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    Geurts Tells NUWC Division, Keyport to go Ahead and Scrape the Barnacles

    KEYPORT, WA, UNITED STATES

    08.21.2019

    Story by Nathanael T. Miller 

    Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport

    KEYPORT, Wa. (Aug. 21, 2019) – Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition James Geurts told the workforce at Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, Keyport they had his permission to “scrape the barnacles” during an all-hands call Aug. 21.
    Geurts visited NUWC Division, Keyport during a tour of Navy facilities in the Pacific Northwest as he looked for ways to break down barriers to innovation and efficiency.
    “Everything I think about in terms of our organization is how to enable us to deliver for Sailors and Marines,” said Geurts. “When I think about what’s important, I really focus on mission outcome. Delivering doesn’t just mean new stuff, it means sustainment, it means technology, it means experimentation.”
    Geurts compared large organizations to large ships in the water. He said the ship starts out moving fast, but, over time, barnacles attach to the hull and slow it down. In an organizational sense, he said these barnacles are mostly self-inflicted obstacles such as old processes, bureaucratic systems that retard innovation and institutionalized ways of thinking that incentivize people to maintain a status quo.
    “You are authorized to scrape barnacles,” Geurts told the NUWC Division, Keyport workforce.
    Geurts said he sees future success in changing the culture from focusing on compliance-based thinking to outcome-based thinking. He stressed that speeding up the work of delivering to the Sailors and Marines does not mean being careless or reckless, but rather setting the right priorities in order to meet the mission requirements of the fleet.
    “We have more work in the Navy than we know how to get done,” Geurts said. “Where we’re burning calories on things that don’t add value, that’s the first place to cut.”
    Geurts also encouraged the NUWC Division, Keyport team to exercise “bold humility” when confronting challenges and looking at ways to increase efficiency in delivering to the fleet.
    “Be humble enough to know when you don’t know the answer, but also be bold enough to not just sit back and live in a system that doesn’t work for you,” said Geurts.
    Geurts said his personal mission is to break down obstacles so the Navy’s workforce can move forward with innovation, development, sustainment and delivery to the Sailors and Marines. He said he wants people to question why things are the way they are, and to be humbly bold enough to experiment with new ideas, new technologies and new processes because this is the only way the Navy will be able to continue to meet the challenges of the future.
    “If we don’t challenge ourselves to do something different, we’ll just be having the same conversation ten years from now,” Geurts said.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.21.2019
    Date Posted: 08.23.2019 17:52
    Story ID: 337146
    Location: KEYPORT, WA, US 

    Web Views: 312
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    Geurts Tells NUWC Division, Keyport to go Ahead and Scrape the Barnacles