NATO’s Allied Command Transformation Up-Skills Its Transformational Capabilities

“Being First provided us with the catalyst with which we jump-started our Allied Command Transformation’s approach to our transformational journey. The Being First team inspired our multinational middle and senior management community, and provided us with the means with which we could bind the tremendously rich mix of cultures in NATO together, and then create genuine transformational change.”
Retired Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt
ex-Chief of Staff, ACT


The Chief of Staff of the ACT recognized the Command needed to raise its capability to lead its own transformation if it was to meet its evolving mission and remain relevant to the Alliance. The strategies for preparing the Alliance’s fighting forces across its 28 nations needed to be more responsive to the changing face of strategic threats. The Command, while highly structured in traditional command and control style, was aware that it required new ways of thinking and strategies to meet the challenges of the uncertain and dynamic realities faced by its member nations.

To prepare its forces to be more responsive to signals for rapid shifts in strategy in the field, it needed to develop change leadership capability in its Flag Officers and further develop its internal change resources. The Chief of Staff knew they needed to address mindset, culture, and engagement practices to support implementation of their new strategies, and needed to do so primarily using internal resources.


We partnered with the Chief of Staff to name a Transformational Development Team of internal resources who were of appropriate rank and position to have access and influence with the Command’s leadership. Together, we developed a change strategy for a two-year transformational program. We met with ACT’s Flag Officers to drive a visioning process for a more relevant future for the Command.

The Command sent its Transformational Development Team members to Being First’s Advanced Change Leadership Program, 4Sight, to advance their capabilities, mindsets, relationships and strategies to work within the Command’s military constraints and make progress on the strategy’s implementation. When the Supreme Commander necessitated a reduction in the scope of the plan, we trained and coached these people to adapt, revise, and continue to perform on behalf of their transformational mission.


  • Raised the awareness of the Flag Officers to envision a more resilient future for the Command
  • Aligned the Transformational Development Team around refocusing the strategic guidance of the Command to its new mission
  • Raised the capability of the Team members to be better change leaders
  • Develop Team members to work effectively within the constraints of their military reality
  • Created engagement strategies that informed and mobilized all ranks to contribute to the strategy and transformational program
  • Unleashed the motivation, intentions, and intelligence and skills of the Transformational Development Team’s members to better serve the Command
  • Catalyzed a partnership between NATO and the Army War College to address transformational leadership in the military
  • Enhanced team's responsive to signals for rapid shifts in strategy in the field

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