Kotter visit on the News Wire

Kotter and Whitney

This article went out in the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) news wire today:

MAR25-06:  Leadership Icon Visits Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & IMF

From Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash.- Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF), a Naval Sea Systems Command field activity, was recognized, March 19, by a prominent leadership scholar as one of only one percent of the world’s organizations working to embrace change and finding success.

The change is a result of PSNS & IMF’s “Guiding Coalition,” a strategic planning model that focuses on developing leaders and sustaining results, supporting the command’s mission as a full-service naval shipyard and maintenance facility for the Navy’s ships.

“This is all about listening, seeking to improve the alignment between words and actions, and always striving for excellence,” said Capt. Mark Whitney, PSNS & IMF commander.
“Our efforts are focused on allowing our folks to continuously develop themselves, to connect with and be ready for the future work force, and improve the daily work environment around them. And we are!”

“Only 15 percent of all organizations are really trying to understand how to live with and respond to the rate of change.  Of the organizations, 15 percent are trying to move in a direction that they know works, 14 of the 15 percent are struggling because of the culture or environment that drives them.  Only 1 percent of the organizations in the world are making progress; they are doing what you all are doing,” said John Kotter, Harvard Business School professor and creator of the Guiding Coalition concept, during a recent visit to the shipyard.

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.”

PSNS & IMF is continuously looking for ways to streamline its processes and how its most valuable asset, its people, is utilized.

In the last four years, the command’s Guiding Coalition committee has formed a Command University through expanded investments in training; created a Diversity Council; and improved cafeterias, facilities, communications and more.  These initiatives use established methods to develop systems and processes to conduct training, education, optimizing personnel and equipment resources.  This enables PSNS & IMF to attract new employees and maintain the excellence of their current work force.

“For someone who roams around the world and has 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.”

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