Archive

The Reinvention Revolution Town Hall Wall


LESSONS LEARNED SO FAR

Cutting Red Tape
Question Everything! When "they" say you canít do it because it violates a reg or law -- your response must be: "Show me the paragraph and line number -- so I can read it for myself.

Many times, individuals make assumptions about what can and cannot be done. Before you leap to assumptions about "rules" ... gather the facts and draw conclusions about your change initiative.

Lesson Learned: Thereís a lot more flexibility in the personnel system than we thought there was ... the real challenge is teamwork, creativity, and leadership.

NPR supplemental guidance issued by Agencies (DoD/DA) is too restrictive and does not support the spirit and intent of NPR. Offices at the execution levels feel that they have too much to do already; now we have added another reporting requirement and/or dictated procedure.

General Tips
As a change agent at HUD/FHA, Iíve learned and relearned that most sustained change comes through dedication and persistence over time. A LONG time. And that to sustain that dedication, itís helpful to develop or tap into networks, both formal and informal, of change agents who support each other in various ways, both large and small.

Iíve learned that "no" is often not "absolutely no" but "not now" or "thatís interesting, bring this up at another time or in another context and I might say Ďyesí."

Iíve learned that anyone within an organization can be a change agent if theyíre pleasant, persistent, and dedicated to their goals.

The Reinvention Revolution can be used to destroy an agency when implemented without the use of the appropriate form of the four "Hammer" principles.

Contracting does not equal Privatization.
Privatization does not equal Cost Savings or Efficiency.
Contracts Cost More

(1) Team concept is critical to successful mission accomplishment.
(2) Perseverance is key to achieving results. (You can get your nose bloodied with reinvention!)
(3) Government employees, when given a task with ownership, are tremendous workers.

There are about 9 months left to achieve "critical mass." We have a lot of work to do.

PATIENCE
PERSISTENCE
PASSION
PIZZA

Persistence!
Persistence!
Persistence!

Contracting out isnít always best. Beware of fictitious savings that donít include the costs of contracting, only FTE savings!

Revolutions Take Radical Changes!

If no one is questioning you about what youíre doing, that means youíre probably not doing what you should to create movement toward changes needed. If you never feel the uneasiness of a group when you walk into the room, you havenít hit the real issues.

Initial training for self-directed work teams (or any team) is crucial! Also, training for managers on what their role should be must be done first! We are a Lab that can offer the training for you as well as talk about lessons LEARNED! Cost is low, we are a government organization that has been chartered to act as a designated reinvention consultant. Cost is for supplies (Team Assessment, Myer-Brigs, materials, TDY cost if necessary ...)

[response to above posting] Send me a description of your services -- we can let others know.

Try not to bet into partnerships with Agencies that Congress plans to close -- Insecure people donít make good partners.

[responding to above post] Not necessarily true. NADEP, Norfolk, VA, was a perfect example of partnerships lessening the impact of losing jobs.

-- Process owners do _ _ _
-- Reengineering points of contact
1) market
2) award
3) promote
4) cajole and push
5) inform, inform, inform ...

With the right people in the right places, you can truly "reinvent" with the right tools and train of thought.

DOC 2-05 only addresses downsizing the NOAA Corps. Elimination proves costly, but NOAA is charging ahead for politics. Stop and get the facts if you can. Ask NOAA for an Arthur Andersen reporting showing cost effectiveness.

Iím here to learn how to make a difference in my organization for the future.

Remember ... Itís usually easier to get sustained improvement if you start at the grassroots ... Try out the new stuff with the smaller Agencies/Bureaus.

Never say "NEVER".

Open your mind to the possibilities and open communication with managers, leaders, teams, employees, customers, stakeholders.

Empowerment
-- Donít ask for permission if on an NPR team--
-- find/identify the problem
-- find/identify the solution
-- do it , or find someone who will
-- Donít excuse yourself or others
-- Laptops with compatible software are essential
-- Distribute home numbers

Empowerment is accepted at the 1st line manager, no matter what size scope they have. The next level of management is the most fearful and the general staff see this and thereby donít take risks.

Make it Happen!!! Itís up to you.

-COURAGE- As a veteran of both Viet Nam and the Gulf War, I encourage each of you to continue the Battle within our Bureaucracy to do the Right Thing. As a fellow GRUNT of the NPR, KEEP CHANGING!!

