Going for Gold
Every two years, Olympic athletes inspire us with their stories of excellence, respect, and friendship. Atop the headlines at the 2016 Rio games was the story of Ibtihaj Muhammad, who made history as the first U.S. woman to compete in the Olympic Games in hijab. Reflecting on her Olympic journey, Muhammad moved others by saying, “you have to use your moment to help people around you.”
Muhammad’s story is a reminder that individual action affects change. She built an understanding of Islam during a time of political turmoil in the United States, reflective of one of the Electronic Systems sector cultural principles—feel the confidence and faith to do the right thing in the face of discomfort.
In 2016, BAE Systems Electronic Systems sector’s Electronic Combat Solutions (ECS) business area focused on its performance—choosing an Olympic theme and the tagline, “Going for Gold,” to symbolize the organization’s commitment to excellence. The Olympic values of respect and friendship were also critical to Brian Walters, vice president and general manager of ECS, when he selected the Olympics as the theme for his business.
“Our customers ask us to solve difficult problems,” said Walters. “While winning and executing our business is critical to our success, the way we help one another drives effective problem-solving. Our Going for Gold campaign allowed employees to focus on milestones while also reminding them that a positive team culture is essential to our success.”
Over the course of the year, employees who met customer milestones while also displaying the attributes of the ES cultural principles were invited to attend ECS employee recognition events in New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Texas. One of those employees was Value Stream Lead Andrew Plummer, who received a Going for Gold medal for his work on the F-35 Operations team.
“Andrew and his team have engaged on one of our objectives—Achieving Operational Excellence through Zero Defects; our Zero Defects campaign focuses on going back to the drawing board and reflecting on our processes to get it right for our customers,” said Operations program manager Sharon Metras. “Andrew’s work has decreased our hours per unit by 30 hours. His passion for overcoming challenges to drive Zero Defects shows his commitment to our business. He is a great example of how one individual can have a positive impact.”
In addition to focusing internally, how employees interact with customers drives business success. Engineering Technologist Chad Hoppert was awarded a gold medal for engaging with key customers on the Compass Call integration team.
“Chad was recognized by the 661st Aeronautical Systems Squadron for his superior performance in bringing the best aircraft to the warfighter,” said Walters. “His willingness to listen to our customers and treat them with respect and goodwill has built a relationship which withstands the challenging environment of test events. Chad’s work has played a major role in positively influencing our relationship with the U.S. Air Force and our ability to deliver capability to the warfighter.”
Another ECS Going for Gold milestone focused on winning new communications and navigation solutions (CNS) business. CNS technologies allow warfighters to share information across disparate platforms and networks.
“Contracts is always looking to increase its business acumen and value to create a greater pull for what we can offer from the business. Our Product Area Lead, Jeff Shuster, is an example of someone who is raising the bar for others through his work on program captures,” said Ron Day, ECS contracts manager. “He is always sought after for advice and repeatedly recognized by others for going above and beyond in his work. As a result, he received multiple gold medals for his efforts and for living our ES cultural principles every day.”
By Nicole Gable, Communications, Nashua, New Hampshire