Bob Worsham Focusing on Private Sector Logistics Education

Bob Worsham

Bob Worsham

I recently retired from Boeing with over thirty years’ experience in logistics programs for major weapons systems. I led a new business organization that shapes, markets, and captures new business for Integrated Logistic Support for Boeing and non-Boeing platforms. Throughout my career, I also held positions in Program Management and Business Development and I am a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.

I first became familiar with the IDB in 2005 when I was nominated to complete the LOGTECH MBA degree (now known as IU-UNC LogMBA).I was intrigued by IDB’s mission to deliver logistics education for the government and the private sector in a world class academic environment. IDB selects leading professors from top academic institutions as well as government and industry experts from across the country to create a dynamic and practical curriculum. Participants see both short-term and long-term benefits from their education experience.

I knew when I retired I really wanted to do something I was passionate about, so I joined the IDB to strengthen their “Shoulder-to-Shoulder” commitment for government and the private sector to collaborate. It is particularly powerful for the private sector to form bonds and partnerships through these collaborative interactions as they can grow over the years into business opportunities.

I am truly looking forward to further developing IDB’s relationships within the private sector and identifying more opportunities to create education solutions for defense-focused corporations.

IDB-logo.square

Contact Bob Worsham via email:
Worsham.CTR (at) IDB.org

Revamped Education for Crisis Response

CSER LogoThe Center for Stabilization and Economic Reconstruction (CSER), is announcing a change in name and curriculum for its signature education program for crisis response. CSER is dedicated to creating collaborative education programs for post-conflict and post-disaster responders. Its revamped course, Cooperation in Stability Operations (CSER-CSO), aims to improve cooperation during times of crisis among public, private, military, and volunteer sectors.

Executive Director of CSER Ambassador (Ret.) David C. Litt crafted the name and curriculum changes in response to feedback from program alumni. CSER-CSO, formerly named Logistics Cooperation for Stabilization and Reconstruction (LCSR), will examine cooperation among logisticians and non-logisticians, as well as between relief and recovery responders. The course underscores the importance of effective cooperation along three concurrent continuums:

  • “Functional”:           Strategists-planners-operators-logisticians
  • “Cultural”:               Public/private, civilian/military, domestic/international
  • “Temporal”:           Relief-rehabilitation-reconstruction, or response-recovery

Litt said he has received extremely encouraging feedback regarding the changes.

“Our alumni, from different organizational cultures, have applauded the new dimensions we will explore – namely how strategy, planning, operations, and logistics are inextricably connected, and probing the seam between immediate relief and longer-term recovery. I was grateful that those who had attended LCSR wrote admiringly about that experience as well. They avowed that the combination of old and new will be even more valuable for responders in the future.”

The debut of CSER-CSO will take place April 12-17, 2015 with additional offerings August 23-28, 2015 and December 13-18, 2015. Visit the program website or contact Ms. April McGill, Senior Client Relations Manager, at McGill@IDB.org for more information!

Highlights from the 2014 UNC-IDB Strategic Studies Fellows Program

The UNC-IDB Strategic Studies Fellows Program (SSFP) recognized its third class of graduates with a graduation ceremony on July 25, 2014 at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC. The details of the ceremony were published in our press release, along with information on SSFP and the Fellows’ Capstone Team Project. The 49 graduates (a number twice as large as in the years before) included Army Majors, Captains, Warrant Officers, NCOs, and Civilian Strategists. While they certainly enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate the journey they had completed together, it is hard to determine if the graduation event was the climax. The five weeks spent together on campus were filled with so many high points many said they were not ready for the experience to end.

Hitting The Ground Running

UNC-IDB SSFP 2014 Odierno

Photo: IDB 2014.

The first week of school is generally regarded as the easy week or the “calm before the storm”; this was not true for SSFP. Top IDB faculty used the first week of class to build the foundation of the strategic thinking and national security curriculum.  That Friday they were granted a unique opportunity to talk candidly with one of their own. On June 27th U.S. Army’s 38th Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno held an intimate conversation with the students. He spoke to them about the development of the force and how promotional boards are conducted, a topic very important to them as the Army faces downsizing. He stressed how critical education will be as they move forward and work to maintain readiness with small numbers.  Students were able to ask General Odierno questions about current issues, such as regional alignment, and the rationale behind Army leadership’s decisions.

 The Ties That Bind Us

As part of laying a solid foundation, students spent the first Saturday of the program engaged in academic and service activities outside of the classroom. These events facilitated extraordinarily strong, life-long bonds within the 2014 class of Fellows which proved critical to their success in the program.

