YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - About 40 key staff members from U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan and the Installation Management Command-Korea Region attended a workshop Jan. 29 at the Yongsan Religious Retreat Center.

City Manager Fred Meurer of Monterey, Calif. led the workshop by explaining how his city operates similarly to an Army garrison.

"This is an opportunity to improve ourselves and to improve our community," said Deputy Garrison Commander Don Moses. "We need to learn together, come together, and have a free flow of information."

Monterey is home to two military organizations, the Defense Language Institute and the Naval Post Graduate School. Meurer, a retired Army colonel, is used to dealing with military officials.

"Everything about my job requires innovation, partnerships and "reinventing how we do our business," he told the gathering of staff directors, managers and analysts. "The purpose of my presentation is to give you ideas, skills and hopefully some inspiration."

Meurer encouraged the garrison staff to solicit customer feedback. "What you don't measure, you can't improve," he said.

The group listened intently to the presentation, and then participated in a brainstorming exercise to come up with ideas for education, infrastructure, strategic communication and energy issues.

"I think everyone who attended had the opportunity to benefit from an outside organization that has similar functions," said Dave Thomas, USAG-Yongsan Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security acting director. "We got some new perspective on innovation and motivation to improve our abilities and think outside the box."

Moses said the workshop was a valuable experience. He told the group that USAG-Yongsan would conduct a strategic planning conference soon to discuss ideas and the way ahead.

"We need to share information across the workforce," Moses said. "As we focus on these ideas, we will be in a better position to deliver on the Army Family Covenant."

The Army Family Covenant says, "We are committed to improving Family readiness by Standardizing and funding existing Family programs and services; Increasing accessibility and quality of health care; Improving Soldier and Family housing; Ensuring excellence in schools, youth services and child care; Expanding education and employment opportunities for Family Members."