Worldwide CMC Conference

25-26 JUNE 2001

I'm going to try to give not only a synopsis, but also provide a little more detail on what happened during the two days of the WWCMC conference in Dallas.

The overall topic of the conference was "Building the CPO Mess of the 21st Century." It was an opportunity to look towards the future.



The conference opened with the MCPON talking about the purpose. He mentioned that it was going to give us a tool to add to our toolbox. He also said that we would be seeing a new reading list coming out. This one will be based on learning about leadership and management techniques. Although civilians have written most, they do have some theories and practices that we can apply in our day-to-day work.
Some of the books mentioned specifically were:
THE ART OF LEADERSHIP by Max DePree (CNO's suggested reading)
LEADING CHANGE - John Kotter (CNO's suggested reading)
WHO MOVED MY CHEESE by Spencer Johnson
PSYCHOLOGY OF WINNING by Dennis Wakely (CNO's suggested reading)

Secondly, the MCPON spoke about goals and sending a clear message that this conference was the beginning of an investment in growing our CPO mess. We need to build a more agile and adaptive mess. He also indicated that we would receive a tool to use in the process of building the CPO mess you'd like to see.

A question that has come up time and again is "Will the wardroom support this?" That question was immediately answered by CNO who was the next guest speaker.


CNO initially spoke about what our two main goals should be as CPOs:
1. Dedication and commitment to mission accomplishment
2. Growth and development of people.

The CNO stated he was committed to us to develop into key players to take the Navy where it needs to be in the 21st century.
He also spoke about alignment - both in the organization and communication. He indicated that there would be a message out in July to describe this in better terms. He went on to say that it's time to have one Navy instead of two different ways of doing business depending on which fleet you are in. He continued talking about alignment with the need for senior leaders to define and refine requirements.
He moved on to talk about one of his priorities - quality of service (which includes quality of life and quality of work). As an example, he talked about housing and indicated that every CPO should have the resources and ability to own a home (their stake in America).
He went on to talk about training and how difficult it is today to change the training process. As an example, he talked about his command at fleet training and the high attrition rate of OT's from school. There was a 39% attrition rate of OT's and after some investigation they determined it was in a module on Boolean algebra. The investigation went further to determine the requirement for Boolean algebra after the Sailor went to the fleet. They talked with those who had graduated and found that none were using Boolean algebra. So they made the decision to drop the Boolean algebra module and the attrition rate dropped to 8%.

CNO went on to talk about winning the war for people despite the propensity to enlist declining. He discussed the campaign plan of recruiting, retention and attrition and discussed that we are at 59.6% 1st term eligible reenlisting.
The discussion of retention also focused on messages we're sending and the importance and power of using self-talk. - PSYCHOLOGY OF WINNING

He next talked about covenant leadership (THE ART OF LEADERSHIP) and his study of GEN X/ GEN Y Sailors. What he's found is that they want a chance to make a difference. They don't want to be "taken care of." Using covenant leadership, subordinates and leaders make promises to each other. The sailors that we receive from RTC and A-schools are not "full up rounds." So we as leaders, we must provide constant opportunities for growth and development. Training must become part of mission accomplishment. Leaders need to provide training and Sailors need to be held accountable to achieve the objectives the training provides.

He went on to say he spent his first year as CNO working on his priorities. He intends to spend his second year working on improving training.


VADM Gunn has been tasked with the Executive Review of Naval Education. They are looking at a "Revolution in Training" to include:
Combat Readiness
Sailor learning
Seize the Opportunities
Learn and Help Sailors Grow

They have been tasked with an independent study and are providing recommendations to the Navy. Although the decision regarding the recommendations from this study have not yet been made, some of the things they looked at were:

Today's workforce and the propensity of young people to switch jobs. Reasons why employees stay with their employer, that we as a Navy could duplicate are:
Technical training (ranked 1 of 10)
Employability training (ranked 2 of 10)
Tuition reimbursement (ranked 4 of 10)
Company support (ranked 6 of 10)

They also studied retention of Sailors (regardless of Zone) to stay in the Navy and found:

College credits/Percentage retained

Recruits today say they are coming in for:

Ideally, the goal would be to provide a continuous life-long education process.Some of the tools to help this include personal portable web pages, an "ask the chief" web page (similar to Ask Jeeves), Electronic Training records.


