Weekly Roundup: January 13-17, 2020
Scaling Workforce Pilots. Federal News Network reports: “020, according to the latest update on the administration’s workforce modernization goals to Performance.gov, will focus on scaling up reskilling and upskilling programs, expanding various programs past the pilot stage and delivering new data on agency attempts to better manage employee performance.”
Good Migrations. Federal News Network reports: “The Army’s General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS), one of the world’s largest enterprise financial systems, will complete its migration to a commercial cloud next fiscal year as part of a modernization agenda that includes agile transformation and shared services.”
Is DOD’s CMO OBE? Defense News reports: “Ms. Lisa Hershman, an accomplished former CEO who has been serving in the Department of Defense for over two years, received Senate confirmation by unanimous consent to become the DoD chief management officer shortly before Christmas. At the same time, however, the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act required two studies from the DoD that openly posit eliminating the CMO function altogether.”
Results Act Birthday. NextGov reports: “A year ago today, President Trump signed the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, bipartisan legislation championed by an unlikely duo, then-House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. Better known as the Evidence Act, it tasked 24 large federal agencies with reviewing the vast amounts of program data they collect, safeguarding citizen’s private information, and better using the data to improve program effectiveness.”
State CDOs Have a Network. GovTech reports: “The relatively new role of the state chief data officer is catching on, with a designated professional support network, growing public pressure for data-based policies, and more than half of U.S. states now staffing.”
California’s Innovation Agency. Results for America highlights a best practice: “The California Government Operations Agency (GovOps), which serves as an umbrella organization for the state’s innovation work, is designed to institutionalize policies, tools, and training that can drive its mission to modernize the processes of government through lean process improvement, data, leadership, and performance improvement.”
DHS Morale – It’s More Nuanced. Federal News Network reports: “The Oversight, Management and Accountability Subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing on Jan. 14 to discuss morale at the Department of Homeland Security. . . DHS morale numbers are unlikely to rise beyond last place in the Best Places rankings if significant morale improvements are not made in TSA and CBP. . . . What that highlights is that looking at the department as a whole is a futile exercise. Improvements in morale are not made at the department level. They come at the component level and below.
What to watch in federal IT in 2020. Rather than make a series of buzzword-filled predictions about federal technology in the coming year, Mark Forman looked at the 2020 federal IT budget to discern a number of trends that we can interpret as signposts for what to expect in 2020.
CDO Council set to Convene. The CDO Council, mandated by the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act and sketched out in a White House memo last July, will convene its first meeting Jan. 31. The group is charged with developing best practices for data use and encouraging data sharing among agencies.
Army chief says to expect fewer program cuts in 2021 budget. Following two rounds of zero-based budgeting that went after underperforming and legacy programs, the Army's 2021 budget request is likely to contain fewer deep cuts to existing budget lines, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told reporters. The Army’s zero-based budgeting process -- called "night court" -- for fiscal years 2019 and 2020 was "far more aggressive because you had to reshape the portfolio," McCarthy said at a Jan. 15 Defense Writers Group event. The 2021 budget will be more focused on "refinements," he said, now that the Army has completed a push to move more than half of its research, development, and acquisition accounts to focus on new capabilities.
DHS workforce engagement scores still lag, but numbers may not tell the whole story. Since its 2003 inception, the Department of Homeland Security has faced high rates of turnover and low morale. The agency has also taken hits in employee surveys. DHS ranked last among large agencies in employee engagement, according to the 2019 "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" report from the Partnership for Public Service.
Find your purpose, not your passion. Passion is a "hedonistic approach to life" that's fine for what it is, but finding purpose is how people enjoy long-lasting fulfillment in their work and life, argues LaRae Quy. "When we pay attention to the things/values we care about, we often find that purpose can be found in more than one place," she writes. SmartBrief/Leadership
How to identify and grow great leaders. The value of leadership is simple, Jacob Morgan argues: Great leaders inspire people and attract talent, and bad leaders drive employees away and demoralize those who stay. "It's impossible to only hire superstar leaders; organizations also need to learn how to develop people internally to create great leaders," he writes. Leadership Now
Q&A with SmartBrief on Leadership. SmartBrief on Leadership editor James daSilva discusses a recent reader poll of 2020 priorities, who he's reading and more in this Q&A. "Our readers span industries, titles, ages and geographies, so what unites them is a shared desire to improve," he says. SmartBrief/Leadership (1/15)
How to Unleash Creative Thinking. The concept of presence of mind, as a tool for strategy, comes from one of the original writers on that subject: the Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz. In his classic book On War, published in 1832, he named presence of mind as a critical step of creative thinking. To have presence of mind is to clear away your prior notions about the situation you face: what the problem is, what the solution is, what your goal is, what the question is, what the answer is, what you want, what you expect, what you like or dislike. This gives your brain the space and time to make its own connections. Just out this thought-provoking piece.
What if you could follow directions that would lead you to a place of higher innovation and creativity for you and your team? Roger Firestien, Ph.D, is a senior faculty member at the Center for Creativity and Change Leadership at SUNY Buffalo. His new book, Create in a Flash: A Leader’s Recipe for Breakthrough Innovation, provides those directions to cultivate creativity for you and help your team to breakthrough results. Since innovative thinking is not something that can be mandated or delegated, leaders must first develop their own creative ability before leading their organizations to create breakthroughs.
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Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: Special Edition of The Business of Government Hour – Leadership Stories. Leadership stories are at the core of The Business of Government Hour. Join host Michael Keegan in the first of a two-part series exploring the leadership stories and public service of nine government leaders encompassing a wide range of disciplines, a diverse set of experiences, and a vast span of geographies. This edition introduces 4 government executives leading missions and programs that include compensating the sick and injured from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, providing development and humanitarian assistance, facilitating government-wide acquisition, technology and innovation, and ensuring the statistical integrity of government data. That's next week on The Business of Government Hour.
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