Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 1 2010 Contents 10 www.defence.gov.au/defencemagazine
For the first edition of Defence Magazine this year, it seems timely to
discuss the changes we may be facing in 2010, both big and small,
and the views that I have on how best we are to manage them.
I would also like to acknowledge the many
changes (for the better) that have taken place
across Defence in the past 12 months, and the
people that have worked hard to ensure these
changes have been successful.
One important change has been the way Defence
has started to turn around some perceptions of our
ability to manage our finances. We are now seen
to be better in a financial and budgetary sense.
We have done some hard work and as a result
our image has improved. This is an important step
There are others worth highlighting, and that is
what this edition of Defence Magazine is about. It
focuses on people in Defence who have made an
assessment that our business could be improved
in some way or another, gaining efficiency
and delivering a better service to the ADF, the
Department and the Government.
There are articles from PSP (p26-27) about using
the Defence Families Survey information for
workforce planning and change. A more personal
angle on change can be seen in an interview with
graduates of the Defence Indigenous Development
Program (p38-39), who discuss how their
involvement has impacted on their lives.
Much of the progress we have made toward a
more efficient business in the past 12 months has
not been about the Strategic Reform Program – but
in the coming years the SRP will feature as the
most important change program ever attempted by
CDF, myself and the members of the Defence
Committee are aware that we are not yet in a
position to share with you the full details of the
work that has been done to prepare us for SRP
implementation. The details are soon to go before
Government, and until they are approved, we are
unable to talk to you fully about them.
I am sure that this is frustrating for many of you,
as well as for our industry partners and suppliers.
I am expecting, however, that this situation will
soon be resolved and that an extensive program
of communication will commence about the
implementation details and impact of the SRP once
Government agrees the details of the plans.
I understand the importance of communication in
managing change effectively and we are looking
for ways to improve internal communication in this
We face problems in achieving this given
Defence’s size and complexity, but effective
change will not take place unless we focus more,
as leaders, on communicating with our people.
This was very clear to me in my role as Secretary
for the Department of Finance and Deregulation.
People need to understand the context and drivers
for change if they are to support and participate
actively in it.
Another important characteristic of an effective
change program is flexibility. In the coming years,
we must have the commonsense to allow for
adjustments when they become necessary. That
end goal will not change, but we must reach
it in a flexible way. One of the useful phrases I
have learned since I arrived in August last year is
“in-stride adjustment” – those small changes you
make in the course of a journey or mission that
help you reach your endpoint.
Engaging with Defence people will be critical in
making those adjustments – we will talk to you
about what is happening and what we expect, and
we will rely on your engagement and feedback in
making crucial decisions about where to adjust
Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the
interview on pages 24-25 with Defence’s Minister
for Personnel, Materiel and Science, Greg Combet.
It is a frank and useful discussion about what he
sees lying ahead for Defence in the area of his
portfolio. This includes better services in ADF
Health, improving the recruitment and retention of
women in the ADF, and improving processes and
links between DMO, DSTO and the relevant parts
Insights such as this into the thoughts and
priorities of our Ministers are valuable to all of us
and a reminder of the wider context in which we
operate every day, and will help us keep our eye on
the end goal.
“One of the useful military terms I have learned since
I arrived in August last year is “in-stride adjustment” –
those small changes you make in the course of a journey
or mission that help you reach your endpoint.”
Secretary of Defence, Dr Ian Watt
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