day to day work; they want to know: What do I need to know to do my job now? Why should I be concerned about the transformation?
- They need reassurance. Team CG needs to know how this transformation will help them better execute the mission.
As we see an increase of competing demands on our
- Our members are trying to focus on the right things, but are distracted by multitude of responsibilities of our organization.
- We have to manage required GMT along with our missions.
- We have technological challenges with communications overload.
- With 24/7 communications, we are never out of touch – never off the job.
- There is a need for prioritization, as the field sees our missions as all top priority.
- Direct communications can lead to less delegation which results in less development of our junior members.
- We have become a
jack-of-all-trades in transition. There are concerns about burn out and safety failures
(e.g., CGC HEALY mishap and RB-S mishap in Seattle).
- Time constraints and distractions lead to less time being devoted to counseling our members.
- As the focus of senior leadership is more on organizational transformation, billet remapping,
"sectorization," and command briefings, the time for leadership development is often overlooked.
- As that example is translated down, leadership action items fall out at the
deck plate in order to enable mission execution and additional training requirements.
- In this time
of dynamic transformation, leaders at many levels are correctly focused on how the organizational changes will affect the workplace. Though important, this attention and effort can easily distract from the necessary work of creating time to develop Coast Guard leaders at the unit level, where we build our replacements.
- In a more stable time, with less distraction, fewer time demands, and less uncertainty, we might function well with less leadership emphasis. However, today we need strong unit leaders that will provide the resiliency we need to emerge from this transformation with our enduring Coast Guard culture of initiative and empowerment at the lowest levels.
To accomplish this, we recommend:
- More effective communication from the top that describes why we are transforming, why our people should care, and how this will improve mission execution. This can be done through additional all hands
e-mails, Commandant videos and regular updates on progress.
- The recent
Spotlight on Leadership was a huge success and we highly recommend that it be done again next year. Wonderful success stories were shared across the Coast Guard and whet the appetite at the
deck plate level for more.
- We plan to create an easy to use, informal
360-degree assessment tool that we can incorporate into the Unit
Leadership Development Program for those interested in such a feedback tool.
- Chiefs’ Councils across the CG are
a strong intervention tool to address poor performance and discipline problems early. This is commonly seen aboard ships in the
Chiefs' Mess and has also been created at various shore based units. This information exists as a best practice on the Office of Leadership website, however, field input indicates that the utility of this council has not reached many areas of the CG. Therefore, we would
like to push the idea through the CMC network and recommend that it be added to the draft Sector SOP for further exporting to all communities in the
- Timely feedback and counseling is a key to solid leadership across all aspects of the workforce. However, there is currently no standard for how to conduct and document informal counseling and actually encourage that it be done. We plan to create a
new Coast Guard form that will provide a standardized, informal counseling tool that highlights the responsibility of the supervisor to conduct and document counseling
- A leadership video contest will be held this summer. These homegrown videos will give the field an opportunity to champion strong leadership practices CG-wide. We expect this to add a fun, humorous, and insightful way for members to contribute to leadership development.
- That a Commandant Leadership Policy Statement be sent to
the service reflecting your leadership vision.
- That the timing of the
Inspirational Leadership Awards period
be changed from calendar to fiscal year, thus allowing their presentation at your State of the Coast Guard Address.
Allen was in "violent agreement" with the LAC on the issues brought to him.
- He said
that no operating units are being affected by the transformation.
- He said
that the issues
raised, such as time pressures and missions competing for priority,
are not because of the transformation. "The symptoms
[raised by the LAC] are the cause for transformation."
- He wants
to share information at the deck plate level and encourages people to
stay informed via the CG Central Intranet site. He gave the LAC a
PowerPoint presentation on Coast Guard Modernization and Strategic
Transformation (see CG Central: Our CG > Coast Guard Modernization/Strategic Transformation > Modernization/Transformation Overview Info > Coast Guard Modernization/Transformation Overview Brief. Tip: download the presentation to your computer to be
able to read the talking points.).
issue to take away is that the price of transparency is some level of
ambiguity. We are in a design spiral. People will need to tolerate a
certain level of ambiguity until we get to a billet map, around 2009.
agreed in principle with all the actionable items, way ahead, and
recommendations. A written report is being routed to him for official
approval on the items listed above.
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