DIA : Moving Toward the 21st Century

The Need for Change

The Defense Intelligence Agency, like many creations of the Cold War, came into being and matured during an epoch shaped by the conflict between the two superpowers. It was conceived the year the former Soviet Union put its first cosmonaut into space and the Berlin Wall became a palpable dividing line between East and West -- when the threats to our national security seemed clear and unambiguous. Though the war in Vietnam, as well as smaller scale conflicts in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America would require its attention, the Agency remained focused on its primary task -- learning the capabilities and intentions of the Soviet military.

We prevailed in the Cold War, the end of which brought welcome relief from the tensions of a perilous era. But with the relief came questions about the focus of our mission. The need for change was clear, but the directions that change should take was less apparent. DIA's charter -- to provide timely, responsive military intelligence to warfighters, weapons developers, and defense decisionmakers -- was still valid. Indeed, in many ways, the likelihood that US forces might be put in harm's way had increased, as had the need for precision in intelligence analysis. Yet, at the same time, declining resources precluded the possibility of a simple shift in focus away from the former Soviet Union. In the end, the combined effects of diminishing resources and a more complex operational environment forced the most comprehensive restructuring of the Agency since its inception in 1961.

Since 1990 a new DIA has been emerging. Our mission has been re-shaped and its focus sharpened, elements within DIA have been completely reorganized, budget and personnel reductions have been absorbed, and new strategic plans have been laid. Now is the time to add impetus to the process of changing the DIA "work culture" -- the way we conduct ourselves, make decisions, shape our leaders, communicate, and develop ourselves professionally -- to ensure that our internal evolution keeps pace with the dramatic structural and environmental changes already well underway. This booklet is intended to serve as our guide for cultural change, as well as a blueprint for building a better DIA.

The following will outline:

As the senior managers of the new DIA, we will be judged by how well we can translate our vision into reality and motivate others to help us achieve our corporate objectives. Similarly, each and every member of the DIA team can determine how likely they are to succeed in this organization by looking at these objectives and evaluating their personal contributions toward meeting them.

We realize that it is our responsibility to lead a cultural change in our Agency. we are committed to doing so, and encourage everyone of you to read this booklet, talk about it, and communicate your thoughts to us and to your colleagues. This booklet is merely a first step in an important journey we all must make together.

The Case for Cultural Change

Organizations are often forced to change as a result of factors beyond their control. For example, societal factors such as increased diversity in the workforce and the availability of better educated, more technologically sophisticated employees coupled with the dawning of the Information Age with its enhanced global connectivity, wider dispersal of organizational elements, and vastly increased reliance on technology have combined to create new challenges and opportunities in the work environment. In addition, economic factors such as the persistent budget deficit, and the American public's disinclination to pay higher taxes for more government services, have led both the Executive Branch and the Congress to conclude that government must be restructured to perform better and cost less.

The change in external factors that has had the greatest impact on DIA, however, is the change in the global distribution of power. Eager to provide the American people with a post-Cold War "peace dividend," both the Executive and Legislative branches over the past several years have focused on reducing the size of the US national security structure. Defense and intelligence spending was reduced and military and civilian personnel cuts were mandated. In addition, scrutiny of the current structure of the Intelligence Community by both the Executive and Legislative branches will no doubt bring changes beyond those driven by resource reductions.

All government organizations are going through similar transformations. The National Performance Review (NPR) is just one example of government-wide efforts to implement change. One of the NPR principles putting customers first is a DIA key objective for the future. In this booklet we will discuss how DIA will recognize our customers' differing needs and give them a voice in our planning processes. Another NPR objective empowering employees to achieve results has been fully embraced by DIA as well. Improved communications, unimpeachable ethical behavior, fairness and openness in all personnel procedures, and sound management practices are other important goals. We also realize that as part of the NPR’s "new customer service contract with the American people," we must be willing to demonstrate that their tax dollars are being treated with respect. To this end we are committed to a productive working relationship with their elected representatives and the media to assure the public that we deserve their trust.

We also advocate changes that foster an atmosphere of individual dignity and respect among colleagues, that reward creativity and initiative, that promote career opportunities for every employee, that encourage team-building and cooperative effort, that value diversity in thinking as well as gender, race and creed, and that emphasize personal accountability at all levels of our organization. We want our organization to be one that recognizes the need for our employees to maintain a healthy balance between work and family responsibilities, and believes that public service goes beyond the accomplishment of our mission.

The DIA Vision: Elevating Our Impact

In the past, military intelligence had been characterized as parochial and narrowly focused. Indeed, in large measure DIA owes its existence to past efforts to overcome precisely these criticisms. We have determined that our most critical responsibility in leading Defense Intelligence into the 21st Century is to increase our relevance to and involvement with the warfighters, policymakers and planners whom we support, and with the coalition partners to whom we look, increasingly, for assistance in sharing the global security burden. Indeed, we have to become more meaningful participants in the nation's security planning and policy execution processes. To that end, it is incumbent on us to foster a new internal unity of effort. This process was begun in the early 1990s with the establishment of Joint and Service Intelligence Centers, with the creation of the Department of Defense Intelligence Production Program, with the centralization of Defense HUMINT and community MASINT collection efforts, and with the concomitant elimination of a number of Defense Intelligence organizations. Now we must focus on unity within DIA.

