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ASMC PDI 2005 general sessions.

"The Greatest Generation" was the theme of the spectacular opening ceremony, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War IL The Color Guard, consisting of veterans of that conflict, advanced as a narrator read a brief history of each of their war records; their pictures as young people in uniform displayed on monitors. All looked sharp in their old uniforms as they placed the colors in their respective holders. The Box Elder Choir sang our national anthem in a stirring tribute to service personnel, both past and present.

Thomas Modly, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Financial Management, issued both a salute and a challenge to attendees, saying that the work of the Department of Defense financial management community embodies the enduring strength of the United States Armed Forces. Speaking of the great changes occurring in the world, contrasting pre- and post-9/11 situations, and of the President's desire to see to democracy at work throughout the world, he extolled the Department of Defense abililty to adapt to the new environment by increasing its capability to make rapid, well-informed decisions. Of the future downward pressure on the Defense budget, he stressed that we must be better able to articulate future needs and link them with what we spend. He expressed confidence in our ability to meet challenges and excel in turbulent times.

Larry Winget, author of Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get a Life, gave an early morning, high-energy wake-up performance, stressing his personal philosophy that you are responsible for every facet of your own life. If you don't like it, he challenged, change it. Splashily dressed, he gave PDI attendees both barrels: "I'm not a motivational speaker. I'm an irritational speaker!"--meaning that you change your behavior only when you are uncomfortable. He further stated that most motivational speakers stress the importance of a positive attitude and feeling good about oneself. Not so, he declared; you can do the most for yourself and your life when you are the least pleased with your performance. Do what you say you are going to in the way you say you are going to and how you say you are going to!

Donna Shirley, Ph.D, author of Managing Martians and former NASA project manager, spoke on the process of managing creativity in an organization with the objective of producing both useful and innovative products. Using her experience in managing the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Rover team, she explained how she harnessed the element of creativity. She developed a process and a set of metrics that prevented creative ideas from being either too wild and unattainable or too mundane, linking the creative process to both budget and time deadlines. She used a similar process in the newly opened Science Fiction Hall of Fame, bringing the project to fruition much faster than expected with a team of the world's top science fiction figures.

Jennifer James, Ph.D, former teen-age barrel racing champion turned cultural anthropologist, spoke of the need for developing our cultural intelligence--the ability to recognize cultural myths, "unpack" them, examine them, and replace them with new information. She said that our culture is changing faster than that of any other generation, leading to great upheavals and social tension. However, the cultural shift is nearly complete. She also spoke of what she called "voodoo"--an illness created in the mind that cannot only make a person sick but can also kill. Racism, for example, is voodoo. Times of greatest change produce the greatest level of voodoo. Deja voodoo is a new system to fix what is wrong in the world. She spoke of visionaries who look into the future and change things, like Bill Gates. "Nerds will inherit the earth," she said. Among her many books, Thinking in the Future Tense expounds on these concepts.

Jack Groppel, Ph.D, author of The Corporate Athlete and a former research associate at the United States Olympic Training Center, explained how applying many of the techniques used for improving sports performance can help to improve individual performance in the workplace. Dr. Groppel had great success with world-class tennis professionals and says their improvement had nothing to do with practicing tennis skills, but with improved capacity emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. He realized there was applicability to fields other than sports. His message was not to try meeting expanding demands by spending more time working at the expense of your health and your family. If you are on a mission and you can't fail, Dr. Groppel says you need a life! You need to learn better habits. You must learn to manage your energy, not your time. Personal growth will follow energy investment.
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Title Annotation:General Sessions; American Society of Military Comptrollers
Publication:Armed Forces Comptroller
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2005
Previous Article:Navy/Marine Corps Service Day: transforming today to win tomorrow.
Next Article:Building high-performance organizations in the 21st century.

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