Benchmark
Donít "reinvent the wheel." Plagiarize and steal everything from best practice success stories! Itís a testimony to their success -- theyíll love the free publicity.

Culture Change
Culture change is hard and slow. Tools used need to be used repeatedly, and frequently. Consistent reinforcement is essential.

Training targeted to helping teams form, and to help people celebrate, and then let go of the past -- speeds the process.

Thinking outside the Box is ESSENTIAL!

NPR has been around long enough and has been successful enough for Departments and Agencies to figure out a way to regulate it!!! This stifles innovation and creativity.

ITíS GOOD TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!

When does the culture change start? The Federal Government is busy reengineering its processes. We have to begin reengineering our values as well!!!

Reinvention provides many exciting ideas, but does it ever really touch and motivate staff to be proud of their job?

Organizational Structures
How far can the "Revolution" go without reengineering at the top?
-- OMB
-- Agency Staffs

NPR Document incorrect! Re-invention must be based on good information. NOAA, an Environmental Agency, has more than 10 ships, does more than national defense ... is good for the environment and economical. For the WRONG story, see DOC2-05.

Middle Management isnít ALL BAD!! Top Management that is redundant needs reviewing too!

Communications
PBO pilots should have an independent location to periodically discuss (group therapy) successes and barriers. (You hear that Ron Sanders? - Syracuse?)

Have Army Commands who are designated labs meet to focus on common issues and initiatives.

Keep the information flowing. Communicate often and with HONESTY.

We are learning alot about reducing development costs by talking and sharing with projects outside of U.S.

Customers
Define customer according to Websterís Dictionary. DO NOT INCLUDE STAKEHOLDERS as customers!

The customer is ALWAYS RIGHT!

Teamwork
I hate the word "Field." It implies us and them. Itís all of u.s. in the U.S.

When we stopped fighting about problems and started collaborating on solutions, we were amazed at the results ...

All team members must be treated equally. If contractors, PSCís are part of the team and the team is recognized or receives an award -- everyone should be included.

Leadership and Support
Top management must admit when a mistake is made and ask for solutions.

Executive sponsorship needs to be both public and private and involved. It is imperative to success!

The Boss: As much as I need to be empowered and directly supported by my "Boss," I do not want him to know everything that I do. As a political appointee, he must be "risk averse" -- my success depends on taking reasonable risks!

Keep management involved for continue support!

Whatever you do, get the agency head (not just her senior managers) behind your reinvention efforts.

Top Management (coaches, Department heads, supervisors) must "Walk the Talk" for change to occur.

Leading step by step
not staircases at a time.
Impatient

Process Management should be the focus -- not outcome management. Holding folks accountable for processes that they own works; holding folks accountable for processes that they donít own is always doomed to failure. Detailed analysis of processes, followed by elimination of non-value-added, establishing process boundaries and then determining metrics that are appropriate and relevant to process owners will insure success. Weíve done it -- it works!

Leaders at the executive level in organizations need to:
Talk the Talk
Walk the Talk
Coach, mentor and promote reinvention at all levels!

The greatest "Lesson Learned" for us is that our success is attributed to leadership at the top and individual courage where the rubber hits the road! We express our gratitude to V.P. Gore, Vice Admiral Straw at DLA, and the great courage of our teams at DDSP!!

Turnover in Military leadership can devastate/end reinvention efforts and destroy productivity.

[response to above posting] It also can replace a roadblock at the top and give you a boost.

Charter teams to make the changes and report results. NOT to make recommendations.

Technology
NPR should publicize how their success stories utilize PC/Mid tier computer systems -- not mainframe, not costly, flexible, cost effective technology solutions, decided at the lowest levels work best.

Use of automation for many hard copy processes.

We are working to develop our tools in software that we can freely give away so that they can be used in developing countries to raise the level of plant information internationally.

Sometimes investments must be made to realize savings and efficiencies. The Natural Resources Conservation Service - USDA has found that geoprocessing and digital orthophotography can revolutionize the delivery of technical assistance in our field offices. But implementation languishes because we need $120 million to get complete coverage of digital orthophotography. Even though a number of States are partners with this effort, the Federal government could get large paybacks from an investment in this data.

NPR Home Page Search the NPR Site NPR Initiatives Site Index Calendar Comments Awards Links Tools Frequently Asked Questions Speeches News Releases Library Navigation Bar For NPR site