UNC-IDB SSFP 2014 Students at the Guilford Courthouse Battle Ride.

Photo: IDB 2014.

Twenty-nine students attended the Guilford Courthouse Battle Ride led by the Chair of the Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense at UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. Wayne Lee and drove down to Greensboro, NC early Saturday morning to walk the trails of the historic Revolutionary War battle and understand the significance of the 1781 Battle at Guilford Courthouse.  With fresh perspectives from the week’s academic sessions, the students recognized the decisions made on the battlefield impacted the greater strategies of both sides during the Revolutionary War.

 

UNC-IDB SSFP 2014 Students at the Jim Wall Challenge Course.

Photo: IDB 2014.

The remaining twenty students traveled to the campus of North Carolina State University to conduct a service project at the Jim Wall Challenge Course.  In partnership with the U.S. Veteran Corps, the Fellows assisted in beautification projects for a Wounded Warrior Project event this fall at the course.  Service to others is a crucial component of being a great leader and these students were given the opportunity to not only give back, but to give back to their own military community.

 Corporate Visits – Charlotte

The IDB is in a unique position in that its able to bring together the worlds of defense and business.  This is what sets the UNC-IDB SSFP curriculum apart – the emphasis on developing not only the strategic thinking but also the executive skills of these young leaders.  For the past three years, the Fellows have traveled to local North Carolina based private sector organizations to hear more on how the private sector overcomes similar challenges.  This year, the SSFP group traveled to Charlotte, NC to meet with two large organizations – Duke Energy and the Carolina Panthers (a National Football League team).

UNC-IDB SSFP 2014 Students at Duke Energy

Photo: IDB 2014.

At Duke Energy, the students met with the senior risk management team, including the Chief Risk Officer, the Vice President of Emerging Technology, the Vice President of Project Management and Construction, and the Director of Enterprise Preparedness Services.  The leaders provided the private sector perspective on risk management and various other components of the business world.  However, the students most appreciated the candidness of the conversation. The discussion ranged from the challenges that the Fortune 250 company was facing to managing a work-life balance to speaking about the facets of a successful career.

UNC-IDB SSFP 2014 Students at the Carolina Panthers' Bank of America Stadium.

Photo: IDB 2014.

The positions The Fellows hold within the Army require them to develop and guide the younger talent in their units towards a successful path.  Therefore, the IDB arranged a meeting with a professional sports team whose focus is to do just that (and also win football games).  The students met with the President of the Carolina Panthers, Mr. Danny Morrison, and he spoke on the topics of leadership and talent management. The visit with the Panthers concluded with an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the locker room, team meeting room, the suites, and other facilities in the Bank of America Stadium.  The core takeaways from the afternoon were the importance of developing and taking care of young talent as well as taking care of the individuals that support and motivate the talent – like the Panthers fans and the greater Panthers community.

Connecting the Dots

During the last week of the program, the Fellows had the opportunity to speak in person with Pulitzer Prize Winner Mark Mazzetti about his New York Times Bestseller, The Way of the Knife. This book was assigned as a pre-course reading assignment to launch the students into the course material and subject areas. The book discusses the blurred lines between the U.S. Military and the U.S. Intelligence Community in the battlefield. The strategic implications of this blurriness were discussed both in and outside of the classroom. The open conversation with Mazzetti included students questioning the author’s perspectives as a journalist on strategic national security issues and Mazzetti reciprocally asking the Fellows’ perspectives on the same issues and the way ahead. This event allowed students to bring together all the theories, concepts, and debates central to SSFP’s national security decision-making curriculum.

Broad Horizons

The July 25th graduation ceremony served as an opportunity to acknowledge all of the students’ hard work and growth over the previous five weeks. At the end of her time in Chapel Hill, one student summarized her experience by saying, “we were encouraged to go as far as possible and were not put ‘in a box’ regarding our potential thinking processes” We hope the creative thinking drawn from the non-traditional, low-threat learning environment will continue to drive them as they advance through their careers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

SSFP-logo.square
For more information on UNC-IDB SSFP,
please contact Zebrina Warner
(919-969-8008, warner@idb.org)

Data, Gut, Watson, and Angelina Jolie

The fourth and last of the Data vs. Gut panel series took place at the 2014 North Carolina Federal Advanced Technologies Review (NCFATR) conference on June 5. Scott Dorney, Executive Director of the North Carolina Military Business Center invited the Institute for Defense and Business (IDB) and SAS to give a repeat performance of the original Data vs. Gut panel discussion last fall.

