Posted: 09/05/2017
Dear all, Below you will find the recommendations coming out of our last large staff survey in 2014. Perhaps those ideas could be a start to improve things. This list of staff ideas is provided as a resource for leaders to use as a spring board for discussion and help identify potentially new ideas as provided by staff who responded to the survey. My Leadership (factor 1) Leadership use the management database more Improve disconnect between senior leadership's vision and priorities to the Branch Heads Formalise and enforce follow up on orders directly from Chief of Staff and Flag and General Officers Improve decision making and guidance, that is transparent, from leaders Improve feedback mechanisms More participation by senior leaders in off sites/brainstorming with staff Enhance training of staff in how to effectively manage and utilise civilian staff Flag and General Officers off-sites should focus on leadership and improving efficiency & effectiveness of staff work Improve and develop trust between leadership and staff Increase opportunities to collect staff ideas for improvement to senior leaders (survey is a good example of one way) Increase levels of accountability to Branch Heads Continue to delegate authority and responsibilities to staff officers where required Increase of greater involvement by senior leaders in quality assurance of HQ ACT products where necessary Increase senior leader social interactions with staff on a regular basis Enhance leader's ability and foresight to make transformational changes within ACT, particularly with regard to resourcing the headquarters with appropriate skillset Re-balance workloads across staff ACT"s information systems and work environment (factor 3) Improve video-teleconferencing capabilities Solve problems of lack of video-teleconferencing/transatlantic meeting room capability and desk video-tele conferencing Improve information technology support Improve software & systems to enhance collaboration Improved software to support analysis tasks Improve linkages between databases to increase staff efficiency and enhance quality Up-to-date hardware (including network) required Improved printing capabilities Identify requirement for 'quiet' rooms to get work done when needed to Improve unclassified collaboration tools with non-NATO organizations Engage with staff to determine requirements for physical layout improvements to encourage collaboration and working environment Increase the number of small meeting rooms for team discussions Improve staff mess food options and eating area Improve and enforce file sharing policies on SharePoint Improve and redesign the NATO Secret search engine to be effective in searching for documents Develop a way to find an Subject Matter Experts within HQ ACT quickly, including a way to physically locate the person (desk-plan) Improve sharing of information across the Branches Increase communications about new building project Appoint one senior officer person responsible for improving information management across HQ ACT Improve information Standard Operating Procedures to ensure that the right level of information is received (i.e. not swamped) Connect multiple databases within the headquarters to ensure information only has to be input once. Create a headquarters-wide single calendar of conferences, working groups, visits etc. that is easily accessible Increase awareness of technology solutions for when travelling to improve collaboration across time zones Improve collaboration tools and technologies (e.g. e-polling equipment and online video-teleconferencing software) Improve process for identifying software requirements and installation process for all branches when required My Learning and Development (factor 4) Improve professional development opportunities Improve opportunities for NATO International Civilian career development Improve training in information sharing and maintaining corporate knowledge to ensure a standard level of skills across staff Ensure staff are trained on Sharepoint Educate more staff on Tasker Tracker process and encourage proper use My freedom and ability contribute (factor 5) Staff should be encouraged to take risks to get the job done Encourage out of the box thinking and overcome mentality of 'the way it has always been done' Engender culture of 'OK to fail' in order to push transformational boundaries and mind-sets Encourage an environment where bold ideas are allowed to be made Encourage creative thinking and encourage new ways of doing business Provide staff with the capability to provide feedback without reprisal Working with other people outside my branch (factor 6) Improve coordination and identify overlaps of engagement activities with NATO HQ Improve co-ordination amongst branches within divisions Encourage more outreach to other organizations Increase understanding and openness of staff support functions to maximise their support Increase staff awareness of the roles and responsibilities of the Commander"s Action Group and their ways of working The mix of ranks and grades in ACT (factor 7) Avoid 'over ranking' positions and review job descriptions to match rank Create a civilian post equivalent of DSACT who is an expert in transformation and change management Avoid 'over ranking' positions and review job descriptions to match rank When Peacetime Establishment review is being undertaken start with question 'what are the requirements?' to determine post numbers, not 'how many posts do we have to cut and where?' Position more OR6 and OR7 Subject Matter Experts into SEE to enhance value. Other Ideas My Work Interest Opportunities to travel is a motivator Keep the work interesting Transformational issues are interesting and support staff motivation Improve how staff