The pages of this booklet will discuss how unity of effort and purpose will be achieved among the many elements and subelements within DIA as we strive to become true "impact players." The key to achieving this will be to look to the health, well-being, and effectiveness of the Agency as a whole; to encourage a team approach to planning, decision-making, and task accomplishment; to eliminate the “Us versus Them” mentality that exists between and among organizations when responsibilities overlap or other barriers intervene; and to foster an atmosphere of collegiality rather than competition when appropriate.

DIA's Goal and Corporate Objectives

DIA's goal, simply put, is to be the best intelligence agency in the world. We want our work to be characterized by its accuracy, its thoroughness, its timeliness, its relevance, and above all by its absolute integrity. We want intelligence consumers to turn first to DIA for quality Defense Intelligence products and services. Quality improvement, including enhanced dialogue with our consumers, will be key to our future success.

The only way an organization can measure its progress toward achieving its goals is to judge each individual as well as each part of the organization on how well they are achieving specific objectives. In some ways, this will require new attitudes and new priorities, as well as new ways of doing business.

Our management and our workforce will be judged by consumers and by the various entities which control our budget and resources on how well we accomplish our corporate objectives. These objectives fall into three general categories: provision of quality intelligence products and services; internal management of DIA; and, oversight of Defense Intelligence resources.

We will know how well we are providing quality intelligence products and services to our customers by how well we:

This list is by no means a comprehensive one but is illustrative of the types of measures we will use in moving DIA into the future.

DIA's Bottom Lines

In the private sector, the "bottom line" is readily discernable at the bottom of the corporate balance sheet. In government service, lacking an economic profit motive (except in the negative sense of always needing to minimize expenses), it is sometimes less clear exactly what we are aiming to maximize. Yet, we in DIA are fortunate in having a clear mission reducing uncertainties for commanders, planners and decisionmakers, thus generating a winning advantage and saving American lives by providing high quality finished intelligence from which these bottom line priorities emerge:

Public Service : A Noble Calling

We at DIA understand and appreciate the distinction between a successful intelligence organization and almost any other private or public institution. For over 200 years, American intelligence professionals have worked and given their lives to protect our system of government, our rights, and our way of life. Employees of the new DIA, military and civilian, are trustees of this legacy of service, and must be no less committed to support and defend the Constitution than their forebears.

We at DIA believe that a strong Defense Intelligence capability is essential to the well being of the country. There are numerous historical examples of how good intelligence turned the tide of battle or prevented an impending crisis. We can rightfully take pride in our contribution toward creating the decisive advantage and saving American lives. We also accept that along with duty to country we have other responsibilities as public servants, including accountability to the American people for our actions.

Intelligence activities must be conducted with full fidelity to the Constitution and to our laws. We must always be mindful that we serve at the pleasure of the American people and their elected representatives, and that we must earn and keep their trust and confidence. To do so we must be rigorous in abiding by the system of oversight and accountability that guarantees a healthy relationship between our Agency and the people it serves.

We do this in a number of ways. First, DIA has several offices dedicated to making sure that our Agency is worthy of the public trust. The DIA General Counsel, Inspector General, Public Liaison and Congressional Liaison offices are a few examples.

The DIA Congressional Liaison Office is responsible for seeing that the elected representatives of the American people are kept apprised of Defense Intelligence activities. It also ensures that the Congress is provided a full accounting of DIA operations and expenditures. Agency policy stipulates that "DIA will cooperate fully" in responding to inquiries from any of the 535 Members of Congress, the dozen or so committees with interest in Defense Intelligence, or Congressional Support Agencies like the GAO. It is the responsibility of the Congressional Liaison Office to see that all valid congressional requests are answered fully and expeditiously.

While much of our business must, in the interest of national security, be conducted behind closed doors, we nevertheless owe the public as full and open an accounting as possible. The Public Liaison Office, in consultation with relevant Agency elements, responds to requests from the media and the public, and reviews all material planned for public release to insure that classified information is protected. Directly responsible for informing the American people, the Public Liaison Office actively seeks appropriate ways and means to tell the DIA story.

For independent internal oversight of DIA operations, we depend upon our Office of the Inspector General (IG). The IG's job is to ensure mission accomplishment and appropriate use of Federal resources. In consonance with the intent of the National Performance Review to "reorient the inspectors general, to shift their focus from punishing those who violate rules and regulations to helping agencies learn to perform better," DIA’s IG works with organizations in seeking ways to prevent violations. Using principles of performance quality, the IG works with the Director and senior managers to improve program management; recommends measures to prevent fraud, waste and abuse; is innovative in questioning existing procedures and suggesting improvements; and, continually works to improve the quality and usefulness of DIA products.

Finally, our General Counsel is the office responsible for seeing that DIA activities are in full compliance with the law. The GC interprets laws, executive orders and Defense Department directives and provides legal advice and counsel to our Director and senior management. It also serves as the Designated Agency Ethics Official and approves all of the Agency's acquisition activities. As with the other offices described above, the General Counsel is a key link in the chain which binds DIA, through our elected officials, to the will and trust of the American people.