The next topic of the conference was a film from the Stanford Lecture Series. The speaker in the film was Robert Kriegle, a sports psychologist. The film focused on how to get rid of "sacred cows."

Some "sacred cows" mentioned during the film were: Paperwork If it doesn't improve quality, or customer service - It moos!

Working longer, harder, does not necessarily improve quality. It may, in fact, inhibit quality, innovation and productivity.


Dr. David Cooperrider used the afternoon to provide a tool to add to our toolbox. As Dr. Cooperrider said, Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is "a positive revolution in change."

He discussed how AI could be used to build the future you want to create.
The 5 principles of AI are:
Constructionist Theory
Principle of Simultaneity
Open Book

He went on to discuss the "Positive" principle that included
Positive Image = Positive Actions
Placebos & positive health
Positive Emotional Intelligence
Imbalanced "Inner Dialogue"
Rise and fall of culture
Affirmative capability

Dr. Cooperrider discussed "good management" and how alignment of strengths makes weaknesses irrelevant. Then he went into techniques used in problem solving versus the techniques used in AI:

Problem Solving - Appreciative Inquiry
Identify problems - Appreciate "What is" - "What gives life?"
Conduct root cause analysis - Imagine "What might be"
Brainstorm solutions & analyze - Determine "What should be"
Develop action plans - Create "What will be"

He went on to discuss deficit based change and its unintended consequences.
- Much lamented fragmented responses
- Slow - puts attention on yesterday's causes
- No new positive images of the future
- Visionless voice ….. fatigue
- Weakened fabric of relationships and defensiveness ….. negative culture
- Out of sync with the need for rapid change and building positive cultures.

He went on to define deficit language and used a number of terms. A few mentioned were:
- "Yes" men
- Unfavorable
- Trouble report
- Customer complaints

The book APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY, Collaborating for Change was provided to all attendees. It was written by Dr. Cooperrider and Diana Whitney.

More information can be found on this at Additionally, the Navy Leadership Summit in the fall will use AI tools.

The Doctor went on to say a lot of AI is based on Peter Drucker's theory of Leadership from the future (there to here). Good organizations have a 2 to 1 ration of positive to negative self-talk.



The MCPON ran the second day. Talking about a change in direction and stating that AI is a beginning of an investment (giving us a new tool) and investing in people who can make the difference. Ultimately the tools he discussed should help us become more effective leaders.
Using AI - the mess can set its eye on the future and determine what kind of mess we want to be.

The three items we discussed were:
How do we define CPO
How we conduct training this year
An approach to initiation.

The next pages will provide core competencies and learning objectives for our new chiefs.

2001 CPO Terminal Learning Objectives

CPOs are enlisted warriors who lead and manage the Sailor resources of the Navy they serve. As such, CPO's are responsible for, have authority to accomplish, and are held accountable for:
Leading Sailors and applying their skills to tasks that enable mission accomplishment for the U.S. Navy.
Developing enlisted and junior officer Sailors.
Communicating the core values, standards and information of our Navy that empower Sailors to be successful in all they attempt.
Supporting with loyalty the endeavors of the chain of command they serve and their fellow Chief Petty Officers with whom they serve.

Core Competency 1
Leading Sailors and applying their skills to tasks that enable mission accomplishment for the U.S. Navy.
After the training the new CPO will be able to:
1. Construct a training regimen leading to on-time qualification (i.e. warfare, watch station, advancement) of the Sailors assigned to their charge.

2. Employ techniques to maintain career development, high retention, and low attrition through the use of every available leadership tool (e.g. CIPM, PDB or CDB, etc.)

3. Describe and be able to explain to subordinates the role of their work center/division in the accomplishment of their command's and the Navy's mission.

4. Create and execute an effective work plan for their work center/division.

Core Competency 2
Developing enlisted and junior officer Sailors.
After the training the new CPO will be able to:
1. Conduct comprehensive Professional Development, Sailor of the Quarter and Chiefs' (Disciplinary) Review Boards & counseling sessions.

