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Many of these administrative and operational tasks put the RSO in the position of a middle-man, with no actual authority on the related issue. Even for experienced personnel the task of managing – either directly or as an intermediary – all of the oversight and administrative requirements for a detachment of 12-15 personnel can be daunting. For the less experienced the task is utterly overwhelming. For those that occupy the RSO billet due to an actual or perceived notion that they were assigned punitively there is very low motivation to put forth more than the bare minimum of effort. The tendency is for RSOs to become reactive, waiting for input from detachment leadership before engaging in any specific action. Once this trend begins it becomes nearly impossible for the RSO to get ahead of the cycle and become proactive, leaving detachments to focus on many of the operational tasks with which they should expect staff support. Combined with the issues of rapid turnover and insufficient training and experience the effect is an RSO that does little more than staff paperwork.These underlying problems clearly needed to be addressed; however, these issues are not in any way related to the personnel organization. These particular problems needed to be solved through training and, as suggested by Kotter in Leading Change, through proper alignment of Human Resources functions with the billets – i.e.: creating incentives for superior performers to want to occupy the RSO position as a method of career development rather than using assignment as a way for management to express displeasure with performance. (Kotter, 2012)
What Kotter describes as “establishing a sense of urgency,” Newman refers to as an “awakening,” where “an institution evokes the need to acknowledge… the change that is needed to set and achieve certain goals.” (Kotter; Newman, 2007) Unfortunately, in this instance the commander did not correctly assess the underlying cause of what he perceived as a critical shortfall. This, in turn, caused problems in creating urgency for change and in putting together the necessary “guiding coalition” for the proposed changes. (Kotter)b. Clear Articulation of Expectations.A separate topic, but closely related to problem identification, is leadership’s ability to provide a clear vision for the organization. In his article on managing change, Marshall refers to the necessity of a, “well-conceived vision of the organization,” in order to ensure success of the change endeavor. (Marshall, 1998) While he was writing in the context of sales organizations the point is valid universally for change management. Expectations of the proposed changes need to be clearly articulated from the leaderto his senior staff in order to secure their buy-in. The senior staff and senior management (not necessarily the same individuals) then need to begin work on strategic plans for implementation and action plans that must be clearly communicated to subordinate managers and workers.