Ethical Standards

As important as these offices may be in assuring DIA's accountability to the American people, they are no substitute for the commitment of each member of the DIA workforce to unassailable ethical standards. We must recruit people with a clear understanding of the meaning of public service and its attendant responsibilities. We must continue to provide regular training in ethics, financial management, intelligence and the law, and other related topics to further clarify these principles for our workforce. We must also strive to develop norms of behavior in our day-to-day work which penalize activities that do not conform with the highest code of personal ethics.

We accept the special requirements imposed upon us as members of the Intelligence Community, and we espouse standards of ethical conduct and product quality that exceed in scope and rigor those which apply to other professions and agencies of government. For example, as intelligence professionals, we agree to abide by certain restrictions on how we conduct our personal affairs, we forego in some measure the right to privacy that other citizens enjoy, and we pledge to follow very explicit rules in dealing with agencies and entities outside the Intelligence Community. It is important for all to recognize that there are severe penalties imposed on those who, knowingly or otherwise, violate professional ethics, most of the tenets of which also have been incorporated in the laws and regulations which govern intelligence affairs.

In the new DIA, we must ensure that our management and professional development systems continue to be based on sound ethical practices. In this regard, we guarantee, for example, that promotions and other personnel practices at DIA will be fair, inclusive, open and based entirely on the criterion of merit. Likewise, our managers will be held to absolute standards of fairness in rendering performance appraisals, and in their treatment of employees in all other aspects of their work, including selection for career-enhancing assignments, special opportunities, awards and recognition. In turn, each member of the DIA workforce is expected to abide by an equally rigorous standard of conduct and to educate themselves concerning available opportunities and the procedures for accessing them.

We also accept the responsibility of protecting classified information. To avoid compromising information that must stay in the classified realm, dealings with media representatives and members of the general public must be carried on through Agency personnel authorized to maintain those relationships. Working within these guidelines, openness should be the rule. We believe that classification is a tool for protecting intelligence sources and methods, not a means of concealing mistakes and embarrassments. Communications should be as open and forthright as possible without compromising security or the privacy of individuals.

Those of us whose duties include handling the Agency's money or dealing with contractors not only must be scrupulous in our attention to ethical standards but also must abide by stringent special rules, regulations, procedures and legal requirements. Finally, we expect that all DIA personnel, individually and/or collectively, will consider the human, as well as ethical implications of their work and actions as they go about the daily performance of their duties. We will continue to be absolutely intolerant of gender, race and other forms of discrimination, as well as sexual harassment or exploitation.

Corporate Integrity

Integrity is of such importance to DIA and to the practice of intelligence that it stands as the first of our Agency's three Core Values, along with Dedication and Objectivity. We define integrity as incorruptibility, firm adherence to a moral code, intellectual honesty and possession of the courage of one’s convictions. As our DIA "Core Values" statement asserts, it also means “truthfulness.”

DIA personnel have a special and primary responsibility to seek and speak the truth as they see it. Without integrity, DIA would have no credibility. Without credibility, our analytical judgments would carry little weight and be ignored. If our analytical judgments are ignored, then we serve no useful purpose and should fold up the tent and go home.

In order to ensure that we maintain our integrity, and provide accurate, on-time finished intelligence to our customers, we pledge always to:

We accept that a lack of integrity would be extremely damaging to our relationships with our customers, to the effective functioning of our internal processes, and to the interpersonal relationships so essential to the health of our corporate and individual professional lives. Deficiencies in personal and organizational integrity can contribute to an "us vs. them" mentality destructive of needed teamwork and morale. There is no place in DIA for unprofessional and unethical conduct, and we must come together with renewed commitment to the principle that integrity is both the heart of our daily work and the key to our quest to be the world's premier military intelligence agency.


Another key to this quest is the quality of our people, and the personal and professional attribute we want most to nurture in each DIA employee is "leadership." Leadership has many meanings, and it manifests itself at all organizational levels and in myriad forms. Being a “leader” does not necessarily imply superior-subordinate relationships, nor does it require the existence of followers. Rather, leadership can be a function of sheer competence, as when employees, through the quality of their work, become recognized as leaders in some aspect of Intelligence Community endeavor.

We further believe that anyone with the requisite inspiration, intellect, initiative, talent, and determination can be a leader. Thus, it is our aspiration to create and sustain a work environment where every employee is encouraged to maximize their individual potential to become leaders in their field of work. If we can provide each and every employee the necessary skills and tools, encourage them to seek and settle for nothing less than excellence, and empower them to achieve both their personal goals and those set by our leadership, then DIA cannot but succeed in accomplishment of its mission.

The capacity for leadership, and the will to use it, are indispensable qualities in those who, by virtue of their positions, are charged with supervisory or managerial responsibilities. In the everyday world of work, it is those people to whom we look for "vision," for the provision of needed resources and other support, and for inspiration as well as practical guidance. In this regard, we generally know leadership good or bad when we see it and, conversely, we are painfully aware of its absence.

