Leadership Icon Visits PSNS & IMF

Leadership Icon Visits Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & IMF
By PSNS & IMF Public Affairs

When speaking with PSNS & IMF's Guiding Coalition Committee and honored guest John Kotter, Harvard Business School professor, Captain Whitney, Commander, PSNS & IMF, stated, "We are catching the edge where words and actions are aligned. That's making a difference, to me."

BREMERTON, WA—Why would an internationally recognized expert on leadership and change ask to visit the U. S. Navy’s shipyard in Bremerton, Wash.?

John Kotter, Harvard Business School professor and best-selling author of Leading Change, visited the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility March 19, 2010, to see for himself the success the Command has had with his eight-step Leading Change model.

Kotter’s eight-step model describes how organizations can gain the ability to change their culture for continued success. It is a roadmap that has helped people talk about transformation and change.

According to Kotter, his model shows that

“a strong Guiding Coalition [committee] is always needed—one with the right composition, level of trust and shared objective. Building such a team is always an essential part of the early stages of any effort to restructure.”

In the last four years, PSNS & IMF’s Guiding Coalition Committee has formed a Command University through expanded investments in training; created a Diversity Council; and improved the Command’s cafeterias, facilities, communications and more. These successes have reverberated throughout PSNS & IMF.

“You guys are really making some headway; don’t let up,” Kotter said. “It’s easy to see some wins and say, ‘Hooray, we did that,’ and then let up. If anything, you need to put your foot down a little more on the accelerator.”

Dennis Goin, a national facilitator of guiding coalitions who has worked with Kotter, believes that PSNS & IMF is an example of how the Leading Change model should work.

“If you’ve ever wanted your strategic planning book put together with your strategic plan in place, then this is the model to use,” Goin said. “The book stays open; the initiatives are constantly being worked; you are constantly touching them.”

Taking the Leading Change eight-steps developed by Kotter—and blending a mixture of positional power, expertise, credibility and leadership—the PSNS & IMF Guiding Coalition has become more than a committee; it is an engine for change.

“For someone who roams around the world and has seen hundreds of companies, universities and the government, there are some things going on [at PSNS & IMF] that are on the leading edge,” Kotter said.  “If you don’t know about them, you’ve got to figure it out; find it. And if you have been involved, you can pat yourself on the back.”

John Kotter, Harvard Business School professor, visited PSNS & IMF on March 19 for a series of discussions. Kotter shared during his visit, "You've got a lot of terrific talent out there."

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