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BY Brock Dudley

Genius of the ‘AND’ for Transitioning JMOs

Hello, everyone! We’re a couple of days away from kicking off our June 2024 Career Conference. We have a great group of junior military officers ready to take the next steps toward launching their business careers! This Friday night, we’ll kick off our June 2024 Conference, the third of our five career conferences each year.

Before I jump in with an update on the types of positions and industries that are being represented at the June 2024 Career Conference, I wanted to take a minute to talk about a concept that I’ve read and learned about since my time at the United States Naval Academy. Since my time in Annapolis, I’ve tried to absorb and embody this concept to make it real and a natural part of my life and my way of thinking:

 “The Genius of the AND”

It was a concept that my College Soccer Coach introduced to my team years ago. As I sit back, read, and reflect on my college soccer team manual, I’ve tried to pull this through to business. An example of this in sports could be:

Typical View of a Player:

Hard-working OR Skillful?

Disciplined OR Creative?

Tough OR compassionate?

Genius of the ‘AND’ View:

Hard-working AND Technical!

Disciplined AND Creative!

Tough AND Compassionate!

Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great” and “Built to Last”, emphasizes the importance of embracing paradoxical thinking and avoiding the trap of “either/or” choices. He encourages leaders to pursue a “genius of the ‘and'” approach, where they seek to achieve multiple objectives simultaneously rather than making trade-offs between competing priorities. The “genius of the ‘and’ concept” isn’t tied to a single originator but rather represents a mindset articulated and embraced by various thinkers, leaders, and organizations over time.

In business and management, the ‘and’ concept has gained traction as organizations recognize the limitations of binary thinking in complex and dynamic environments.

How does this relate to hiring?

The “genius of the ‘and’ concept” in the context of hiring, refers to the idea of seeking candidates who possess a combination of qualities or skills rather than prioritizing one set of qualifications over another. It’s about recognizing that a candidate can have multiple strengths and experiences that make them valuable to a company, rather than adhering to a rigid checklist of requirements.

When applying the ‘and’ concept to hiring, recruiters and hiring managers look for candidates who not only meet the basic qualifications for a role but also bring additional attributes that can enhance the team or contribute to the company’s culture and goals. For example, instead of simply looking for candidates with extensive experience in a specific industry, a hiring manager might prioritize individuals who demonstrate a blend of leadership experience, adaptability, and an aptitude to learn.

This is where the junior military officer comes in.

By embracing the ‘and’ concept in hiring, organizations can build more diverse and dynamic teams that bring a variety of perspectives and strengths to the table. This approach can lead to greater innovation, creativity, and overall success for the company.

Complex positions

The companies coming to hire junior military officers have complex needs and requirements. Hiring high-quality candidates is essential for companies to build a strong, competitive, and sustainable workforce that can adapt to changing market dynamics, drive growth, and achieve organizational goals.

For example, the needs of a manufacturing leader have evolved due to changes in technology, globalization, and market dynamics. Here’s a comparison of what companies used to need in a manufacturing leader versus what they need now:

Former Needs of a Manufacturing Leader:

Technical expertise: In the past, manufacturing leaders were primarily valued for their deep technical knowledge and experience in specific manufacturing processes and equipment. They were expected to have a strong understanding of production systems and be able to troubleshoot technical issues on the factory floor.

Efficiency and cost control: Traditional manufacturing leaders were tasked with optimizing production processes to improve efficiency, reduce waste, and minimize costs. They focused on streamlining operations and implementing lean manufacturing principles to enhance productivity and profitability.

Hierarchy and command-and-control leadership: Historically, manufacturing leadership often followed a hierarchical structure with top-down control. Leaders were expected to make decisions and enforce compliance with established procedures and protocols.

Their man role was to coach, train, mentor, and develop their team in a day-to-day operation.

Current Needs of a Manufacturing Leader:

Adaptability and innovation: In today’s rapidly changing manufacturing landscape, leaders need to be adaptable and innovative. They must be able to embrace new technologies, processes, and business models to stay competitive and address evolving customer demands.

Strategic thinking and business acumen: Modern manufacturing leaders are expected to have a broader strategic perspective and a strong grasp of business fundamentals. They need to align manufacturing operations with overall corporate strategy, identify growth opportunities, and make data-driven decisions to drive sustainable business results.

Collaborative and inclusive leadership: Instead of relying solely on command-and-control leadership, companies now value leaders who can foster collaboration, empower employees, and build inclusive work cultures. Effective communication, emotional intelligence, and the ability to inspire and motivate teams are critical leadership traits in today’s manufacturing environment.

Digital literacy and technology integration: With the rise of Industry 4.0 technologies such as automation, robotics, IoT, and data analytics, manufacturing leaders need to be digitally literate and capable of leveraging technology to optimize operations, enhance agility, and drive continuous improvement.

Supply chain management and global perspective: Globalization has transformed manufacturing supply chains, making supply chain management a crucial aspect of manufacturing leadership. Leaders need to have a deep understanding of global markets, logistics, and supply chain dynamics to ensure resilience, mitigate risks, and seize opportunities in an interconnected world.

Efficiency and cost control: Today, leaders are tasked with optimizing production processes to improve efficiency, reduce waste, and minimize costs. They focused on streamlining operations and implementing lean manufacturing principles to enhance productivity and profitability

Overall, while technical expertise and operational efficiency remain important, the role of a manufacturing leader has expanded to encompass a broader set of skills and competencies in response to the evolving demands of the industry. This is one example of the Genius of the ‘AND’ concept.

Now, for a sampling of what’s in store for our June candidates below.

Sample Industries Include:

Robotics; Renewable Energy; Medical Devices; Heavy Machinery; Semiconductors; Healthcare; Professional Services; Communications; Building Materials; Construction; Specialty Vehicles; Food & Beverage; Packaging and many more.

Sample Positions Include:

Senior Financial Analyst; Assistant Area Plant Manager; IT Program Manager, Finance; Business Analyst/Project Manager;  Project Manager; Marketing Manager; Manufacturing Manager; Director, Supply Chain and Lean; Associate Brand Manager; Field Clinical Specialist; Process Engineer; Project Development Manager Engineering Supervisor; Plant Operations Leader; Senior Product Specialist; Logistics Supervisor; Facilities Supervisor; Regional Director of Operations; Strategic Account Manager; Senior Production Supervisor; Six Sigma Black Belt; Senior Manufacturing Engineer; Supply Chain Manager; Automation & Controls Engineer; Fast Track Associate Sales Representative; Customer Trainer; Change Project Manager; Account Manager; Value Stream Leader; and many more.

If you are considering a transition out of the military in 2024, 2025, or even 2026, now is the time to start learning about your options, putting your own “genius of the ‘AND'” into practice and getting a plan in place to reach your personal and professional goals.  never too late, and it’s never too early. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss your options. Cameron-Brooks has a 50-year track record of doing this.

Stay tuned for our Post-June 2024 Career Conference review! We will be back in two weeks.

Brock Dudley

Principal, Transition Coach


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