The Learning and Growth Perspective, Module 4 Session Long Project Dr. William Muraco
As one of the four perspectives of the Balanced Scorecard, the Learning & Growth perspective focuses on how the organization must learn and innovate in order to achieve the set goals. It is the root of the balanced scorecard and requires nutrients to grow. It develops intellectual capital and empowers employees as part of the relationship to the vision and strategy portion of the BSC. Learning & growth perspective can be described as inputs and internal constituents. In order to get a feel for how AAFES has grown we need to look at where and how AAFES began. In 1895, the War Department issued General Order number 46 directing post commanders to establish an exchange at every post, where practicable. In 1917, the first real test of the Post Exchange (PX) system came when the United States entered World War I. The American Expeditionary Forces landed in France. Exchanges were unable to meet the needs of the greatly expanded Army. Civilian welfare agencies would provide canteen services for American troops during World War I. The first documented use of term “PX” was found in the book of exchange council meetings (1910-1920) at Fort McKinley, Philippines. Exchanges were usually referred to as canteens. In 1921, the first centralization of post exchanges in Hawaii took place at Schofield Barracks. The Post Exchange was organized, regimental and associated activities in the various organizations. In 1939, lessons learned from their experience in WWI,
providing service to the largest U.S. force deployed to that date, led developments and improvements to be where they are today.
“It’s not 1895,” said AAFES’ Commander Major General Bill Essex. “Opening a tiny store on a corner of the post won’t cut it these days. Today, troops have more choices than ever before. Now is the time to invest and strengthen the benefit so we are not only ready to handle current challenges, but future ones as well.” AAFES is committing more than $1 billion over the next four years towards the planning, design and construction of improved exchange facilities as well as the improvement or renovation of existing BX/PX operations. The $1.1 billion earmarked for 85 “capital improvement” projects is critical to AAFES’ ability to have facilities in place as troops and their families are impacted by military transformation initiatives such Base Realignment and Closure as well as Global Defense Posture Realignment.
At war and in peacetime, AAFES provides Soldiers and Airmen with the service and merchandise they need to make their lives more comfortable. AAFES is the main service and support to family members and troops back home. To date, more than 1,700 AAFES associates have deployed to dangerous places in the world. Those associates who deploy are true heroes, dedicated to proudly “serving those who serve.” AAFES is a major source of employment for members of the Army and Air force. Approximately 23% of the
more than 45,000 AAFES associates are military family members. Another 1.1% are military members who work part time in exchanges on the off duty hours.
Learning and growth metrics address the question of how the firm must learn, improve, and innovate in order to meet its objectives. Much of this perspective is employee-centered. AAFES has grown over the last century with operations and associates in over 35 countries, and as a result, they have become citizens of many worldwide communities. This has made it very important for them to value and embrace diversity, as their future success depends on it. Their diverse customer and associate base determines that they provide a mix of merchandise and services through niche marketing and new business strategies that meet their ever-increasing desires and demands. AAFES defines Diversity as being inclusive. That means creating and maintaining a workplace where every...