Friday, August 30, 2019
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of August 26-30, 2019.

John Kamensky

Continuous Evaluation. Federal News Network reports: “The federal government could potentially save billions of dollars over the next two decades by enrolling more security clearance holders into a continuous evaluation program. . . . The RAND Corporation, which recently studied agencies’ continuous evaluation programs, estimated government could save as much as $30 billion over the next 25 years by phasing out the periodic reinvestigation process and moving more federal employees and contractors with security clearances into CE.”

Notables Take On Modernization . NextGov reports: “The Social Security Advisory Board is calling in an “A-team” to help the agency meets its IT modernization goals. . . . The agency announced an 11-member IT Systems Expert Panel that will spend the next year assessing Social Security’s development and modernization processes, including how those efforts are affecting stakeholders in and out of the agency.”

Expanding Reach. Federal News Network reports: “Veterans homelessness is down 49% since the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs began an inter-agency effort to tackle the issue nine years ago. . . . And while both departments have documented some real progress since, members of Congress, local housing officials and veterans organizations still see an opportunity to improve deeply-rooted barriers that ultimately challenge VA to expand its reach with the veterans population.

Michael Keegan

Esper announces Fourth Estate review . In a rare press conference, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said a “defense-wide review process” has begun to evaluate the Fourth Estate agency resources.

Social Security Advisory Board names expert IT panel  Over the next year, a group of experienced federal IT executives will review how the Social Security Administration's system modernization work is progressing.

GSA on target with schedule consolidation. The General Services Administration says its work to consolidate two dozen contract schedules into a single schedule is proceeding smoothly, with the agency expecting to publish a consolidated solicitation at the start of fiscal year 2020.

Strengthen Your Strategic Smarts. The only thing more exasperating than being told “You’ve got to develop your executive presence” during your performance evaluation is “You’ve got to think and act more strategically.” While various reactions—many unfit for print—jump to mind, there’s often a kernel of truth in these vague statements. And while sorting out how to develop your presence or strategic thinking skills is challenging, it is surmountable.

Focus on other people rather than yourself. Leaders can become "otherish" by focusing on the work and welfare of employees, writes Dan Rockwell. This approach can help overcome doubt, loneliness or stress that keeps leaders on guard.

Be aware of your "unforced errors". Feeling overworked and stressed can lead to unexpected mistakes, being distracted and struggling to prioritize, writes Jesse Sostrin. "Select a few of your most common mistakes and ask yourself these two questions: 'If my direct report were making this mistake, how would I react?' and 'If a friend were making this mistake, what would I do?'

Be sure that your vision translates to operational strategy. The "grand strategy" of great ideas is a necessary step but needs to align with the operational strategy of what customers want, write consultants Daniel Deneffe and Herman Vantrappen. They recommend testing the grand strategy to ensure that it can be effectively communicated inside and outside of the organization.

An actor's preparation can help you present better. The training of dramatic actors is worth examining because they are taught to be prepared, to be clear about what they want to communicate and then to let "go of all the work you've done to prepare," writes Mallory Stratton. If you feel jittery before speaking, breathe deeply and use that excitement to put more power behind your presentation.

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 Next Week on The Business of Government Hour:

Conversation with Dr. Louis Uccellini, Assistant Administrator for Weather Services at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Director of the National Weather Service. How does the National Weather Service keep Americans safe by predicting extreme weather events earlier and with more accuracy? What are the National Weather Service's strategic priorities? How is the National Weather Service using technology and innovation to meet its mission? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Dr. Louis Uccellini, Assistant Administrator for Weather Services at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Director of the National Weather Service. That's next week on The Business of Government Hour.

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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