may be able to identify how their current work creates positive impact on NATO's mission Other Ideas Our Purpose Improve communication of SACT and DSACT's vision for transformation to all levels of staff Improve communication of SACT's plan for how ACT will drive transformation in NATO Develop a vision that is futurist in transformation (what's the next big idea?) Improve ACT's reputation with customers by Marketing and selling more of ACT's success stories SACT's vision should guide development of S.M.A.R.T. objectives with programmes clearly related to each objective Improve quality of work by focusing only on key issues i.e. not everything Identify ways to improve the focus to the far future (i.e. out to 10 years) requirements rather than allowing a focus on next year funding cycles with Agencies and our customers Assess cost-benefit of work ACT does and promote examples of success in order to demonstrate value to nations A clearer description and definition of transformation is required to assist in describing our purpose Other Ideas ACT"s processes and procedures Simplify management processes Modify management processes to better encompass Command Group Requirements Increase flexibility in management processes Improve escalation process for when problems are discovered in the staff Improve contract management process by developing a system of a cultural diversity check prior to awarding contracts that is representative of NATO Reduce amount of time spent preparing products for Flag and General Officers Improve the implementation process with Allied Command Operations Ensure that Experimentation process is designed to be flexible to deliver impact to customers Develop robust and mature Measures of Effectiveness to assess objectively our successes and failures. Improve Tasker Tracker time to review and sign a document where emerging time requirements require urgent approval (currently 3 weeks from product completion to signed) Other Ideas ACT"s culture Embrace and make more use of our multinational cultural organization Introduce a dress code for female staff Develop and implement an ACT code of Conduct Embrace and make more use of our multinational cultural organization Improve understanding of cultural diversity within ACT Develop a greater culture of mutual understanding Other Ideas Our Customers Improve ways of working with International Staff / International Military Staff to ensure impact of ACT products is realised Increase awareness of ACT business in Allied Command Operations and how to work with ACT Increase opportunities to effectively use Staff Element Europe in the implementation process Undertake a stock take of ACT products and impact to demonstrate ACT value to customers Improve ways of working with Allied Command Operations to ensure impact of ACT products is realised Other Ideas Hand Over / Take Over Improve Hand Over / Take Overs to maintain continuity in decision-making processes Increase time for Hand Over / Take Overs Introduce a standard Hand Over / Take Over process Other Ideas Innovation Encourage more time to think about problems Seek out more opportunities to harness the innovative spirit within ACT Encourage more time to work on identifying options and problem solving (i.e. more analysis less process focus) Enhance effectiveness of meetings and working groups in ACT Require that senior defence planners (OF5/6 level) have previous tours of duty in (NATO) defence planning Other Ideas Our Organisation Simplify support function rules Improved organizational structure & processes to enable agility in response to changing customer requirements Re-Design a headquarters that is non-traditional in organization to deal with big transformational issues Analyse and prevent internal parallel ACT organizational structures from being established Improve the hierarchical nature of ACT in order to avoid stove-piping and improve communication Increase number of transformation and change management specialists within the headquarters (whether it be civilian or military) DPPS should be forward based with SEE to overcome confusion between the two organisations and overcome time zone problems. Introduce an SEE LO embedded into the IS and IMS to enhance clarity in our work. Other Ideas Programme & Project Management Improve Project Management process to reflect projects managed across the Alliance rather in-house ACT Improve Programme and Management Boards Improve cross checking between programmes and projects Improve project initiation Process Improve project monitoring process Enhance project management process to facilitate shutdown/move/redesign programs Improve process for prioritising across deliverables and management of delivering tasks in agreed timelines Develop a flexible programme management process that allows ACT to address emerging security challenges and ensure ACT does not become a 'slave' to the programme Improve lessons learned within ACT to ensure we do not make the same mistakes in the future Increase transparency in project and programme reporting Improve quality not quantity of projects and programmes Increase use of management database to reduce number of briefings Other Ideas Miscellaneous Re-define role of Commander"s Action Group Improve the management of the impact of the NATO Defence Manpower Audit Authority contractor reduction study Increase utilisation of enlisted staff's knowledge and skills Increase confidence in ACT staff to deliver through avoiding to rely on agency staff to do the work instead Increase awareness of ACT business in Nations and the impact ACT delivers Continue to expand the use of the ACT blog and encourage readership Improve communication within ACT staff of program and project successes Improve communications with SEE on rest of HQ activities