Vanguard Magazine

Aug/Sept 2014

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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Page 31 of 47

p proCuremenT 32 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014 tions of all parties involved. We have to evolve. On the IMSS portfolio, we use a four pillar system to drive our change agenda: Partnering; Common vision; Challenge the status-quo; and Metrics. Together, these elements of change can drive you to a new business model as you seek to work in collabo- ration as a true partner with DND. Let me explain. partnering Partnerships have to be based on trust. In many cases, and I speak from my experiences with DoD, our relationships are generally antagonist. They are not based on trust and it is hard to have honest conversations. We must be able to talk critically with our defence partner and not leave hurt feelings. When DoD or DND says, "I really want you to do this," industry must be willing to say, "Wow, you really DON'T want me to do that. I don't think you understand the price tag you're putting on by asking me to do that. Let me give you an alternative way to do it." Without that basis of trust between partners, you will not be able to under- stand the motivations of both parties. For most of us in industry, our motivation is driven by profit. We in turn have to understand DND's motivations. We have to understand that their particular concern is driving the best results for the end user. This means you must be committed to a win-win solution. Without that, you will not succeed in today's dynamic environment. Instead, there will be finger pointing, platforms will suffer, and the end users will stop accepting your product. Let me emphasize that: in this case it is likely that industry will be the party that gets the black eye – it will not be DND. The end users will talk negatively about your products. At the end of the day, we in industry actually have more to lose. To combat this, you've got to be able to have honest commu- nication. That means no secrets or hidden agendas. With honest communication, you can have critical debate. You can argue and no feelings are hurt. Critical debate is required so either party can say what needs to be said. You must be able to tell your partners what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear. In the end, you will ultimately fail if antagonism and distrust are still ele- ments of your relationship. Common vision There needs to be unity of direction. You need agreement on the path you intend to take. You may debate which one to take, but in the end you need a path forward that is win-win. And it must be the one focus of the team – DND and industry. Through this common vision vertical alignment will be established. The com- mon vision must be articulated properly to everyone on the team, including your supply chain partners. Everybody has to under- stand what their roles and responsibilities are, and everyone needs to be moving toward the same outcome. As you establish common vision, strategic communication is critical. You and your partners must be able to have conversations on the direction you've taken and when and if to make course corrections when something in your environment changes. Those conversations must be regular. As a team, you have to be ready to modify. In the flagship program of IMSS, which is considered one of the best Performance Based Logistics (PBL) programs in DoD, we meet once a month, and spend one day talking about strategy and our common vision: where we are, what has changed, where we need to go, and how does that affect both the government and Raytheon. Without strategic conversations, you will end up going down a singular path, which will create complacency. Vision is the driving force of strategy. Challenging status quo This is my favourite pillar. I really like playing the part of the maverick. To do this effectively, you must be willing to be differ- ent. That goes for your government or defence partners as well as for you. They must be willing to stand up and articulate the vision: "This is what we're going to do. It's the right thing to do, even though it is not normal practice." You need stamina to do it because, trust me, you're going to run into resistance many times before you reach that common vision. You will also need to have a strong voice. If you are not confident in your message, no one else will be either. And you have to feel safe in your message, which comes from the support of your partners standing with you. In the end, you must be prepared to do what is right, not solely what a customer wants. We as an industry run into this ques-

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