Another rant about communication - ACLIs

So a new 'Air Cadet Logistics Instruction" has appeared on Sharepoint without any announcement. Apparently just emailing WHQ for new CI polo’s was a system that needed fixing… Okay, maybe that isn’t the best system. But why is the ‘new’ system being ‘announced’ by just uploading it to an area of Sharepoint that not many people check.

Air Cadet Logistic Instruction Number 204

For some reason it infuriates me that they have jumped up to number 204. The ACLI references a Logs Form 204 also, which doesn’t seem to exist… At least it doesn’t show up under key documents. I guess they want the LI to be named the same as the form?

Why do we seem to be creating and publishing new processes without fully announcing them, and also without all the relevant forms to go with said processes? Is it being sent out via cascading emails, and that’s why I’ve not seen anything?

Clearly we need to design a formal process/policy that dictates how new processes/policies are created and communicated. (I’m only half joking here!)

I think things are getting better in some ways, such as the weekly brief. But in other ways we do seem to be going backwards sometimes.


Without joking, as a project manager one of the first things I create on any project is a stakeholder communications plan, that highlights how changes (new processes, systems, reporting lines etc) will be communicated with various groups of stakeholders.

ANY organisation that doesn’t do this is failing to understand the impact of their project on the day-to-day work undertaken by the people affected. I’d argue in the case of RAFAC that they probably don’t even know who their stakeholders are for 99.9% of their projects, let alone how their projects will impact that stakeholders.


There is a volunteer role Media Communications Team – Internal Communication manage which was filled about 2 years ago AFAIK. So far all I have seen change is less IBNs and the introduction of the weekly brief. A good start, but not much in two years.

There may well have been many other changes. But these have not led to a clearer communication strategy from a squadron volunteers POV.

I mean really it just comes down to having an effective RACI for each change activity. It may well be that all of us on here only sit under I for “inform” - but then we do actually need to be informed in a timely fashion. For many things, I feel front-line CFAVs actually need to sit under C for “consult” - but just getting us to I would be a positive first step.

@Wizzle did mention about roles within Comms being available at the moment. I like to find solutions and not just complain about things, so I have sent a message asking for further details.


too often the communication path is backwards in the organisation.

a policy appears available (on Sharepoint), sometimes with a effective from date that day, and then a week or more later we get the formal announcement about it suggesting there is no “overlap” of policy.

why can it not be
D-Day- 4 weeks > announcement (IBN?) that policy 123 is changing on X date, a brief overview of the change and confirmation when the new policy document with the change is available

D-Day - 3 weeks > new policy document is available on Sharepoint

D-Day - 1 week > repeat announcement if felt it is necessary that 123 is changing effective from X date

D-Day > policy is now effective

D-Day + 4 weeks > procedures following old policy (example, old versions of a TG form) no longer accepted.

it lets everyone know something is happening, when it is happening, what it is and (hopefully) why.
gives chance for all to plan, prepare and make arrangements as necessary
then when it does go live, no one is surprised, there is no confusion what this means to the weekend event happening only 48 hours away, and all (most) are ready to adopt the new format hitting the ground running.

As a personal example, my employer has decided that buying 80,000 paper cups for the coffee machines is a waste of money and damaging to the environment (loss of trees to make the cups, and energy required to recycle them etc) so have issues us all with thermal mugs and a metal “cup” for cold drinks.

the announcement was made ~June this would be happening, and 2 weeks ago we were all issued the cups, and told there will be no more paper cups stocking the coffee machines/water coolers as of 2nd October.
it isn’t hard - yet HQAC make it look like it is


Add in a D-Day +12 weeks review, has the change been effective and well implemented.

Don’t start talking about adopting a benefits management approach, you’ll blow their minds!

Baby steps!


Isn’t that review element basically covered in Bronze leadership under PICSIE? Maybe HQAC haven’t passed that badge yet.

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I believe the “Senior” in “Senior Leadership Team” is a metaphorical implication of everything they’ve forgotten about leadership.

Because non-literal dementia.

This would be the cascade policy that Influence wrote. It was endorsed by COS, but embedding it across HQ is another challenge.

That role has done loads, but it’s probably not all visible. Weekly brief is one example, but for a year we didn’t have any permanent staff so our ToRs took a backseat while we manned the fort for HQ. We also did lots more reactive, like advising HQ on Nijmegen comms, or the RFCA boundary change. These things might not be perfect, but trust me, that individual did lots to shift from what might have been. We’ve also done strategic consultancy, and been involved in working with a notable communications pro to give the RAFAC some recommendations on where they need to go to and some of the hurdles.

The big challenge with all of this being HQ is a big old ship to turn. There is a drive, and absolutely an appreciation of the insight CFAV who do this for a day job can bring, but the RAFAC is not our day job, so the perm staff have to see it through.


As far as I see it, we have some excellent volunteers in these roles, but they are just that, volunteers, and shouldn’t be expected to be putting in hours and hours every week, as a perm member of staff might.

This seems to sum it up perfectly.

We need a cohesive mix of volunteer and perm led work. Which is clearly starting to happen. But at the end of the day, why are we still seeing silly things like changes to uniform ordering processes being announced only via a document in an obscure area of Sharepoint? I don’t see this as the fault of any of the volunteers currently working on the team, by the way. I think it’s systemic.

It’s not systemic. It rests squarely at the door of the Commandant. He’s been in long enough now that he can’t blame this on his predecessor, many of the changes for the worse (Logs notes or whatever they are called) have come under his tenure.

(Edited to remove comments that were unfair considering he’s not here to defend himself)


It is a shame we can’t opt for a ‘deployment’ to support a team for a fixed period, in the manner of the Reserves. I’m talking on a paid basis of course.