As the Louisville District moves toward the future, it is increasingly important to have a strategic direction and methods for facing coming challenges. That is, according to Daniel London, the district’s new director of strategic business integration.
As the first person to fill this role, London has his hands full. He came on board Aug. 9, and has been working with a team of individuals to develop the district’s strategic plan.
“We are working to determine the actions we need to take in both the short term and the long term to better position ourselves between now and five years out,” London said.
This means analyzing the district’s processes, he said. “That is, how we can be more efficient, how we can further develop our workforce, and how we can improve our outreach efforts as we look for new opportunities to assist federal and state agencies and other potential partners.”
London got started on this daunting task by conducting one-on-one interviews with division and section chiefs, learning their concerns and ideas for the future, and then comparing those inputs with the strategic direction sent down by the Army and the Corps of Engineers.
“I started to connect the dots as to where we are and where we need to be,” London said. “That was really the groundwork for everything we’ve done so far.”
To build upon this groundwork and transform it into a strategic plan, the district’s senior leaders and a designated “plus-1” from each division – approximately 40 people in all – gathered at Fort Knox for two days of inputs review and strategic planning.
The plan will be rolled out in the coming weeks, and London will be helping district leadership communicate the plan’s goals as well as the ideas and products supporting them.
London did not minimize the challenges facing the district, including declining budgets and revenues and a workforce whose leadership is seeing increasing retirements. He explained that the district’s plan will address those challenges by executing a more rigorous outreach program to identify strategic partners and bolstering its already existing leadership and education program.
“I’m looking forward to helping the district – that was really the thing that drew me to this position,” London said. “Of course there were a lot of intriguing pieces of it, but I love strategic planning and I love taking a look at where an organization is and where it has the potential to be long term.”
London has an extensive background in this sort of strategic planning. He served as chief of staff to a U.S. congressman, as the congressional affairs and corporate communications officer for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, and as the operations and plans officer and deputy to the commanding officer for the Army Sustainment Command’s 3-401st Army Field Support Battalion in Afghanistan before joining the Louisville District.
“There’s nothing more satisfying than to make a couple tweaks and then see the results of it,” London said. “Just the few things that we’ve done already have received great feedback, so it’s exciting to see where it can take us.”