27 November 2009

Effective staff reports

I've been giving considerable thought to how to craft an effective staff or leadership report over the last few weeks. We place a great emphasis on reporting in the Auxiliary with little guidance on what a staff report should contain. An effective staff report needs to contain more than simply a record of accomplishments. I believe we can positively influence our staff to think in big picture terms by asking them to report on a broader set of activities.

I have identified six components of an effective staff report and I would appreciate critique and additions.

  1. Execution: What has been accomplished in my area of staff responsibility including my own efforts, those of my reporting staff and those of the membership?
  2. Expected execution: What accomplishments/missions are expected in the near term?
  3. Execution opportunities and planning: What accomplishments/missions are in the planning stages? What is on the horizon? What are our opportunities?
  4. Program development execution: What have I and my team done to build program capacity? Who has been trained? What partnerships have been developed? What materials have been developed or are now available?
  5. Program development planning: What is planned to build program capacity?
  6. Needs/gaps: What is missing that I need and/or needs leadership attention or action to resolve?

20 November 2009

Reflections on the Coast Guard Innovation Expo


I'm back in Portland after a very exciting four days in Virginia Beach for the Coast Guard Innovation Expo. There are always benefits to a hot wash after an operation, here are mine:

1) When holding a camera and the Headquarters Command Master Chief comes up to you and asks what you are the appropriate answer is not what I said, "I'm an Auxiliarist" (he knows that), but rather, "Master Chief I am whatever you want me to be!" Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Bowen, Master Chief Isherwood (the aforementioned CMC questioner) and our D13 Command Master Chief, Master Chief Dunn bestowed honorary Master Chief status on VADM Currier, our former District Commander and the current Chief of Staff. As PAC Paul Roskowski notes on the D13 Blog:
The title of Honorary Chief is bestowed on individuals by the Master Chief of the Coast Guard as a way to recognize people who have demonstrated a significant commitment to Coast Guard Chiefs, the Chief's Mess and the enlisted corps.

1a)  Being Semper Paratus applies when at a social event too.

2) The three D13 booths, External Affairs, Citizen's Action Network and Web Resources each included Auxiliarists on the team. We have an extraordinary working relationship here in D13 which is, in itself, innovative.

3) The Commandant is even more impressive in person.

4) It really makes a difference to be there in person. The Expo is a great opportunity to meet the current leadership of the Coast Guard and also the officer and enlisted leadership. Some of the best conversations were had on the bus as I found myself seated next to outstanding members of our community who I would never have otherwise met.

5) We all innovate in ways large and small. I'd like to make the effort to identify at least one innovative project to submit for consideration next year and it would be great to see two or more of you to Tampa for the 2010 Expo.

I have a number of additional videos and photos I'll post over the weekend including 12 Guardian Innovator videos we did highlighting just a few of the many innovations at the Expo.

17 November 2009

2009 USCG Innovation Expo Field Reports

Report 5: I had a great day discussing social media with fellow Guardians I had previously met only in the virtual world. Participants included (by Twitter handle) @xpconcept, @petermello, @benjaminstrong, @katiehood, @pastinson, @simplydan, @MVittone, @uscgd13 and many more. You can see some of the highlights here: PodcampUSCG We've a number of initiatives that will emerge in the coming days and weeks including a Wiki, a code of conduct for Guardians when participating in social media unofficially (because there is one when participating in the course of our duties), plans for PodcampUSCG2010 and an ongoing community between now and the 2010 Podcamp. If you are interested in social media and the Coast Guard please join the conversation.

Report 4: At PodcampUSCG
I'm participating in the inaugural PodcampUSCG hosted here at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. It is great to meet so many fellow Guardians and associated shipmates who I have only met online.

Ben Strong of AMVER (if you are not following AMVER on Twitter, Blogger and/or Facebook you should).

Report 3: Sunrise opening day

The sun rises over the water here, go figure.

Report 2: From Virginia Beach

First video from Virginia Beach kicking off the Innovation Expo

Report 1: Intro and PDX
I'm on my way to Virginia Beach for the 2009 Coast Guard Innovation Expo. I'll be posting field reports during my trip so you can join me "virtually".

Rather than a new post each time I will update this post with notes and new videos so check back from time to time between now and Thursday.

[Update - Intro Video]


15 November 2009

Disaster Recovery Working Group

If you have been impacted by a Federally declared disaster or have been deployed to assist with disaster recovery, this is your opportunity to voice your thoughts, insights, and observations to assist in the development of a better national strategy for an effective approach to long term disaster recovery.

On October 28, 2009, the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the launch of - a new interagency website that will allow federal disaster recovery officials to solicit public comments from state, local, and tribal partners and the public.

The full text of the press release can be found at:

The Questionnaire to Strengthen Disaster Recovery in Our Nation can be found at:

Disaster Recovery Working’s home page is located at:

06 November 2009

Remembering Rescue 1705

Shipmates, Please take a few moments today to remember our seven shipmates and two Marines.

This video is a moving tribute to 9 brave souls.

03 November 2009

Why the Coast Guard Needs CAN

Shipmates, This is the slide deck Pat Easton is using in his outreach to develop the Citizen's Action Network. As mentioned previously Pat can use help in many aspects of this program.