Friday, July 17, 2020
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of July 13-17, 2020.

John Kamensky

Need Evidence, Data. Robert Shea, in commentary for Federal News Network, writes: “Government agencies must step up their arbitration of evidence about effective practices in the current crisis and in every other domain in which they have expertise. It is the perfect time to add questions about what works to agency learning agendas.”

AI “to go.” FedScoop reports: “The Department of Veterans Affairs is experimenting with an artificial intelligence “to-go” delivery model to assist its medical centers during the coronavirus pandemic, said Gil Alterovitz, director of AI. . . . VA, industry and academic researchers are developing embeddable AI modules that efficiently integrate across different systems.”

Targeting Dollars to Poverty Areas.  The Government Accountability Office “was asked to review federal funding allocated to persistent-poverty counties and high-poverty areas. This report examines (1) characteristics of areas with persistent or high poverty, and (2) the percentage of funds that programs included in H.R. 2055 used in persistent-poverty counties and high-poverty areas in fiscal years 2017-2019.”

Cancelled. Federal Times reports: “In view of the federal government’s ongoing mission-critical efforts to reopen the U.S. economy and government offices, and recognizing the financial strain facing many Americans during this time, OPM will recommend to the White House that the PRA awards and bonus payments not be granted to federal employees in FY2020.”

Delayed, Again.  Federal Times reports: Feds will have to wait another two months before getting the chance to express their opinions about their jobs, as the Office of Personnel Management announced July 9 that rather than begin administering the survey next week, the agency decided to institute another delay. . . . The Government-wide FEVS administration is being postponed from Monday, July 13 to Monday, September 14.”

Michael Keegan

DISA leans in on zero trust. The Defense Information Systems Agency is teaming up with the National Security Agency to deliver the first zero trust reference architecture guidance later this year.

USPS’ solvency plans eliminate overtime, may delay mail delivery. To bring the U.S. Postal Service back to financial solvency, the postmaster general is rolling out some big operational changes, according to recent news reports. First off, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy plans to eliminate overtime, even if it means the mail is not delivered on time. “The USPS will no longer use excessive cost to get the basic job done,” according to a PowerPoint presentation of DeJoy’s talking points at a meeting in Ohio posted by the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers. “If the plants run late they will keep the mail for the next day. If you get mail late and your carriers are gone and you cannot get the mail out without OT, it will remain for the next day.”

Get the best of agile and lean management. Combine the best traits of agile and lean management to form teams that can work together while producing creative ideas in short-term cycles, according to this McKinsey analysis. "The fact that the two systems build on the same foundational beliefs makes their elements highly complementary," the authors write.

From a room called fear to a room called hope: a leadership agenda for troubled times. Leadership matters most—and is hardest to do well—when people face objective threats, when old ways of working are no longer possible, and when confusion and anxiety abound. These are brutal and relentless facts of organizational life for tens of thousands of leaders who feel heightened responsibility for billions of people as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

What's the Secret Ingredient to Great Mentorship. New research from Brian Uzzi, a professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School, shows that mentorship is indeed beneficial—especially when mentors pass down unwritten, intuitive forms of knowledge. The study, which analyzes the careers of more than 37,000 scientist mentors and protégés, suggests that mentors who pass on tacit knowledge rather than codified skills produce mentees who are significantly more likely to become superstars of their fields.

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Next Week on A Special Edition of The Business of Government Hour: A Conversation with Authors Series with Patrick Lester. What does it take to scale evidence-based programs successfully? What combination of federal, state, and local public policy changes are needed to scale evidence-based programs? What management strategies and resources are needed to scale these programs effectively? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Patrick Lester author of the IBM Center report, Scaling Evidence-Based Programs in Child Welfare.

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Friday at 1 p.m. on Federal News Network 1500AM WFED

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