Force Support Squadron embraces change

  • Published
  • By Col. Michael Ochs
  • 934th Mission Support Group
Having worked at 22nd Air Force as the Numbered Air Force Director of Manpower and Personnel for many years, it was a great pleasure to see the culmination of one of many force management objectives with the stand-up of the 934th Force Support Squadron at Minneapolis Air Reserve Station on Dec. 4, 2010.

It gave me even greater pride that I was the presiding officer over this monumental achievement that commemorated the merger of the 934th Services Squadron and the 934th Mission Support Flight. The moment signaled a journey as we embarked upon a one year transition period to establish the foundation for new operation steps and procedures. But truthfully, this transformation had begun well beforehand with team building, new office designs, and much discussion to pave the way forward and achieve buy in.
The primary goal was to perform the many changes at hand seamlessly without impact to the customer. What did this mean to the customer? A clear message went forward that processes would continue to yield the same if not better results. Thus far, the transition has successfully yielded that product with minimal turbulence. Of course, there remains a learning curve as the FSS continues to merge in many workcenters and the team works on new skill sets that will yield even greater synergies.

I'd like to also point out that another important message throughout this process remained an ongoing need to embrace change. Quoting from a recent article on change written by Ms. ArLyne Diamond , "Adapting to new demands is an important mechanism for both personal and organizational survival. Individuals and groups that do it well seem to be more successful than those that resist and accept the inevitable slowly [or not at all]." Our charge as leaders is to motivate the team, use the latest tools for persuasion, reward success, and promote change.

There will be many challenges throughout the enterprise as we struggle with fiscal pressures, technological developments, and persistent threats to our national security. Today it is more critical than ever to listen to one another as we develop solid goals, objectives, values and beliefs that we can all buy in to. Our words and messages must have the same meaning to everyone as there will be many more demands to manage that many more changes and transitions in the future.