Our Guiding Principles are our “load bearing walls” that carry the weight of our vision from the bedrock of our mission. They are the rules that govern the outcomes or consequences of choices. The Command Guiding Principles as well as the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program Principles establish consistent boundaries and guidance that will endure while the focus area pillars may vary over time.



Win As a Team


Respect every individual: Respect must become something that is deeply felt for and by every person in an organization. Respect for every individual naturally includes respect for employees, customers, suppliers, the community, and society in general. Individuals are energized when this type of respect is demonstrated. Most team members will say that to be respected is the most important thing they want from their employer. When people feel respected, they give far more than their hands; they give their minds and hearts as well.
Lead with humility: One common trait among leading practitioners of organizational excellence is a sense of humility. Humility is an enabling principle that precedes learning and improvement. A leader’s willingness to seek input, listen carefully, and continuously learn creates an environment where team members feel respected and energized and will give freely of their creative abilities. Improvement is only possible when people are willing to acknowledge their vulnerability and abandon bias and prejudice in their pursuit of a better way.
Create constancy of purpose: An unwavering understanding of why the organization exists, where it is going, and how it will get there enables people to align their actions, as well as to innovate, adapt, and take risks with greater confidence.

Think systemically: By understanding the relationships and interconnectedness of a system, people will make better decisions and improvements that will more naturally align with the desired outcomes of an organization.


Excellence in All We Do


Assure quality at the source: Perfect quality can only be achieved when every element of work is done right the first time. If a defect occurs in a product or service, it must be detected and corrected at the time it is created.
Seek perfection: Perfection is an aspiration not likely to be achieved, but the pursuit of perfection creates a mindset and culture of continuous improvement. What is possible is only limited by the paradigms through which we see and understand the organization’s current reality.
Create value for our customer: Ultimately, value must be defined through the lens of what a customer wants and is willing to pay for. Organizations that fail to deliver both effectively and efficiently on this most fundamental outcome cannot be sustained long term.


Continuous Improvement


Focus on process: All outcomes are the consequence of a process. It is nearly impossible for even good people to consistently produce ideal results with poor processes. It is human nature to blame the people involved when something goes wrong or when the resulting product or service is less than ideal. But in reality, an issue is usually rooted in an imperfect process, not in the people involved.

Embrace scientific thinking: Innovation and improvement are the consequence of repeated cycles of experimentation, direct observation, and learning. A relentless and systematic exploration of new ideas, including failures, enables us to constantly refine our understanding of reality.

Improve flow and pull: Value for customers is highest when it is created in response to real demand and at a continuous and uninterrupted flow. Although one-piece flow is the ideal, demand is often distorted between and within organizations. Waste is anything that disrupts the continuous flow of value.