To cultivate an effective future workforce, the U.S. Coast Guard is purposefully considering ways to reshape its organizational culture. The service wants its 2030 workforce to embrace greater technological fluency, human-centric skills, and the ability to develop new skills and capabilities within the force. The Coast Guard's organizational culture — the behavioral norms and shared values consistently exhibited by its personnel — will play a critical role in creating an environment in which the workforce can put those skills into action. However, the service is increasingly concerned that its current policies for managing personnel, its homogeneous workforce, and the way it prioritizes specific skills could, over time, become barriers to fostering the workplace culture required to meet future challenges. Changing parts of the culture of a large, complex organization is difficult; doing so in the Coast Guard requires the service to address recruiting, training, retaining, and empowering the future workforce. This Perspective describes organizational culture, observations made and experiences described by participants in strategic-foresight workshops, examples of other organizations addressing culture issues, research on organizational culture, and how the Coast Guard can leverage this knowledge in forming its future culture.
Research conducted by
- Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center
HSOAC is a federally funded research and development center operated by the RAND Corporation under contract with DHS.