2. Demonstrate a working knowledge of all sections of the enlisted service record & performance summary record.

3. Describe the duties of the division officer as identified in SORM (OPNAVINST 3120.32 Article 361) and the responsibilities of commissioned officers as identified in Title 10 USC.

4. Prepare a division training plan for implementation in the command's Planning Board for Training, to include long & short range training (in-rate or professional) to prepare their personnel for advancement or qualification.

5. Familiarize enlisted personnel & junior officers with resource programs that are vital to achieving Sailors' success, such as:
- Exceptional Family Member Program
- Fleet & Family Support Center
- Navy & Marine Corps Relief Society
- Navy College Program
- Lifelines

Core Competency 3
Communicating the core values, standards and information of our Navy that empower Sailors to be successful in all they attempt.
After the training the new CO will be able to:
1. Explain the content of:
- Navy's Mission Statement
- U.S. Navy Regulations (Chapter 11, with emphasis on Art. 1131)
- Uniform Code of Military Justice
- U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations
- Navy SORM (Emphasis on chapter 1)

2. Discuss the importance of Navy Core Values, their application in daily life, & the impact on Sailors' long-term well-being.
a. Explain the use of Navy Core Values to enforce the development of junior Sailors.
b. Conduct a lecture on a significant event in our Navy's history (using the MCPON Reading List) relating it to our Core Values and how they apply to today's Navy.

3. Educate Sailors on the critical importance of Navy policies on:
- Fraternization
- Harassment
- Violence
- Substance Abuse

4. Inform, include, and involve Navy spouses and families in the Sailor's command and career so as to improve the Sailor's well-being and retention.

Core Competency 4
Supporting with loyalty the endeavors of the chain of command they serve and their fellow Chief Petty Officers with whom they serve.
After the training the new CO will be able to:

1. Describe their responsibility to support the CPO Mess and the command in the following areas:
- Mess function and operation
- Contributions to the command's, mission, organization and goals.

2. Provide constructive feedback up and down the chain of command (e.g. ways of making command policy more effective, explaining the need to conduct an unpleasant but required duty)

3. Describe the steps to plan and execute a ceremony such as
- Awards Presentation
- Reenlistment
- Promotion or advancement
- Retirement
- Change of Command
- Dining In/Out

Discussions about initiation included:

Each year this is a period not only for the new Chiefs, but an opportunity to help the CPO mess refocus, renew and revitalize itself. It brings us back on track and is probably the reason why we continue to have a mess today.

The way we conduct this requires thought and we need to continue to move in the direction that we have been for years to continue to make the period more meaningful.

Some messes have already evolved to making their actual initiation day more of a challenge, such as Battle Stations or Seven Seas. It should allow us to test our new CPO's and let them demonstrate what they've learned, be fun for all, spirit-building, reinforce camaraderie, and be held in such a manner that we could invite the local TV station.

The MCPON then asked us to pretend for a moment we were CNO, and had paygrades E1-E9 in the same uniform. He's decided to set aside the Top 3 paygrades as Sailor resource managers - what process would be used to help them transition to their new uniform? Considering this transformation process should include today's core values, how would you design an initiation today? CNO likes to say "Do what makes you proud and be proud of what you do." Does the process we've used in recent history do that?

When we hear that we can't change, this is the way we've always done it, and you actually track down the history of CPO initiation, you find that CPO initiation action began sometime in the late 50's, early 60's. If you've invited a retired WWII vet to one of your initiations, you were probably surprised at their reaction - imitation was not happening then.

Other topics included:
Worldwide CMC net for all CMC's, COB's, and collateral duty CMCs is being designed. It will include a phonebook of all that you would update upon relief, a chat room, notes from Force and Fleets, and Good News stories.

CO/CMC relationships. There are 3 types:
- CO and CMC work extremely well together
- CO and CMC have a good relationship, but it doesn't click every time. CO works with XO more than CMC
- CO and CMC don't work together at all.

Developing the CPO Mess
We work hard to get E6's into the CPO mess, yet most of us don't nearly as hard developing our mess - helping our Chiefs become Senior Chiefs and our Senior Chiefs become Master Chiefs. We need to develop formal plans to systematically grow Senior Chiefs and Master Chiefs. Time should be devoted to providing more tools to them and develop courses on military requirements, management theory, that also provide college credit opportunity.