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CHIPS Articles: Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Innovation Think Tanks

Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Innovation Think Tanks
By Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Jessica Bryant, FRCMA, Virginia Beach - May 12, 2015
Modeled on the CNO’s Rapid Innovation Cell, Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic (FRCMA) is spearheading an innovation initiative that consists of two separate, but collaborative, teams: the Junior Innovative Think Tank (JITT) and Senior Innovative Think Tank (SITT).

The JITT focuses on junior Sailors (E1-E5) harnessing their fresh perspective and creativity. To balance this equation the SITT (E6 and above) will leverage their expertise and experience and focus on the practicality of project implementation. The JITT/SITT’s goal is to empower all Sailors and take advantage of their insight in solving tough problems.

This effort is being driven directly by senior command leadership, with Capt. Joseph Rodriguez, commanding officer (CO), and Capt. Keith Nixon, executive officer (XO), leading the charge.

At FRCMA, the CO has made it clear that deck plate leadership and innovation are at the top of his priority list. Paramount to success in this endeavor is creating an intrinsic cultural change. “Our Sailors are ready for this… I can see it in them every day when I speak with them,” Capt. Rodriquez said.

The leadership of FRCMA is developing a common set of guidelines for innovation cells (JITT/SITT) in order to keep teams focused and disciplined on project goals. The JITT will be tasked with providing innovative ideas to help solve readiness and personnel related issues. The SITT will take those ideas and, based on experience and knowledge of the organization and military structure, help develop an execution plan. The two will work alongside one another to improve the collaboration within the command.

Sailors from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply to the JITT/SITT. From “out-of-the-box” deep-thinkers seeking to make a difference in today’s Navy, to bold daredevils from troubling backgrounds eager to use their assertiveness in a more positive manner.

The JITT/SITT will foster an environment conducive to innovative thinking by streamlining the approval process, removing barriers, and taking full advantage of the pioneering spirit of the Naval workforce. There is no doubt that from this initiative leaders will emerge, being transformed into quality supervisors and mentors, propelling them forward as leaders of the Navy. This is an “all hands on deck” initiative and will help shape tomorrow’s Navy.

“Innovators are disruptive by their very nature, how to facilitate that productively in a military organization is more art than science. The lessons we are learning about engagement with leadership and exterior organizations will shape a concept, which has great potential to scale Enterprise wide,” said Aviation Electronics Technician First Class Richard Walsh.

For more information about U.S. Navy innovation, go to the DON Innovation website: http://www.secnav.navy.mil/innovation/Pages/Home.aspx

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Maintenance Policy & Programs John Johns, Commanding Officer FRCMA CAPT Joseph Rodriguez, Executive Officer FRCMA Keith Nixon, and the JITT/SITT team at Athena East.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Maintenance Policy & Programs John Johns, Commanding Officer FRCMA CAPT Joseph Rodriguez, Executive Officer FRCMA Keith Nixon, and the JITT/SITT team at Athena East.

AT1 Richard Walsh lecturing on TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) at Old Dominion University during Athena East.
AT1 Richard Walsh lecturing on TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) at Old Dominion University during Athena East.

AMC Juan Fernandez of the JITT Team at Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Norfolk discusses deck plate leadership during innovation training.
AMC Juan Fernandez of the JITT Team at Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Norfolk discusses deck plate leadership during innovation training.
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