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The Defense Logistics Agency Leveraging Corporate Culture To Improve Bottom-Line Performance. DoD’s ONLY Logistics Combat Support Agency . . . Supporting the Military Services & Combatant Commanders for Over 40 Years. The DLA Enterprise. FY02 Sales/Services: $21.5B

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The Defense Logistics Agency

Leveraging Corporate Culture To

Improve Bottom-Line Performance

DoD’s ONLY Logistics Combat Support Agency . . . Supporting

the Military Services &

Combatant Commanders for Over 40 Years


The DLA Enterprise

FY02 Sales/Services: $21.5B

FY03 Sales/Services: $24B (est)

Scope of Business

  • #78 Fortune 500 - Above Lockheed Martin
  • Tops in Top 50 Distribution Warehouses
  • 1312 Weapon Systems Supported
  • 132.3M Annual Net Barrels Fuel Sold
  • $13.5B Annual Reutilizations/Disposals
  • 23.3M Annual Receipts & Issues
  • 22 Distribution Depots
  • 4,000 Contracts/Day
  • 30,000 Requisitions/Day
  • Supply: $18.7B Annually
  • Land/Maritime/Missiles: $2.3B
  • Aviation: $2.7B
  • Troop Support: $7.8B
  • Energy: $5.9B
  • Distribution: $1.4B
  • Other: $1.4B

Foreign Military Sales

  • Sales: $719M annually
  • Shipments: 670M annually
  • Supporting 24 Nations


  • 21,000 Civilians
  • 488 Active Duty Military
  • 618 Reserve Military
  • Located in 48 States/28 Countries


Business Units

DSC Richmond, VA -


Defense Distribution Center,

New Cumberland,


DSC Columbus, OH -

Maritime/ Land/ Missiles

Energy Support Center

Ft Belvoir, VA

DSC Philadelphia, PA -

Troop Support

Other Service Areas

Defense Automation & Production Service

Defense National StockpileCenter

Defense Logistics Information Service

Defense Reutilization & Marketing Service





Defense Logistics Agency

what we want dla to be tomorrow
What We Want DLA To Be Tomorrow…

FY 04-09


Light and Agile

Smaller Footprint

Knowledge Based

Integrated Processes

Service Oriented

Collaboration with Customers


Transformation Plan:

Business Systems Modernization

Strategic Distribution

Competitive Sourcing

Shift to Commercial Practices


Business Systems Modernization

  • Incorporating Commercial and Best Practices Via Commercial off-the-Shelf (COTS) Based Tools
  • Replacing 30-year old Legacy Information System with State of the Art Technologies
  • Major Reengineering Effort … From Functionally Stove-Piped Segments to Cross-Cutting Enterprise-Wide Processes

Projected FY 04-09 Savings = $399M

culture as a barrier

Culture As A Barrier

Culture can be a major barrier to the implementation of an organization’s strategic objectives


Ignoring the underlying cultural foundations means that the same old patterns will continue to show up


PMA, OMB & OPM Integrate Culture into Performance Goals

  • President’s Management Agenda -- Strategic Management
  • of Human Capital initiative integrates aspects of culture.
  • Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Scorecard --
  • Government needs toSustain High-Performing Workforce
  • that is Continually Improving Productivity.
  • Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Scorecard --
  • Performance Goals:
    • Agency Fosters a Climate that Values Diversity.
    • A Culture of Learning and Growth Exists.
    • Strategic Awareness.
culture a definition

Culture: A Definition

The shared set of assumptions, beliefs, values, and behavioral patterns of a group that guide that group’s perceptions, judgments, and actions

is like the operating system of the organization. It guides what people think and how they act and feel


culture is not


Culture is not

just an espoused list of values

developed by a group of


at an offsite

The IDEAL you desire

may be very different from the REALITY you live



  • Artifacts—concrete, visible expressions and overt behavior patterns
  • Norms--behavioral expectations
  • Conscious, values , beliefs , assumptions and ideology
  • Unconscious values , beliefs, assumptions and ideology
how dla is addressing culture
How DLA is Addressing Culture
  • First, we ensured Strategic Alignment:
  • Strategic Plan Goal 3: Create and Manage a Customer-Focused

Corporate Culture

  • Balanced Scorecard: Learning and Growth Quadrant

LG-2: Create and Manage a Customer-Focused Culture

LG-2A: Leadership Assessment: Modeling the Desired Culture

LG-2B: Employee Perceptions of the DLA Culture

  • Second, we identified the desired aspect of corporate culture
  • necessary to accomplish strategic goal (customer-focused).
  • Finally, we assessed the current culture based on the desired
  • culture and have “Culture Champions” conducting
  • organization development activities to close gaps.

DLA adopted a performance-based culture model/assessment/360-degree leader feedback tool containing the desired aspects of culture necessary to accomplish its strategic goal of Creating and Managing a Customer-Focused Corporate Culture


Employees assess the existing culture

  • Strategic Direction and Intent - Clear strategic intentions convey the organization's purpose, make it clear how everyone can contribute and "make their mark" in the industry.
  • This organization has a clear mission that gives meaning and direction to our work.
  • This organization has a long-term purpose and direction.
  • The strategic direction of this organization is unclear to me.
  • This organization has a clear strategy for the future.
  • Our organization's strategy is leading other firms to change the ways that they compete.

"Culture Champions" and Leaders Close the Gaps

  • Appointed Agency-/Activity-level “Culture Champions” helped publicize the desired aspects of culture and are helping their leaders to implement suggested action steps for tangible performance.
  • Transformation activities include organizational development and training needs necessary for culture change.
cultures are not homogeneous
Cultures are Not Homogeneous


or Departmental






“Culture and leadership are two sides of the same coin and neither can be understood by itself.”Edgar Schein

Culture and Leadership

Employees work together in teams

Employees are given a great deal of autonomy

Risk taking and creativity are encouraged

There is an atmosphere of trust

Change is embraced

Employee empowerment is high

Organization is customer-focused

Social relationships are encouraged

Procedures are flexible and informal


What Employees See

What Senior Management Believes


Denison Leadership Model

AdaptabilityPatterns…Trends… Market Place

Translating the demands of the business environment into action

“Are we listening to the marketplace?”


Defining a meaningful long-term direction for the organization

“Do we know where we are going?”

InvolvementCommitment..Ownership..Responsibility Building human capability, ownership, and responsibility

“Are our people aligned and engaged?“

ConsistencySystems…Structures…Processes…Defining the values and systems that are the basis of a strong culture

“Does our system create leverage?”

Every Leader Needs to Have Skills in These Four Areas!

These Four Concepts are Used to Define Leadership Skills


When it comes to establishing

or changing a culture the leader sets the tone