Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT July-September 2017 Contents From the Editor-in-Chief
“At some point people, motivated by their desire to serve the country
and the men and women defending it, feel frustrated in their efforts
to make a difference and do not feel empowered with respect to work
processes. The workforce deserves a better system.”
Excerpt from Section 809 Panel Interim Report,
May 2017, Advisory Panel on Streamlining and
Codifying Acquisition Regulations
h at “workforce” is you, and the “system” under
review is the quagmire of reports, reviews and tests
you are required to execute, by law, regulation and
policy. Follow the rules as laid out, and you are
accused of being bureaucratic. Don’t follow them, and you are
on the wrong side of a counseling, at best—or fired, at worst.
That troublesome paradox defines the mission of the Section 809
Panel: Find pieces of the Federal Acquisition Regulation that
can be streamlined, modified or deleted ... and thus, hopefully,
let you do your job!
The panel’s work coincides with a multipronged effort to reform
the federal government and reduce the federal civilian workforce.
Implementing this effort within the Army is the HQDA Reform
Initiatives Task Force, invoking DOD’s mandate to evaluate
and adjust processes, organizations and workforce management
practices in an effort to “remove barriers that hinder employees
from producing results.” Great news.
Which brings me to the focus of this issue: you, the workforce
at the center of all these initiatives. After all, without you, none
of the efficiency, innovation or reduction in bureaucracy matters,
because without you there is nobody to equip Soldiers to fight
and win America’s battles. Specifically, this issue delves into
talent management, which, put simply, places the right people,
with the right skills, in the right jobs at the right time. Do we
envision the Army deploying hovercraft laser tanks to help the
Air Force deal with anti-access and area denial in the multi-
domain battle? Then we’d better fire up the science, technology,
engineering and mathematics (STEM) machine and identify
new training programs and certification standards, because
we’re going to need people with those skills—lots of them.
This issue explores the many innovative ways that commands and
organizations are, in effect, seeking to build their human capital
and leverage the tools at their
disposal to make the most of it.
For example, Maj. Gen. Wilson
A. “Al” Shoffner Jr., recently of
the Army’s Talent Management
Task Force and now at the Army
Rapid Capabilities Office, offers
his ideas on Army acquisition tal-
ent management in a Q&A on
Page 38. “Building a Better Mir-
ror,” on Page 124, talks about
the importance of a diverse
workforce and the demographic
complexities of defining diversity in any given organization.
And those are just a couple of facets to consider. “Engineers
Don’t Need Trains,” on Page 64, describes how the STEM
Superstar program, conceived and run by the U.S. Army
Communications-Electronics Research, Development and
Engineering Center, uses pop culture, superheroes and every-
day activities to show elementary school kids that STEM is all
around them, not confined to a lab or a library. Those kids, after
all, are the talent pool for our hovercraft laser tanks.
Think your organization may be dysfunctional? Find out how to
fix it on Page 76 in our “Critical Thinking” interview with Dr.
Linda A. Hill, Harvard Business School’s Wallace Brett Don-
ham Professor of Business Administration and, as it happens,
an Army brat. Hill is co-author of “Being the Boss: The Three
Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader,” a mong other books,
and offers lots of insights into how people can work together
effectively to accomplish the mission.
As always, the great stories we cover require a talented team of
writers and editors at Army AL&T. Unfortunately, we are losing
a member of that team to retirement. Bob Coultas, who has been
a writer and editor here for 11 years, will be retiring on June 30.
Bob has served his country for 41 years, doing yeoman’s work at
Army AL&T, elsewhere in government and during his 22 years
on active duty as an Army Public Affairs broadcaster. Thank
you, Bob, for your service, and best wishes for your retirement.
Comments, suggestions, story ideas? Please send them our
way at ArmyALT@gmail.com. We love to get mail!
Email Nelson McCouch III
Nelson McCouch III
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