Friday, October 18, 2019
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of October 14-18, 2019.

John Kamensky

Burden Reduction Update. Government Executive reports: “OMB released a burden reduction update to the president’s management agenda, the president’s long-term vision for modernizing the government. . . . The update encompassed over 100 “burden-reducing initiatives” reported by 24 major federal agencies, the majority of which are focused on process improvement and standardization.”

Administrative PAYGO. Government Executive reports: “President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order aimed at cutting federal agency spending by reinstating a rule that originally went into place during the George W. Bush administration.  . . . The order will put into effect the “administrative PAYGO” memorandum, which Bush implemented in 2005 to require agencies to offset any actions they took that would increase spending on mandatory programs.”

Both Sides.  In an op-ed for Government Executive, Rebecca Gevalt writes: “If you want to advance federal agency missions with commercial technology, you need to address both the tech and the government. Helping tech companies and government agencies find each other is just one step of a larger journey.”

Data-Driven Farming. Federal News Network reports: “USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, together with corporate partners like Microsoft and Esri, have launched what they call the Data Innovations project, aimed at using the Internet of Things and other technologies to give farmers and researchers near-real-time data on farm conditions.”

Hunting for AI. NextGov reports: “The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently launched a recruitment effort to hire its first-ever senior-level artificial intelligence expert to advance the agency’s applications of the emerging technology and provide technical expertise to keep employees on the leading edge.”

Making the Most. Government Executive reports: “It’s critical that managers selectively focus on key questions in the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. . . . There are many ways to pick a focus. The key is to pick something without worrying about whether it’s the “right” thing. Why? When it comes to improving employee experience, there is no one right answer. Scores overall rise when employees see effort and gradual improvement, not when all concerns raised across 87 questions are addressed.”

The Performance Practice. Leap Ambassadors, an organization which advocates for improved performance among nonprofits, has released an updated guide – The Performance Practice -- for improving performance that holds useful insights for government agencies as well!

Michael Keegan

Why data is key to GSA's e-commerce plan. Federal spending and pricing data -- and who can access what -- are critical to success of the General Services Administration's e-commerce platform plans.

Advanced tech and human operators. Artificial intelligence and machine learning tools are helping perform cybersecurity tasks, but humans remain central to the process, experts say.

What DOD's data scientists are discovering. Recruiting top analytical talent into government is tough, the Pentagon's top management officer says, but the payoffs can be big.

Spend time alone to sort out your priorities. Spending time in solitude can help leaders organize their thoughts, prioritize their tasks and reflect on their feelings, writes LaRae Quy. "Alone time invites you to go deeper into who you are and who you want to be," Quy writes. SmartBrief/Leadership

"Applied curiosity" sets great strategists apart. Strategic CEOs are those who innately possess or develop an "applied curiosity" to each business situation they encounter, writes Adam Bryant. "What separates top CEOs from the rest is how much they question, probe, and then process what they are experiencing in order to look for insights and patterns," he writes.

First Things First. “First things first.” Sounds like a great way to start your day. But what exactly does it mean? You want to get your day off to a great start. Here are three ideas about how to figure out what the best “first thing” is for you today. Start with Something That Builds Momentum

Persuade others with a confident tone of voice. People tend to be more persuaded by those who exude confidence in the modulation of the tone, pitch and speed of their voice, according to research by Wharton School professor Jonah Berger. "We should think about situations where that humanizing power of voice is useful, where the persuading power of voice is useful, and make sure to use those features of our voice that can help us," Berger says. Knowledge@Wharton

Own your mistakes before others force you to. When you make a mistake, it's better to quickly apologize and start working on a solution rather than hope no one finds out, writes Diana Peterson-More, who shares two stories of her own. "By practicing the 'no surprises rule,' we accept responsibility for our actions, protect our boss and department by giving him or her advanced knowledge and the chance to rise to the occasion and protect us, and, we do the right thing!" she writes. SmartBrief/Leadership

Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: Allison Brigati, deputy administrator, U.S. General Services Administration. What are GSA’s strategic priorities? How does the Technology Modernization Fund work? What is the mission of GSA’s Emerging Leaders Program? Join Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and so much more, Allison Brigati, Deputy Administrator, U.S. General Services Administration 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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