Monday, October 31, 2005

The Value of the Military Skill Set - Part XIII

Part XIII - Constructive Plagerism Short advertisement before the main feature: Valour-IT Project details are here. Help fund computers and software for wounded service members, so they can use vioce activated technology to send emails and write. A worthy cause if I every heard of one....Thanks for your interest. Index to the Series: Part I: Initiative, marketing, sales, project planning and program management skills Part II: Auditing Skills Part III: Operations 24/7/365 Part IV: “Point Papers” Part V: Collateral Duties Part VI: The “Git ‘er done!” Factor Part VII: “Total Care” Part VIII: Communications in the Workplace Part IX: "Give a smart person with potential a chance" Part X: Process Engineering, Continuous Improvement, Total Quality Management, Total Quality Leadership, or what ever you call it. The bottom line title: Making “it” better Part XI: The Military's Supply System Part XII: “Red Blood or Red Ink” Part XIII: Constructive Plagerism Yep, that's right...plagerism. In any sort of management position, from the non-commissioned officer level to the top, we learn to scope out what the other person did/does in order to make our unit more effective. Is that bad? Well, certainly it's not a bad idea in an environment where there is no copyrighted material or trademark issue to worry about. In the "outside world," this translates into a set of eyes and ears that can be constantly tuned into articles, news clips, conferences, or conversations that have something of interest. Toss into that mix that we generally have no shame about asking "can I get a copy of that?" because we see two positive fallouts of the condition at a personal level, beyond the larger implications of the benfit to our employer: 1) We look like a more valuable asset when we come back and either present it, or implement it and 2)it certainly shortenes the time it will take us to "re-invent the wheel." You might call that being lazy. I see it as making more time available for other pursuits...:) What dis this look like in my career (and emulated by just about anyone else): It was November, and we had a big inspection coming in mid-February. I whad been in the billet for about 5 weeks and the CO asked for the Plan of Actions and Milestones (POA&M) for the upcoming major, shipwide inspection, INSURV. I paled, when I realized I hadn't had one turned over by the outgoing XO, but I said "I'll find out and get back to you, sir." The first call I made was to the Squadron Material Officer, and he told me of the ship in the squardon who had had one recently and had done well. Next item was to see where this ship was. Luckily, it was not at sea, but right there a few piers away. I hiked over, introduced myslef to the XO, and over a cup of coffe, asked for a copy of his POA&M. He had one copied and I was on my way back to the ship. The net result, we did very well, many thanks to the success of the other crew. We regularly spent time asking leading questions of our counterparts, looking for the "gouge" for all types of things, then we shared and things went well. How does this play out in real life? Two very astute Naval Aviators retired and used their working knowledge of the Navy's Tag Out system. In the OSHA/civilian terms, this is called "Lock out/Tag Out" and is a system by which you prevent people and equipment hazards while preforming maintenance by making sure everyone who needs to know knows not to turn things back on. The Navy system was developed after some hard lessons, but is very effective. By the way, it exceeds OSHA standars in it's implementation. These two smart men are not for hire, as they created their own successful company. You can see their product line, TagLink, here. In another case, as I worked with the PQS Development Group, they told me the story of a retired Navy Captain that came back to them and asked for some materials, so he could implement a personal qualification program for the company he worked for. Bottom line: "We" look for ways to make business easier by borrowing ideas. The ex-military person can not only bring to you a wealth of ideas from the time in, but then they are acclimated to keeping their sensors out for more of the same in your industry. It's a valuable resource for your company. Thanks to Mudville Gazette for the Open Postand Outside the Beltway for the Traffic Jam! See Little Green Footballs for the Open Thread... Another "THANKS!" to The Political Teen for an Open Post...

1 comment:

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