Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 63

Simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotiondemonstrations of the PME. The idea of an object al stories; Heath and Heath recommend them for lesson in a sermon is incredibly popular for this same everything from organizational change, to advertising, made-to-stick reason. A Google search for the phrase to going viral on the internet. Our purpose here is a “object lesson” or “concrete example” will yield hunnarrow slice of organizational change aimed at transdreds of results.25 forming our soldiers by shifting them to the right on the values spectrum. In order to communicate all of these concepts more expediently, we will use the name transformational stories. These transformational stories designed to specifically engage our soldiers and shift their values will educate the formation in what it means to live the Army values as well as cover the need to make junior soldiers think about personal responsibility in their off-duty environment. Brig. Gen. Bud R. Jameson, the commanding general of the 316th Expeditionary Sus“Simple” stories work with hutainment Command, addresses soldiers of the unit during a mass formation at North man memory because our soldiers Fort Hood, Texas, 23 May 2012. Jameson praised the soldiers for their hard work and are more likely to pay attention perseverance over the past few months of mobilization training prior to the unit taking a to the things they understand. four-day Memorial Day pass. Focus groups organized to develop children’s programming have discovered that, despite The topic of PME does not automatically make a common assumptions, children stop listening when weekend safety brief credible. Bear in mind that definthey stop understanding. Kids tune in, even to boring ing exactly what PME means is an ongoing discussion portions of educational television, when they underacross the Army. Credibility in the realms of ethics stand the message.23 This is not to say that our soldiers and morality may be one of our greater challengare children but rather that keeping our messages es in the current environment of ethical diversity.26 understandable, even as we delve into the PME, is Additionally, the speaker’s credibility in both personal critical to ensuring that soldiers remain engaged in the and professional life affects the message. The Army discussion. values, because of their pervasive acceptance, make the The next principle from Heath and Heath is “unbest platform for a credible discussion of PME, while expected” because a degree of surprise captures the the credibility of the speaker is a much larger topic best attention of the audience. The Heath brothers further left for another leadership article. illustrate that an identified gap in knowledge causes the Continuing with the SUCCESs mnemonic, “emohuman brain to retain interest long after the discussion tions” are a key link to memory and lasting behavioral ends.24 This is why the teaser keeps some people from change.27 (If emotional displays in front of a formation flipping the channel during television commercials. This do not sound like your strong point, bear in mind that does not mean that every transformational story has to stoicism and the warrior ethos are also displays of contain a twist or a shocker, but when it is possible to emotion.)28 A main point the Heath brothers convey add an element of surprise, leaders will do a better job of in both of their books is that there is a strong conengaging subordinates. nection between emotions and willingness to act.29 “Concreteness” has long been a proven methAdditionally, the chemical and physiological connecod for clarifying ideas to the audience. In this retion between emotion and memory is fairly well estabgard, we should seek out visual aids and hands-on lished.30 Accessing the endorphin-memory link may be MILITARY REVIEW  September-October 2014 61 Army Sgt. Peter J. Berardi, 316th Sustainment Command TRANSFORMATIONAL STORIES