Page 98 - Jackson Journal
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                 Underpinning our strategy is our purpose and our “why” as an organization. Our collective story, why we serve and how we can add value to TRADOC and the U.S. Army was critical in helping us shape our thoughts on the future of Fort Jackson. As the Army’s largest training center for basic combat training (BCT), we provide strategic readiness at a unique scale for our Army. Every day we are forging America’s Army ‘One” Soldier at a time.
Since 1917, Fort Jackson has made a direct strategic contribution to Army readiness by consistently providing trained and ready Soldiers at a unique scale. Over 5,000,000 Soldiers trained at Fort Jackson.
Developing your organization’s story (purpose and why) and the unique value that it provides to
our Army will improve your organization’s performance. Having a strategic plan is important for any organization, but even more important is the story behind the plan. In his iconic speech at the Lincoln Memorial for the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Martin Luther King’s famous words were “I have a dream” not “I have a strategic plan that I think might work”.
Enduring Priorities
The four main components that form the foundation of our strategy are our mission and vision statements, the Commanding General’s enduring priorities and our lines of effort, which link the CG’s priorities and objectives in focusing effort towards achieving our vision. Of these four components, the one I want to spend some time discussing is the CG’s enduring priorities. All of us have been in organizations where priorities are in the double digits or where priorities change as often as the weather. One of the greatest advantages we have had as an organization these past 20 months is that our priorities as an organization have NOT changed. Our four enduring priorities are:
1. Basic Combat Training 2. Leader Development 3. Quality of Life
4. Command Outreach
Having the same four enduring priorities provides focus and has allowed us to take a long-term approach on how we solve problems and address new initiatives. By getting the big ideas (priorities) right and sticking with them, you as a commander determine the azimuth and direction for your organization. Priorities can also assist in how you allocate resources (time, people and money). Once you determine your priorities,
you must be transparent and walk the talk when it comes to how you spend your time. If you say you have priority A,B and C but spend the majority of your time on X, Y and Z, soon everyone in the organization will realize priorities A, B and C are really not that important.
When an organization has too many priorities or they change frequently, everything seems important, when in reality nothing is important. This leads to people feeling frustrated, often times working on too many things, feeling like they are spread too thin. This can negatively impact an organization’s climate and create an unwanted culture. The bottom line is that strategy is as much of what you choose not to do, as it is about what you do. Selecting a few, key priorities and sticking with them for the long-term will provide the focus your organization needs to function and improve.
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)
OKRs are the framework we use at Fort Jackson to set and communicate goals for each of our four lines of effort. OKRs consist of an objective – a clearly defined goal – and one or more key results – specific measurements used to track achievement of that goal. The origins of OKRs are generally attributed to Andy Grove, CEO of Intel from 1987-1998. They continued to gain popularity as explained by John Doerr in his outstanding book, Measure What Matters. While working for Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital firm, Doerr introduced the idea and methodology of OKRs to a start-up Kleiner Perkins had visit called Google.
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