We recognize that almost any organization can get by, perhaps even thrive, if it is well-managed. However, we believe that "management" alone is insufficient if the organization's goal is to be the kind of dynamic entity described in the introduction to this booklet. In order to achieve such status, our organization's work culture must be characterized by unity of purpose, synergy, creativity, diversity, inclusivity, openness, fairness, tolerance, and pride.

Leaders at all organizational levels of DIA have diverse roles and requirements. However, their basic responsibilities are essentially similar: to have the vision to see where their part of the Agency no matter how big or small should be years from now; to clearly chart the course, including intermediate objectives, for how to get there; and, to have the energy and moral courage to see the journey through to its successful completion. They also must be possessed of the wisdom and broad perspective, both usually born more of hard experience than classroom learning, to discern which shoals are navigable and which should be avoided.

Those who can do all this are likely also to display the other qualities and characteristics which universally mark true leaders in democratic societies: knowledge, resourcefulness, decisiveness, sensitivity, compassion, empathy, patience, trust, open- and tough-mindedness, physical stamina, disciplined work habits, unself-conscious self-confidence, respect for others, positive motivational skills, willingness to take risks, and most important unimpeachable personal integrity. DIA takes great care in cultivating its leaders, and we expect each to have in ample measure all these traits and abilities.

We expect DIA leaders to set the Agency's agenda and be our facilitators not "doers" or micromanagers. Rather, our leaders will place their full trust and confidence in others. Good leaders feel proud, not threatened, when others follow their example, excel and earn praise from our superiors or customers. If DIA's leaders are doing their jobs well, then all employees will be confident not only in the value of their own work but also will take fully justifiable pride in belonging to an organization that truly makes a difference.

Sound Management

Where our leaders provide vision and inspiration, secure resources, set long-term goals, and chart our corporate course, DIA's managers and supervisors whether responsible for fiscal planning and programming, collecting intelligence information, meeting production objectives, responding to crises, representing us to the Congress, keeping the presses running, maintaining our personnel records, training and educating us, or administering a grass-roots element of the Agency are charged with ensuring that daily and short-term operations are conducted with maximum efficiency and with an unwavering focus on our reason for being: providing the finest quality finished intelligence to our customers. Those chosen for the privilege of serving in management or supervisory positions must exemplify the principles in our Creed and respond with total professionalism to the goal-focused demands of our leadership. Indeed, we want to select as managers only those who have demonstrated certain aptitudes and skills, and a clear capacity for leadership.

Because they are expected to lead as well as manage their elements, our managers and supervisors should display the qualities discussed in the preceding section. Managers, however, are specifically responsible for day-to-day operations and, thus, are necessarily more intimately involved with the details of our work, interfacing with our customers, and interacting with individual employees. In the execution of their duties, they must respond appropriately to the demand of our senior leadership that the Agency be administered in accord with well-established principles of sound organizational management. These principles include: leadership by example; "management by walking around;" empowerment, of subordinate managers and of every DIA employee to the extent consistent with their individual capabilities and the requirements of their job; communication; development of subordinates; team-building; openness to innovation; transparency, of system and process; and, complete fairness, consistency, honesty and candor.

Many of these principles also serve as linchpins in the complex of duties, responsibilities and activities which comprise the management function. The following are some of the most important specific areas DIA managers and supervisors are required to emphasize:

Customer Focus: At DIA, we take our cue from our customers the warfighters, policymakers and acquisition planners who are responsible, with our assistance, for the nation's defense. Making the provision of excellent customer service even more challenging is the new requirement to meet the needs of America’s coalition partners and organizations like the United Nations, with whom or under whose auspices we sometimes undertake hazardous military missions. We do not simply give lip service to the idea of "customer service:" the customers are why we are here, and we take their requirements very seriously. Managers must establish and maintain active, open lines of communication, ensuring a constant dialogue on customers’ needs and desires. Managers are empowered to tailor the products of their organizations to ensure that form and substance conform with what is actually needed.

Product Over Process: We view the process of producing finished intelligence as a necessary means to an end, not as something valuable in itself. Managers must stay focused on the quality and relevance of the end product, and be prepared to change the production process as required. In reviewing processes and procedures, managers must consciously reject the "but that's the way we've always done it" approach. A corollary to this principle is “effectiveness over efficiency. While it certainly is important to streamline our processes as much as possible, it is more important to ensure that our end products work well.

Product Over Systems: We employ a wide variety of automated information, communications and other systems to improve the quality and timeliness of our products. It is incumbent on managers not to confuse the importance of these powerful and indispensable tools with the end products themselves, or to give them primacy over our most precious production assets, the minds and energies of our people.

Visibility: We believe that managers at all organizational levels must make themselves visible and available to the workforce on a regular basis, and that senior management must set the example. The purpose of being consistently within reach is three-fold: to demonstrate personal interest, to interact directly with those who are doing the real work of the Agency, and to be able to get a first-hand impression of the status of the organization the physical conditions as well as the morale and esprit of all employees.

Development of Subordinates: Our human resources are our most valuable assets, without which all the technology at our disposal becomes useless. A good manager is one who does not always need to be there: that is, such a manager has provided training, education and experiential opportunities sufficient for those under his/her supervision to be able to operate confidently and successfully on their own. Such a manager trusts the competence and dedication of employees, fully shares information, delegates authority commensurate with responsibility, and takes personal pleasure in seeing subordinates succeed and progress.

