Thursday, April 9, 2020
Highlighting articles and insights that we found interesting for the week ending April 10, 2020

Michael J. Keegan

VA delays health record deployment. The Department of Veterans Affairs is delaying the rollout of its $16 billion health record modernization project so that the health system serving 9 million veterans can focus on the COVID-19 pandemic. VA's decision tracks with a move at the Department of Defense to suspend new installations of its MHS Genesis health record software during the coronavirus response.

GAO: Agencies are missing EIS targets. Federal agencies are slow to adopt the governmentwide $50 billion next generation telecommunications contract vehicle, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

CISA looks to help secure federal telework. New guidance allows teleworking feds to connect and access agency and cloud resources from their homes while staying in compliance with the Trusted Internet Connection program.

HHS tech official warns feds, contractors on virtual meeting risks. As remote collaboration become the default, federal agencies are advising employees and users that video teleconferencing software, phone meetings and other tools are at increased risk.

Default to action in a crisis, general says. A mindset of taking action is usually the right approach, writes retired Gen. Peter van Uhm, provided you lean on your team to give you intelligence you wouldn't otherwise access. "Understand that afterward, when you are held accountable for what you did, it's easier to explain why you took action than why you did nothing," he writes. Strategy+Business

Study: Stress can adversely affect decision-making. Long-term decision-making can suffer when people are carrying around stress or believe they will be penalized for mistakes, according to a Stanford University study of volunteers using a virtual reality tool. "The results showed that those who were not threatened with punishment were able to find more novel shortcuts on their journey, with those in the stress-induced group tending to fall back on tried and tested routes," writes Adi Gaskell. The Horizons Tracker

Crisis leadership requires facing your fears. A crisis forces leaders to be innovative, learn as they go and make decisions without succumbing to fear, writes Michael McKinney. "When we deal with the crisis with a positive expectation and manage the fear, we open ourselves up to possibility, opportunities, and self-efficacy," he writes. Leadership Now

Why most leadership models aren't followed. Leadership models are more effective when they are easy to remember and align with the organization's needs, says Kamila Sip, the NeuroLeadership Institute's director of neuroscience research. "If leaders actually feel they can succeed in applying the models to their daily behavior and the outcomes are meaningful to them, they're then more motivated to actually think and act in accordance with the model," Sip says. Forbes

3 keys to managing yourself amid chaos. You can't control external events, but you can control your mindset, how you engage with people and how focused you are. "When the chaos of uncertainty hits, leaders have a responsibility to even out the tone by being a voice of reason and not adding to the blame narrative," writes Marlene Chism. SmartBrief/Leadership

John Kamensky

Reforming What DOD Buys. Federal News Network reports: “Congress’ work on the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act has been pushed back because of the coronavirus, but members are already starting to propose ideas for the annual legislation. The top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee introduced another round of acquisition reforms on Thursday, focusing mainly DoD’s requirements and sustainment processes.”

DHS COVID Procurement Response Team. Federal Times reports: “The Department of Homeland Security established a procurement response team to handle a spike in industry inquiries related to coronavirus, according to an April 1 notice from the department’s chief procurement official.”

OMB Allows Repurposing Grants. New OMB guidance allows agencies and grant recipients to repurpose grants – within limits – to support the COVID-19 response.

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Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: Conversation with Dave Marchick, Director of the Center for Presidential Transition at Partnership for Public Service. What is the history of U.S. Presidential Transitions? Why it is transition so important? How does the Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service work to improve this process?  Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Dave Marchick, Director of the Center for Presidential Transition at Partnership for Public Service. That’s next week on The Business of Government Hour.

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