“History shows the Navy which adapts, learns, and improves the fastest gains an enduring warfighting advantage,” said Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, during remarks at the 2022 Surface Navy Association Symposium. “The essential element is fostering an ecosystem—a culture—that assesses, corrects, and innovates better than the opposition.”
More than simply a campaign slogan, Get Real, Get Better is the commitment of the highest levels of the Department of the Navy to change its leadership culture and behaviors. It is the leadership mindset that develops the future of the U.S. Navy by putting transparency and a questioning attitude at the forefront of operations across all platforms. The Get Real, Get Better approach requires Navy leaders to be professionally agile and remain adaptable to evolving processes so the U.S. can maintain its warfighting advantage. Primary foci of the Get Real, Get Better approach include removing barriers, challenging outdated processes, and empowering civilian and active-duty personnel to find solutions to obstacles before they become large and complex.
Members of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintained Facility’s Naval Civilian Manager’s Association held a lunch and learn last November to dive into the mission of the Get Real, Get Better strategy.
“The NCMA hosts a guest speaker on a monthly basis,” said Walt Channell, vice president of the NCMA Puget Chapter and division head of the Lean Transformation and Change Management Office, Code 100PI. “Mr. Marc Harrington, PSNS & IMF’s nuclear engineering and planning manager, returned from two separate trips back east that contained presentations and meetings with senior military and senior executive service leaders on the Navy’s Get Real, Get Better initiative. Since Mr. Harrington has been spearheading PSNS & IMF’s improvement efforts through the command’s strategic framework, he wanted to make sure all of our efforts connect, integrate and align with the initiative.”
The Get Real, Get Better approach to operations aligns with PSNS & IMF’s guiding principles and the Naval Sustainment System-Shipyard’s mission of putting people first and safely empowering them to fix or elevate problems, resulting in improved on-time delivery of ships and submarines to the fleet.
Behaviors that drive the Get Real, Get Better mindset are building respect and trust, aligning priorities, and focusing on what matters most.
“Going forward in support of Get Real, Get Better, I would like to see the command build on all its great transformation efforts, engage in communications up and down the leadership chain and — most importantly — improve leadership behaviors throughout all levels of shipyard management,” said Channell.
By leveraging Get Real, Get Better behaviors and using the Shingo Model, Harrington and other senior leaders at the shipyard hope to create a sense of urgency to help PSNS & IMF become a Lean Enterprise that ensures we “deliver on time, every time to preserve our national security.”
The Shingo Model is a way of thinking and is the basis for building a sustainable culture of organizational excellence. In the model’s guiding principles diamond, the principles are divided into three dimensions — cultural enablers, continuous improvement, and enterprise alignment. The model’s framework aligns harmoniously with PSNS & IMF’s guiding principles and includes values such as respect for every individual, leading with humility, seeking perfection, embracing scientific thinking, focusing on processes, assuring quality at the source, improving flow and pull, thinking systematically, creating constancy of purpose, and creating value for the customer.
As the U.S. Navy faces new challenges in the Great Power Competition with Russia and China, the Get Real, Get Better initiative represents the Navy’s commitment and call to action to be self-critical, self-correcting and always learning.
Search "Get Real Get Better" on www.dvidshub.net to view a video presentation on the initiative or search "Get Real Get Better" on www.navy.mil for a detailed blog on how the Navy is implementing Get Real, Get Better across the fleet.