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NEWS | Nov. 22, 2016

364th ESC holds Senior Leader Workshop to improve performance

By Maj. Marvin Baker 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command

The event was conducted in order to provide his brigade and battalion level command groups a setting to meet him and each other face to face for more effective communication about past successes, future challenges and the Army Reserve’s top issue—Readiness.

One additional goal of the workshop included an analysis of the unit’s management processes in hopes of making the organization's workflow more effective and efficient.

During the three-day seminar, Soldiers met in small groups to discuss ways to focus on leading indications of challenges or successes. Leading indicators are input oriented and hard to measure, but easy to influence. On the other hand, lagging indicators are output oriented and easy to measure, but hard to improve or influence.

“Medical readiness, skill readiness, and educational readiness and a couple of others are the top indicators of our overall readiness,” said Capt. Christopher Royalty, company commander of the 364th ESC.

Capt. Joseph Lee, the unit’s incoming company commander came to the workshop in order to learn more about the unit’s readiness. “I’m learning the importance of readiness and the kind of information we give to our subordinate unit commanders” he said. “My goal is to learn what our processes are and what might need to change,” he added.

The workshop benefited both new and past unit members. Ltc. Kurt Lukins, the incoming G4 said, “The workshop is a great opportunity for me to meet the rest of the command and improve our communication, which will eventually improve readiness.”

Lukins and other leaders in the unit were asked to review their current metrics and realign the way they measured progress by looking at leading indicators instead of lagging indicator. He said they looked at their process maps with others and asked themselves what are the best ways to get out ahead of some of their issues. One metric included how to improve their completion of financial liability investigations for lost or damaged equipment.

“One thing we noticed we could influences was the speed of assigning the investigating officer,” Lukins said. “We noticed if the IO is not assigned right away, it is more likely that the investigation will exceed the allowable time we have to complete it,” he added.

The workshop included both small and large group sessions. The unit’s Chief of Staff, Col. David Hammons said, “The workgroups overall did a great job identifying their leading indicators. Our next step in this process will include developing ways to track progress and will take about three months before it becomes a mature and well-developed process.”

Soldiers are now using fundamentally sound business practices that should help remove some of the unit’s administrative burdens, Hammons concluded.

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