Empowerment: We want to ensure that "empowerment" is not just a buzzword at DIA. We believe that the Agency is most productive when every employee feels that they enjoy the trust and confidence of supervisors, that their opinion is heard and makes a difference, and that their capabilities are being fully utilized. Empowerment requires that managers take risks and be prepared to live with the consequences. In turn, this means that managers must be mature and self-confident enough to be able to delegate both responsibility and authority to the lowest level possible. Empowerment also means that all employees understand they are responsible for their own actions. DIA managers are evaluated on their ability to empower and are held accountable for failure to do so.

Communications: DIA managers are trained in modern principles of communications and are expected within their organizations to implement a communications system consistent with those principles. Clear, complete, candid communications up and down the chain are essential not only to the efficient management of any organization, but also to its corporate "health." If we fail to communicate well, the workforce becomes alienated from and distrustful of senior management, and, consequently, productivity as well as morale suffers. The key link in all successful communications systems is the “feedback loop,” the mechanism which allows managers to sample directly the attitudes and opinions of employees and to benefit from their thinking on matters of personal or corporate concern. Managers are graded on their communications skills in their performance appraisals.

Teambuilding: Management's responsibility is to ensure that the resources we are given are employed in the most efficient, effective manner possible. While we take pride in being part of the greater DIA team, we recognize that ours is a multi-faceted and far-flung organization. Only through the creation of smaller, barrier-transcending, task-organized teams can we most effectively accomplish many aspects of our mission. We believe that for most issues and processes, the application of multiple minds generally leads to a more thorough, accurate final product, or a more efficient operation. We also believe that more emphasis in the awards and promotion processes needs to be given to teamwork. Thus, DIA managers are required to be teambuilders and are evaluated accordingly.

Creativity, Openness and Innovation: The health of any large organization often can best be measured by evaluating its willingness to change to meet the exigencies of a rapidly changing external environment. We want DIA to be the avant garde of change in the Intelligence Community to be ready to thoughtfully apply any new technology, procedure or idea that helps us accomplish our missions more quickly and effectively. DIA managers are expected to encourage creative thinking by their employees and always be open to innovative ways of doing business.

Transparency of System and Process: In order for DIA to develop the kind of forward-looking, creative workforce that the demands of Defense Intelligence in the 21st Century will require, we must have in place transparent management and personnel systems. There should never be doubt in any employee's mind about career progression, about where they stand in the estimation of their supervisors, about how promotions and selections for assignments are done, or how awards are meted out.

All DIA personnel have the right to clear, timely information on actions which affect them, including promotions, awards, and selections for jobs and training. While giving people good news is always enjoyable, the delivery of unwelcome news, such as non-selection for promotion or assignment, is not a pleasant task. It is the responsibility of all managers to deliver such news promptly and forthrightly; no one should have to discover bad news by default, or through the rumor mill. Individuals must also feel free to ask questions about the process at any time without fear of reprisal.

Fairness, Consistency, Honesty and Candor: These, too, are prerequisites of a healthy corporate life. Employees at all levels of the organization should not have to pry needed information from their managers, nor should they ever have reason to doubt the veracity of what they are told. Likewise, all employees are entitled to know that all decisions which affect their work or well-being have been made completely in accordance with standards of fairness that apply consistently across the entire Agency. Managers who fail to uphold the principles of fairness and honesty will not succeed in the new DIA.

Resource Conservation: As the rarification of DIA's resource atmosphere continues, more than ever it is management’s responsibility to ensure an appropriate tooth-to-tail ratio in our intelligence production efforts. This means that managers must maximize the percentage of resources committed directly to meeting consumer needs, while minimizing the percentage going to internal support functions. We must spare no effort to eliminate all wastage and to ensure that those resources we do have human, material, fiscal are effectively applied against our most pressing needs.

Quality Improvement

As we said at the outset, quality improvement will be key to our future success. We believe that by building the world's best Defense Intelligence agency we will, in effect, have aggressively inserted ourselves as indispensable players in the national defense team lineup. Fortunately, we have an excellent foundation on which to erect this new edifice, and a proud tradition to follow to our goal.

Product quality and pride of workmanship are just as important for a government agency like DIA providing a service to a customer in OSD, JCS, or one of the warfighting commands, as they are to a manufacturing company in Japan, Europe, or the United States. Unlike our commercial analogs, however, the consequences of failure to provide the highest quality products are far more meaningful: rather than suffer the embarrassment of a mere short-term financial loss, a poorly done DIA threat assessment could lead to a failed military operation and the loss of lives. It is important for us always to bear in mind the unique nature of DIA's mission and to recognize that we all have a vital role to play in its accomplishment, no matter what our particular job might be.

There are two keys to a successful quality improvement program. The first is commitment to continuous self-improvement by DIA's leaders, managers and every member of the workforce. The second is having a thorough understanding of and appreciation for our customers’ needs, as well as the will and flexibility to adapt appropriately and quickly as those needs change.

