Marion Whicker, Army Materiel Command  executive deputy to the commanding general, give comments on the first day of the Organic Industrial Base Leadership Course at Redstone Arsenal, Sept. 19
Marion Whicker, Army Materiel Command executive deputy to the commanding general, give comments on the first day of the Organic Industrial Base Leadership Course at Redstone Arsenal, Sept. 19 (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Leaders from across the Army’s Organic Industrial Base are taking two weeks to focus on how to build sustainable systems and processes that will maintain the OIB into the future.

Army Materiel Command is hosting cohort three of the OIB Leadership Course here Sept. 19-30, bringing nearly 20 leaders from nine site across the country.

“You are here this week to network, learn and ask questions,” said Marion Whicker, AMC executive deputy to the commanding general. “Use this opportunity to build relationships and grow in your understanding.”

The course participants ranged in leadership positions at their sites from the commander, to the director for public works and the commander’s executive officer.

“Everyone of you in this room are leaders and everyone has an impact on the success of your OIB’s mission,” Whicker said. “You need to all take what you learn and build and develop your teams. Just because someone has been on your team for years doesn’t mean you shouldn’t develop them, so often the type A great worker is told they are doing great, but not told how they can do even better.”

Whicker highlighted the importance of the Army’s OIB – 23 depots, arsenals and ammunition plants that manufacture and reset equipment, generating readiness and operational capability throughout Army formations – and how the OIBs support Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth’s six objectives.

“The first objective, to put the Army on a sustainable strategic path, that underlines the importance of our OIB modernization efforts,” she said about the Army’s 15-year OIB Modernization Implementation Plan. “That ties directly to objective three as well, continuing operations to be resilient in climate change, with updating our installations and facilities.”

The course focused on three major themes: Thinking Like a CEO; Modernizing Processes and the Workforce; and Building a High Function Organization. The course leader, Shane Yount, said these two weeks were a chance for the participants to think about their leadership legacy and how to leave a lasting impact on their organizations.

“It’s not about managing by personality. Many people lead by proximity, persuasion or positional authority, and while those drive performance they aren’t sustainable,” said Yount. “Instead, we want to talk about creating a culture of clarity, connectivity and consistency. When you do that, you implement lasting processes that are not negotiable.”

The two-week course includes lessons on change management, understanding good systematic design, communication processes and two site visits to industry and Anniston Army Depot.