MARCH 17, 2023 – With a mission to help improve, innovate and integrate, the Air Force Materiel Command Commander’s Accelerated Initiatives Office, or CDX, continues to make a positive impact as it keeps a ‘pulse’ on change across the enterprise and connects Airmen to strategy.
Born out of the 2019 AFMC We Need initiative, CDX focuses on driving change from the ground up, supporting and advocating for ideas with the potential to make positive impact on command processes at all levels.
While initial CDX efforts focused on assessing and addressing enterprise needs identified through the AFMC We Need surveys and focus groups, the unit’s mission has evolved into one focused on continuous collection and analysis of data related to enterprise needs while driving support for actionable change across the command.
“We focus on breaking down barriers, inspiring change and cultivating a culture of innovation for the Airmen of AFMC,” said Kim Norman, CDX director. “Since our inception, we have helped unit-level program managers navigate new systems, helped organizations develop organic solutions to problems, championed the removal of non-value-added processes, advocated for innovative Airmen solutions and more. We continuously monitor and assess our command environment and champion change in all areas.”
With a core headquarters team of 13 augmented by a network of more than 250 change agents across the command, CDX achieves its mission by leveraging the ideas and innovations driven by Airmen and civilians across the enterprise.
The team helps find ways to implement grassroots change through policy change analysis, idea development and access to the corporate framework for funding and support. Since inception, the team has tackled over 186 initiatives impacting more than 146,000 Airmen across multiple major commands.
“We rely on our workforce to identify things that aren’t working, barriers they can’t overcome alone, or new ways we can achieve missions that require support through advocacy and resourcing. We’ve established multiple ways that Airmen can share with us,” Norman said. “We visit our installations and speak with Airmen, hold innovation campaigns, conduct training programs, host virtual dialogue sessions, meet regularly with our points of contact throughout the command and more to identify areas of need. We assess the issues, ensure ideas align with our overall AFMC Strategic Plan and try to link the innovators with subject matter experts, advocates and potential funding sources to help move their concepts from idea to implementation.”
To meet mission requirements, CDX focuses its personnel and resources into three primary mission areas:
- Airmen-Driven Mission Enhancement – Accelerates grassroots change by breaking down barriers, seeking quality-of-life improvements and acting as the ‘voice’ of AFMC Airmen
- Continuous Improvement and Innovation – Leads Command-Level Continuous Process Improvement and Innovation events, provides related training and mentoring, and serves as the CI2 Pertinent Oversight Authority for AFMC
- AFMC Innovation Integration – Seeks ideas that can scale to enterprise solutions, connects innovators with resources to incubate their ideas, and manages AFMC innovation efforts
Each of the mission areas, or cells, are highly connected but each maintains a specific focus with the overall goal to move ideas to execution, ensuring all tie back to the lines of effort identified in the AFMC Strategic Plan.
“We want Airmen to look to CDX as a ‘Pathway to Improve, Innovate and Integrate Change,’ which is our motto. Each of our cells have a specialty area, with a path for Airmen dependent on their need,” said Bethany Weiser, Airmen-Driven Mission Enhancement Cell lead. “Our success and mission depend on Airmen. While we’re constantly collecting and assessing data that may reveal issues or roadblocks that need to be addressed, we need our workforce to also continuously look at ways to improve day-to-day missions and identify things that may be impacting their quality of life so that we can then work together to drive positive change.”
AFMC CDX maintains a comprehensive SharePoint site with information on programs, tools and ways for Airmen and civilians to become involved in their mission here (cac-required).
The organization also publishes a quarterly newsletter, recently rebranded as “The AFMC Pulse,” which highlights ongoing programs, success stories, innovation opportunities and more. The newsletter is published on the CDX SharePoint site and is distributed through internal channels.
By Marisa Alia-Novobilski
Air Force Materiel Command