Bepples At The Lik
By Col. "Tip" Stinnette, 39th Air Base Wing commander
/ Published February 09, 2007
INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
Have you ever known the mad-inventor type; you know, the person who is always devising clever schemes; the person who goes into the bathroom and comes out with a revolutionary idea for toilet paper?
One afternoon a couple was driving in the country when they noticed strange round balls hanging from the trees. The guy was one of those mad-inventor types who is always thinking about building a better mouse trap. The couple stopped to pick a bunch of the balls. They were amazingly light, and when they cut them open, they looked a bit like Styrofoam. Our mad-inventor was immediately struck with a thought. Wow! A cheap natural packing material that wouldn't deplete petroleum reserves! They named the balls "bepples."
The couple was so proud of their revolutionary find. They put them on their mantle, sent them to friends as house warming gifts, and contemplated starting up a packing material business. After a few months, they came home one day from work and noticed a large swarm of wasps flying around their apartment. Apparently, "bepples" were really dormant wasp nests.
So you may be asking yourself at this point, where is he going with this one? Smart operations is not about mad-inventors with revolutionary ideas for toilet paper dispensers. Smart operations is not about colonels and chiefs coming up with "good ideas." Smart operations is not about higher headquarters figuring out a new way to slice bread.
Smart operations is about you telling us what is jacked-up and how to make it better. Smart operations is about figuring out how to work something closer to a 40-hour week rather than a 60-hour week. Smart operations is not about doing more with less, but rather doing the right things with the right resources.
I have got to tell you, your Air Force corporate leadership is banking on your ingenuity to build a better mouse trap. Smart operations is among the top priorities for both 3rd Air Force and U.S. Air Forces in Europe because it makes perfect sense ... enabling and empowering the force to figure out a better way.
They are willing to risk the occasional "bepples" because they are betting you will produce more great ideas than "bepple ideas." Freedom's future is dependent upon your contribution to smart operations.