Garrison seeks improvement
Deputy Garrison Commander Don Moses addresses more than 30 managers and key employees March 18 at the U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan Off-site Strategic Planning Conference at K-16 Air Base near Seoul, Republic of Korea.

K-16 AIR BASE, Republic of Korea - Garrison officials met for a day-long strategic planning conference March 18 at the K-16 Community Activity Center. More than 30 managers and key employees discussed the road ahead and how to continue to provide quality services.

The purpose of the event was to increase team building, look at better business practices, review the Garrison strategic plan and view feedback from the Army Communities of Excellence team visit from November 2007.

"We want your participation," said Garrison Deputy Commander Don Moses. "The pace never slows. Your time is valuable and so is your participation."

The group discussed Microsoft Outlook strategies, looking for ways to use the program more effectively to schedule meetings, track tasks and use rules to manage e-mail.

"We also talked about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges," said Chet Witkowski, USAG-Yongsan management analyst. "This is a standard method of identifying the way ahead in corporate America."

Witkowski broke the group up into four teams to tackle each area during the exercise. He used a unique "silent brainstorming" method to gather people's ideas. Each person wrote down their responses on a yellow stick-it pad and stuck it to the wall anonymously.

"The silent brainstorming session has a couple of advantages," Witkowski said. "It allows everyone equal input into the analysis and it also gives a sense of anonymity because people aren't afraid of giving input."

Witkowski said after they put their ideas on the wall, the moderator combined them into groups and came up with four or five similar themes.

"We were able to gauge the magnitude of the input from the participants," Witkowski said. "It allowed us to concentrate our efforts on what matters most."

The mission of the garrison is "to manage Army installations to support readiness and mission execution and to provide equitable services and facilities, optimize resources, sustain the environment and enhance the well-being of the military community."

Garrison Commander Col. Dave Hall told the group about upcoming challenges with the Yongsan Relocation Plan.

"We have to bridge the gap from today to whenever this timeline is and provide uninterupted customer support, which is predictable, efficient and effective," Hall said. Hall praised the team for their efforts to make USAG-Yongsan a great Army community.

Last April, the garrison conducted a similar off-site strategic planning conference. The results from that meeting ended up in the 2007 Army Communities of Excellence submission. The Army selected USAG-Yongsan as one of four garrisons worldwide to compete for the ACOE title. The top prize in the contest is $2 million.

After reviewing the feedback from last year's evaluation team visit, Barry Robinson, plans, analysis and integration chief, told the group that Yongsan still has a good chance to win.

"Even though we are one of the best garrisons in the Army, we still need to look at the way ahead and plan improvements," Robinson said. "Strategic planning is the key to success in installation management."

Page last updated Mon March 24th, 2008 at 22:38