Mr Brooks' views in this article are spot on. The hardest thing to do sometimes is simply make a change. Change a process, regulation, SOP, or piece of equipment is usually difficult and often near impossible. We were so steeped in the faith that our training and equipment have won past battles and wars that the larger collective military society doesn't want change. I worked for 6 years as a process improvement person for the Army. It was a difficult job in part because the Army talked a good game (Lean and Six Sigma), offered well designed training, and then put roadblocks in the way of any change in process that might actually improve quality, reduce labor (God forbid we would decrease manning requirements), or decrease the time required to do a job. Lots of Amy employees, military and civilian, made good faith efforts to change the way work was done in their areas of responsibility. Some succeeded in gaining recognition. I question how long the changes lasted. Were they truly sustained into the future and became the new normal way of doing the work. The corporate inertia is so great I think few of our projects had true long lasting effect.
It's a good idea. However, the Army already seems to have a problem recognizing the physical courage. I was Army Infantry for 13 years and never saw anyone get higher than an ARCOM, or even a V device, for their actions. Bronze Stars were awarded to highest ranking down based on how many were allocated to the unit. The only exceptions were people who received Purple Hearts, they got additional rewards.
Not to say we don't need innovative thinkers, but I would much rather we focus on the discipline and order of past generations that seems to have fallen by the wayside. An award for doing your job? There's way too much of that already. Also too much change for change's sake. A new idea is not necessarily a better one. LSS was a joke. The folks I knew that got involved in that were a solution looking for a problem and generally made one up if none were found, taking time away from their actual job in the process. Good ideas that have merit will find a way. Hopefully the rest will continue to be filtered out along the way. We have too little time and resources to spend chasing rainbows.
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