The discussion was moderated by IDB president, Mark Cramer, and featured Karen Terrell, VP of SAS Federal and former IDB Executive Fellow, Rear Admiral Erroll Brown (USCG ret.).June 5, 2014 NCFATR Panel "Data vs. Gut"

Data

In every panel discussion we’ve hosted on Data vs. Gut, the importance of data leads the discussion. Good data is critical to successful analytics. It’s not surprising that this comes up over and over since there are many examples of bad data leading to disastrous decisions with disastrous consequences. In doing analysis, be mindful of:

  • Data quality: How accurate is your data? Accurate data analysis is only as good as the data put in. A lot of data is still entered manually and is incomplete or incorrect.
  • Timeliness: How important is timely data in your analysis? Time-critical decisions depend on easy access to the most up-to-date data.
  • Data relevancy: What data do you need to solve your problem? You don’t have to analyze every bit of data you have access to. What data is relevant to your situation?

Brown had some observations and suggestions.

  • Problem: Clearly understand the problem you are trying to solve.
  • Data: Is the data right and is it the right data? Make sure you know your data. Make sure it is accurate and timely. And, make sure the data you are using in your analysis is relevant to the problem you are trying to solve.
  • Tools: Get the right analytic tools for the job. One size does not fit all. You have to have the right algorithms, or “algos” too.

Evolution of Data and Analytics

June 5, 2014 NCFATR Panel "Data vs. Gut"Terrell shared with the audience her observation of how the usage and value of data has evolved. In her 20+ years of serving the government market, she has seen customers move from basic reporting and descriptive statistics to advanced and predictive analytics. Government routinely uses analytics to detect and prevent fraud these days. Other areas trending up are predictive asset maintenance and identification of high risk procurements.

She also noted the “democratization” of analytics. If you know your data and know your business, you can unlock insights in your data with powerful visualization tools that make it possible to slice and dice your data from your desktop. It’s easy and you don’t have to be a statistician to understand the graphic output.

High performance analytics is allowing more data to be analyzed faster and with a greater degree of granularity. Terrell mentioned a large department store chain that is using analytics to do markdown optimization on 270 million SKUs in 850 stores. Optimization models determine which items to mark down and by how much. What used to take 30 hours to run, now takes less than 2. This saves the company millions of dollars every year in unnecessary markdowns.

Data vs. Gut

Terrell brought the data vs. gut discussion to a very human level when she mentioned Angelina Jolie, who saw both her mother and aunt die at early ages from cancer. In her NY Times Op Ed piece she talks about the reality and her decision. But, her radical decision was not made in a vacuum. She did her research and gathered the data. She carries the “faulty” BRCA1 gene and found out she had an 87% risk of developing breast cancer. With this knowledge, she was able to make the difficult, but data-driven decision to have a preventative double mastectomy.

June 5, 2014 NCFATR Panel "Data vs. Gut"Brown cautioned about machine-to-machine decision making. “Computers don’t make you smarter.” That’s where gut comes in. Humans must have a symbiotic relationship with machines. But, Brown, who spent several years at IBM after his retirement from the Coast Guard, couldn’t resist bringing Watson into the conversation. Watson learns like an individual and can tell you how it got to an answer or outcome. That’s more than he says he can get out of his seventeen-year old when he has confronted him with “How’d you get to that (stupid) decision?”

So if Watson processes data more like a human than a computer and learns as it goes, what will the data vs. gut discussion be in 10 years?


Gail Bamford is an IDB guest blogger and senior marketing professional with over 25 years in information technology. She has been with SAS, the leader in advanced analytics software, since 2006 and supports business units focused on delivering analytic solutions to Defense, National Security, Higher Education and K-12.

Additional Resources:

Download white paper based on Data vs. Gut panel #1 – “How Analytics Improves Decision Making at the Department of Defense: Finding new ways to add value and insights to big data.”

Read Blog on Data vs. Gut panel #2 – “SAS – IDB Defense Panel Serves Up Advice for Analytics Students at Kelley School Business Analytics Summit 2014”

Read Blog on Data vs. Gut panel #3 – “Shining Light on Data in Austere Environments”

IDB Featured in Military Logistics Forum “Educating the Logistician”

militarylogisticsforum.2014.07In their July 2014 issue, Military Logistics Forum took a look at what it takes to prepare 21st century logicians. IDB was mentioned alongside other prestigious organizations offering logistics education which understand what it takes to be masters of the supply chain–regardless of which sector one is in.

The article begins on page 13

You can also find the article here.