The great ancient Chinese strategist, Sun Tzu, said: "Know your enemy, and in a thousand battles you cannot fail." The DIA corollary to this time-tested principle could be: know your customers and you have a far better chance of successfully fulfilling their requirements. The best way of ascertaining what our consumers want and need is to keep in close and continuous contact with them: in other words, we must do aggressive market research, just do as all successful commercial enterprises. Maintaining intimate working relations with the warfighting commands, the Joint Staff, OSD offices, and our other consumers also enables us to inform them of what is practical or realistic and what is not, given our operating conditions. As a matter of principle, we cannot be too close to our customers.

Over and above the formal customer relations procedures currently in place and under development, contact with consumers has an important informal component, with managers, analysts and others with valid reasons for dealing directly with customers actively inquiring whether the quality, quantity and timeliness of our products are adequate. Experience has shown that our working-level people often are the best source of ideas on how to do things smarter and better. Further, our people at this where-the-rubber-meets-the-road level of customer support are, in turn, empowered to adjust their production programs and tailor their products accordingly or, if necessary, to "say no."

An important tool for infusing the new, creative and innovative ideas which DIA workers have in abundance into our operating system is a vigorous, effective suggestion program. Employees at all levels are encouraged to make better and more frequent use of it, especially to propose ways more effectively to provide our customers the products they need. We must recognize and reward the contributions of those working to make improvements and do all we can to motivate further efforts. Senior management must ensure that quality enhancements and innovative solutions to the problems that will arise in the future are specified as an area of emphasis in a revitalized suggestion program.

High quality work can only be accomplished by highly qualified and motivated workers. In the interest of maintaining our commitment to quality, DIA supervisors are entrusted with the authority and the responsibility both to reward quality performance and to correct or, if necessary, punish unacceptable performance. In this era of inadequate staffing and resources, we cannot afford to have poor performers on the payroll, and our supervisors are required to hold them accountable, to provide remedial training and redemptive opportunities, and to remove those who do not or cannot respond to the challenge.

Finally, we must ensure that the need for continuous quality improvement is effectively accounted for in DIA's strategic planning, thus influencing resource allocation and use. As the Agency anticipates and adapts to changing times, changing policies, and changing resource access, our continuing self-assessment will aid us in adjusting our procedures to anticipate and accommodate our customers’ changing demands.

Quality improvement is a multi-aspect endeavor involving the enthusiastic participation of managers, planners and workers at all levels of the organization. Effective management practices and the full professional development of the DIA workforce will go a long way toward ensuring success in this vital aspect of our work. But we also need to do more to ensure that all DIA employees feel good about their jobs and know that their contributions are important and appreciated. To this end, we must work hard to publicize (security considerations permitting) our successes and to educate our people on significant Agency accomplishments. We also should find means for explaining, both to the DIA workforce and to the consumers of military intelligence, what is and is not an "intelligence failure." When we are wrong we are wrong, and we admit it, but we should also try again depending on the particular circumstances at the time to elucidate our role in the unfolding of events and to edify all interested parties on the contributions of DIA-produced intelligence to the outcome.

Professional Development

At DIA, we believe in and abide by these maxims: that our people are our most important asset; and, that an organization no matter how crucial its mission can only be as good as the sum of the talents and energies of the individuals who comprise it. Each member of the DIA team is unique and comes to the job of Defense Intelligence from their own cultural, educational and experiential backgrounds. Each member also comes to us with their own set of attributes, interests, skills and abilities, and each with distinctive, very personal career aspirations. We consider both the diversity of our workforce and the individuality of each of its members to be strengths on which we rely for the creativity, synergy and vitality DIA needs as it prepares to lead the Defense Intelligence community into the 21st Century.

Successful DIA employees are highly motivated self-starters who want to excel and who expect to be challenged to develop and perform to the fullest extent of their capabilities. They must be exceptionally flexible and versatile for they serve in an era of unprecedentedly rapid and far-reaching change, an era in which new "joint" doctrine guides operating forces; the timely flow of accurate intelligence from the national level, through theater Joint Intelligence Centers and Joint Task Forces to deployed tactical forces, is central to mission accomplishment; and, intelligence requirements in joint and combined military operations extend well beyond U.S. forces alone to support for allied, coalition, and United Nations forces. The stressful demands of the contemporary international security environment, coupled with DIA's mandate to reduce its size, thus make it necessary for Agency managers to be able quickly to shift personnel to meet ever-changing requirements. It follows that employees of the modern DIA are likely to be assigned in multiple roles and intelligence disciplines over their careers.

DIA's professional development philosophy is predicated on the willing and enthusiastic participation of each employee in a cooperative effort with Agency management to maximize individual potential. Employees are expected to be knowledgeable of available education, training and other professional development opportunities, to actively engage with their supervisors in the design of the annual performance plan and Individual Development Plan, to participate fully in the DIA Career Development Program, and to seek out all feasible experience-broadening, career-enhancing activities. They also are encouraged at least once annually to consult with their designated Career Development Staff counselor to review their status and options.

While each employee is expected to take the initiative in developing their own potential, provision of a suitable professional development program is a management responsibility. DIA is committed to designing a first-class program, securing the resources necessary for its operation, and staffing the system with the most qualified personnel available.

