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Maritime Logistics Community News : Autumn 2010
18 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER AUTUMN 2010 The New Generation Navy (NGN) culture change program is progressing under the lead of a number of SU PQ Commanders and their staff. The culture and leadership pillars of NGN were established and have been managed by Charge-qualified Supply Officers. NGN is coming to the end of it's first year out of a forecast five years, with many milestones reached in a timely and successful fashion. Supply branch personnel cover a range of ranks in the NGN team, with three in command positions: CMDR Jenni Wittwer in the Project Management Office, LCDR Nev Cook, culture Project Manager, and CMDR Rod Robinson, the former Project Manager for the Leadership and Ethics project. The culture project teams also includes LEUT Linda McKenzie, CPOSTD Dan Kilkolly and CPOWTR Kerry McClintock, and the Leadership and Ethics project employs Reserve Supply Officers CMDR Andrew Mierisch, CMDR Ric Leahy and LEUT Tammy Dunne. Other Supply branch members of the team are POSTD Kerry O'Hagan, POCK Debra Coughtrie and CPOWTR Bob Brimson. "Having a diverse range Supply personnel has been beneficial for NGN in bringing a different perspective," said CAPT Martin Brooker, Program Director of Navy Transformation, and head of the NGN program. "The skills that have been brought by these personnel have contributed greatly to our successes so far, and are important in the project moving forward." CULTURE CHANGE THROUGH LEADERSHIP CMDR Rod Robinson's supply career has stood him in good stead as the original project manager for the NGN Leadership and ethics project, which developed and implemented a leadership development 'workshop' as the mainstay of the NGN Leadership and Ethics Strategy. The 3-day workshop is aimed at senior sailors and officers of LCDR rank and above, and a version of it is inserted as a module into the Navy's promotion courses for sailors and junior officers. "Typically, Supply Officers don't employ the command style of leadership as much, because supply work is more customer service and long term planning than reactive and immediate like on the bridge or in an Ops Room. Supply Officers also deal with civilians, contractors and other services a lot, and as these people are not ours to command, a more affiliative style is needed," said CMDR Robinson. "As a key theme of the NGN Leadership Strategy is a re-balance of a command style of leadership with an affiliative style and the idea that good leadership is not based on rank or someone's position. While we recognise that the command style of leadership is incredibly important when required, it is better to inspire people to follow you, rather than ordering them to." CMDR Robinson has returned to his former role as a Coach in the Navy Officer Development Program, which under NGN, has been recreated as the Navy Leadership Coaching Program and offers coaching to participants completing the 3-day leadership development workshops. "Again this is a good fit for a Supply Officer because the Supply Branch is known for providing a supportive environment for its people," said CMDR Robinson. CULTURE CHANGE THROUGH PEOPLE FOCUS "Supply officers understand conditions of service better than anyone else in Navy," said CMDR Jenni Wittwer, Futures Manger for the New Generation Navy Program. CMDR Wittwer is one of the original members of the project, and her work on organisation culture formed the basis of the culture change projects in NGN. She says the close relationship between the Supply specialisation and the Divisional system makes it perfect to assist in shaping Navy's desired culture. "At its basic level, Supply is about providing logistic support to Navy people -- for that reason Supply Officers and sailors are extremely team and people focussed," said CMDR Wittwer. "The Supply Community has previously completed studies on family friendly work practices and flexible careers -- and this has lead directly, in conjunction with other significant work, into a couple of the NGN culture projects, which is to increase knowledge of flexible work practices within Navy and to manage careers flexibly. "Navy already does this extremely well, it's just that the knowledge of these practices isn't always there -- that's where the Supply Officer's experience in conditions of service comes in. An understanding of the processes is vital when you are under such a huge responsibility to change them." CULTURE CHANGE THROUGH PROJECT MANAGEMENT Change of this kind has fallen upon LCDR Nev Cook, Project Manager for the Culture project "Improve Responsiveness to those rejoining Navy". LCDR Cook has worked in NGN since May 2009, and will soon depart to join HMAS Ballarat as the Charge Supply Officer. LCDR Cook says that his role as a Project Manager has been a steep learning curve, but his background in Supply prepared him for his role as the two roles share similar features. "As a project manager, you need to plan for when you want to achieve your objective, with deadlines (or milestones) at each significant juncture. Deadlines are a reality for Supply Officers, so project management is very similar," said LCDR Cook. "NGN has added to my skill set, particularly in learning the processes The Supply Secret to Success of NGN This year has been an extremely busy year for the hardworking Supply Sailors in Cell Two DSCM. Here are some of the movements planned for the near future: BY ANNABELLE HAYWOOD