LOS ANGELES — It makes sense that “a goal without a plan is just a wish,” so a large group of Los Angeles District leaders gathered for a seminar at the Bob Hope Patriotic Hall in downtown Los Angeles Dec. 10-12 to determine future goals and the work to achieve them.
District Commander Col. Kimberly Colloton set the tone by explaining her expectations for the seminar, and she led participants through a review of employee responses to questions posed in a recent Command Climate Survey, as well as information obtained from customer survey results.
“It is important for employees to know that we have heard what they have to say and that their input will help us shape the future,” Colloton said.
The group thoroughly discussed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats identified by employees, in an effort to help more clearly define future tasks necessary for project and process improvement. They also discussed changes to the District’s mission and vision statements.
South Pacific Division Commander Brig. Gen. David Turner attended the third day of the event, which included a graduation ceremony for the District’s Leadership Development Program I and II members. He said he learned more from listening to the discussions that day than he would have if he spent 30 days doing regular work.
“Some folks would probably say they have done this [planning seminar] before and nothing ever happened,” he said. “But, you are the ones who decide if it happens…make a commitment to do it, and move in that direction.”
One of the exercises undertaken by participants was to generate a list of things the District doesn’t need to do. Another was to identify substantial goals and the specific steps that are necessary if the goals are to become reality.
“Your commander has set a priority to refine the work done here and explain it to the workforce in a town hall meeting in late January, and that shows determination that impresses me,” Turner said.
Communicating future goals to employees could be viewed as more essential than ever, as seminar participants agreed that employee morale has really declined because of the Nation’s fiscal situation, which led to the sequestration and recent government shutdown.
Several of the District’s employees were furloughed and lost a portion of their pay this year.
“For the things we control and can change, we are working on solutions,” Colloton said. “Everyone’s concerns are being heard, and we will make the commitment necessary to convert our weaknesses and threats to wins.”
Turner agreed with that approach.
“This District has a lot of talented and dedicated people,” Turner said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the progress you will make in the coming months.”