Because professional development is a management function, DIA places considerable responsibility for its effective accomplishment squarely on the first-line supervisor. The performance appraisals of all supervisors of personnel in the new DIA will be heavily weighted to reflect how well, or how poorly, they accomplish this principal responsibility. Our goal is to ensure that only those who consistently demonstrate competence in the development of their subordinates will make up the supervisory ranks of the new DIA.

We support first-line supervisors in their professional development responsibilities by providing them with the training needed in order to "nurture" the members of their organization. That training is continuous and includes refresher courses as well as mandatory training in new developments impacting on the intelligence profession.

We prefer, as much as possible, to grow our own managers. Supervisors at all levels are tasked to be alert to the emergence of promising new leaders and to encourage them to consider competing for management positions. Management is a separate professional development "track" that requires thorough schooling in modern management principles and practices, extensive training in the regulations and procedures which govern the Agency, and instruction in the unique aspects of managing military personnel. A distinctive management development program currently is under consideration.

Consistent with its commitment to providing the workforce only fully competent, committed supervisors, DIA has established a one-year trial or probationary period for first-time supervisors. Even experienced supervisors hired from outside DIA are subjected to the trial period, during which they will receive training in the Agency's unique mission and procedures. The performance of all new supervisors will be closely monitored by their own superiors, and those who do not perform up to standards will be reassigned to non-supervisory positions.

Professional development begins the first day a person reports for duty and continues throughout one's DIA career. New civilian employees, whether hired at the Entry Level or as GS-15s, are required to complete a special Orientation Course. (Newly assigned military personnel also are encouraged to complete the program, a self-guided independent study effort using the DIA Library’s Learning Resource Center.) Designed to familiarize people with DIA's organization, missions and functions, this training also provides basic instruction on other members of the national Intelligence Community and the special characteristics of US military culture. The Orientation Program also covers the Agency's personnel management and training systems. This initial introduction to DIA and the world of intelligence seeks to inculcate the Agency's core values, to impress on each employee the need for teamwork and a strong personal focus on customer service, and instill the sense of having become a valued part of a true community of professionals.

After orientation, our professional development program consists of basic courses common to all, as well as specialized training keyed to specific career fields and job series. Dedicated to the concept of "continuous improvement" and to supporting the legitimate professional aspirations of its members, our objective in training always will be to develop people who are possessed of outstanding technical and interpersonal skills, as well as the highest personal and professional standards and goals.

In addition to training, we believe that an institutionalized rotational assignment process fosters professional growth. A regularized "people exchange" contributes positively to teamwork and to fostering a sense of DIA-wide unity of purpose. Thus, we will endeavor to maximize the number of positions to be filled through the rotational assignment process, and employees are encouraged, with the advice and assistance of their supervisors and career counselors, to seek opportunities to serve temporarily in other parts of the Agency and to compete for such assignments.

In this era of constrained resources at home but unconstrained turmoil in various places around the world, DIA has no choice but to get the most out of each and every employee. Our mission can only be accomplished with the dedicated service of people who have willingly been molded into an efficient, results-oriented team. We believe that employees who are enabled to maximize their own potential through education, training and hands-on experience will feel secure in the knowledge that the Agency truly values their contributions.

Diversity and DIA

In recent years, DIA has been in the forefront of efforts to institutionalize true equality of opportunity for all employees. Our trailblazing work toward this end was spurred not only by the nobility of the objective, but also by the pragmatic recognition that in future all down-sized, under-funded government organizations will have no choice but to devise ways to get more productivity out of each of its employees.

Our Diversity Management Office was created and empowered to ensure that the Agency's legal and moral obligations to implement applicable laws and regulations were being fully met. It also is tasked with promoting among all DIA members an awareness of the desirability for all of us to embrace the idea that we actually gain strength as individuals, as parts of the whole, and as a complete entity when we deliberately set out to capitalize on the diverse cultural heritages and experiences we bring to our jobs.

Thus, DIA's diversity management program is based, not on the promotion of the myriad differences that separate us as individuals or as members of racial, ethnic, religious, gender or any other groups, but rather on the belief that recognition and acceptance of those differences can and should be a valuable, enjoyable learning experience. The program pursues the twin goals of making DIA a better place to work by eliminating all vestiges of unfair treatment and discrimination, and by harnessing the energies and unique qualifications of our diverse workforce for the accomplishment of the Agency’s mission. At DIA we believe that our differences are, in fact, sources of intellectual and organizational strength.

Several of the programs for "growing our own" identified in the Professional Development section are integral to DIA's Diversity Management effort. In addition, we have established a number of Special Emphasis Programs, each operated by a Council of volunteers. The Program Councils African American, Asian Pacific American, Hispanic Employment, Deaf and Disabled, Federal Women’s, Native American each conduct numerous activities on behalf of their members. In the future, an annual Festival is planned that will enable all members of DIA to gather to collectively learn about and celebrate the diversity from which we take both strength and pride.

