Embracing redefined organizational values

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Karen F. Beirne-Flint
  • AFOSI Command Chief

We are operating in a complex environment that is ever changing and our adversaries are now our peers.  As the U.S. military redefines itself to maintain its edge, AFOSI has adjusted the Command’s Strategic Plan to ensure we are in line with the Air Force and the Department of Defense. What will make this plan and AFOSI successful is the foundation of organization…our people; and it starts in Line of Effort 1: Developing an Exceptional Force. It is important to highlight the three organizational values from the plan: having a hunter mindset, trust and taking calculated risk. These three powerful changes to the way we think, act, and prioritize can drive us, our units and our Command to the next level. What does this mean to you and what can you do to help us get there? 

To hunt is “to pursue, to search determinedly for.” A mindset is an established set of attitudes held by someone.  In the Air Force, and in OSI, you are given the tools necessary to know your craft, problem solve with critical thinking and to persevere. Thus, a hunter mindset entails leveraging these tools to establish a determined attitude towards accomplishing AFOSI’s mission, at every level. This could also be defined as initiative or proactivity. This involves every member of the team working every facet of the job. From managing a program, working a personnel issue or conducting an operation, it is about going after it…not waiting for it to come to us or being satisfied with mediocrity. Be determined, deliberate and dedicated to excellence…every day and on all things. 

To trust is “to believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of.”  As in any relationship, trust comes first; it is the foundation for all we can do. It enables us to take that calculated risk and exercise a hunter’s mindset at any level. As a member of the team, we must build trust with our teammates and leadership. We do this through learning/knowing our jobs, being reliable, open, honest and looking out for our teammates. As leaders, we must define our expectations, provide feedback, exercise transparency, and grow an environment of open communication, ingenuity and innovation. We create harmony by supporting each other personally, professionally and technically. Always understand every one of us either contributes or depletes what makes our AFOSI family great.

Finally, risk is “exposure to danger, harm or loss.” We have all taken an oath to defend the Constitution and our Nation; and for many, it’s with our lives. However, the risk we are talking about is not as costly, but equally threatening. Depending on your position, this may look differently. The teammate sitting against the wall in the staff meeting who has a great idea, but will not speak up…the NCO who recognizes a better way to do business in the flight, but does not do anything about it…the Commander who wants to go out on a limb and execute an operation that is not a guaranteed jackpot, but has huge learning potential. The higher we climb, the bigger the risk. This is a risky business. We shouldn’t be afraid of failure; we should embrace failing forward. We do not grow from our successes…it is our failures that get us to the next level.

From the most boring daily tasks in the office to the most exciting case or operation AFOSI has ever conducted; it takes courage, skill, ingenuity and teamwork. When we develop an exceptional force, we ensure success in our LOEs and as a command!  It takes every one of us, working together, to make this organization great, to defeat our adversaries, and to give the Air Force, the Department of Defense and the American people The AFOSI We Need!