In the wide variety of talents we utilize, DIA mirrors the great diversity of the nation we serve. Like our Founding Fathers, we take it as self-evident that we are all created equal and with certain unalienable rights. From this, we know that we have an obligation as citizens of the United States, and as decent human beings, to treat every person with the respect and dignity they deserve. We go beyond this by recognizing that, in addition, we owe it to ourselves and to those with whom we work shoulder-to-shoulder in pursuit of the perfect performance of our mission to ensure that DIA is a workplace totally free of discrimination and unfair treatment.

Balancing Work and Home

At DIA, we recognize that one of the greatest dilemmas our workforce must face is how to strike an appropriate balance between work and non-work obligations. Today, most married DIA employees have spouses who are employed outside the home. A substantial number of DIA employees are single parents, and more and more employees have elderly parents in need of their care. Also, many of our single employees have outside, personal commitments which must be recognized as legitimate demands on their time. In short, in today's world relatively few DIA employees have a support system at home someone to care for a sick child, take a parent to a medical appointment, or let the plumber in to unplug the sink and all have more than enough to do.

DIA has been fortunate in being able to attract people of high caliber who are productive, loyal and dedicated to our mission. But increasingly, high-quality employees weigh opportunities for self-fulfillment in the workplace with the amount of sacrifice they must make in their personal lives. Given the nature of Defense Intelligence and the significant demands put on intelligence people during times of crisis or conflict, the stresses of the job are no small consideration. This will present a challenge to future DIA managers who must attract and retain the kind of quality employees we need to carry out our mission and do it well.

All DIA personnel, now and in the future, must realize that there are certain to be times when hazards to the nation's security will require them to make personal sacrifices, not unlike those the country traditionally has expected of those who wear its military uniforms. The DIA manager of today, and tomorrow, must learn to recognize when work requirements are putting severe stress on employees' personal lives, and search creatively for ways to achieve a more satisfactory balance. In July 1994, President Clinton signed a memo to all government agencies asking them to take steps toward more flexible work arrangements. The Director of DIA responded by initiating a number of new policies which provide a more "family friendly" work environment. These policies, as well as others now under consideration, should go a long way toward helping employees be effective and productive on the job, and still meet family obligations.

An example of our effort to accommodate to the needs of the workforce in these stressful changing times is our expanded use of compressed work and other alternate work schedules when and where the mission can still be carried out. Another initiative is the continuing work of an employee-staffed Process Action Team examining childcare options for people on task forces and others who must work irregular hours when traditional childcare is not available. Yet another is the DIA leave transfer program, which is an option available for employees who need time to cope with illness or other family crises.

Many issues related to the legitimate outside needs of our workforce childcare, eldercare, personal growth and development remain unresolved, but DIA is committed to finding the best practicable solutions. Exacerbating the problem of coping with changing times and social mores, over the past several years, mandated personnel reductions have forced many DIA employees to take on additional work-related responsibilities and many DIA managers to "do more with less." Increasingly, we must exercise creative solutions, such as, for example, the use of military Reservists to pick up some of the additional workload.

DIA managers must be flexible and openminded in their approach to the new and evolving needs of the workforce, especially as they entail accommodating unforeseeable emergencies. Our managers also must recognize that personal commitments are legitimate obligations, and make every effort to help employees avoid having to make too many sacrifices to meet their mission requirements.

Your Future at DIA

DIA stands or falls on its reputation. That reputation is based not only on the quality of our products, but also and more importantly on the quality of our personnel.

To preserve our place as the world's premier Defense Intelligence organization, we must attract and retain the very best minds in the business. The production of intelligence is, above all, an intellectual process. Facts, ideas and the reasoned application of knowledge are our stock-in-trade the building blocks of our products. If some of these basic elements are inferior or missing, or if the "assembly" process is compromised by a lack of integrity, the product will suffer.

But intellect alone is not sufficient to guarantee success as a DIA employee. There are a number of other qualities that we look for in the future members of this Agency. Those who wish to be an integral part of the new DIA should ask themselves the following questions:

If you can answer yes to all of the questions above, you are the kind of person that we are counting on to lead DIA into the 21st Century. We are looking for people with vision, and people who can translate that vision into workable plans and objectives. We want people who always put our customers first and who know how to ask the right questions to get the feedback we need to constantly improve our products and services. We need people who understand that providing good, timely intelligence is indeed a noble calling, but one that carries with it a solemn obligation to always uphold the law and be above reproach in our personal and professional conduct. We want people who recognize the importance of both corporate and individual integrity, and who are willing to speak the truth as they see it.

We also need people who can lead by example whom others will follow because of their competence, their self-confidence, and their willingness to take risks. We need some of these leaders to form our management core, to keep the workforce focused on carrying out our day-to-day activities with maximum efficiency and effectiveness. We want managers who understand and feel confident with a team approach to decision-making, who are comfortable with delegating responsibility to subordinates, who are skilled communicators, who nurture the professional development of those who work for them, and who are fair, consistent, and honest.Finally, we need individuals who are committed to continuous self-improvement, as well as continuous improvement in the way we do business as an Agency.

Change in the way that we conduct ourselves as individuals, as managers, and as an Agency, will be difficult but not impossible. What it will take is the recognition that change is needed, and the collective determination to see that it takes place.

DIA: Committed to Excellence in Defense of the Nation