Weekly Roundup: February 22-26, 2021

This post first appeared on IBM Business of Government. Read the original article.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Highlighting articles and insights that we have found interesting for the period ending February 26, 2021

Michael J. Keegan

Lawmakers, contractors look to extend COVID reimbursements to industry. Lawmakers and defense industry groups are pushing to extend pandemic relief authorities that reimburse government contractors for paid leave if they are unable to work through the end of the fiscal year.

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) are asking Senate leaders for legislation to extend reimbursement authorities of Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, allowing federal contractors to pay employees who couldn’t work due to the pandemic to Sept. 30. The current provision is set to expire on March 31.

DISA Tech Programs Paved the Way for DOD Mass Telework. The Defense Information Systems Agency has migrated 16,000 users to its Microsoft Office 365 offering for collaboration tools under the Defense Enterprise Office Solutions contract so far, according to DISA’s outgoing director. Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, speaking Thursday at her last media roundtable before she departs the agency after a three-year tenure, said all DISA personnel has been migrated into DOD365 and onboarding pilot users from other commands is the next step in the effort. 

Turn SWOT on its head. Try your next SWOT analysis by first examining external opportunities and threats before looking internally, as this approach helps you understand the shared environment your competitors also inhabit, write Laurence Minsky and David Aron. By approaching the process backwards, “the results are recommendations that are more thoroughly developed and grounded,” they write. Harvard Business Review

What 140 leaders learned from pandemic adversity. The pandemic has forced leaders to acknowledge the importance of self-care, connection and change management, according to Joseph Michelli, who interviewed 140 leaders last year. “Ultimately, you will be remembered by the way you treat people in the worst of times than the way you treated people in the best of times,” he says. Ryan Estis & Associates

Why great leaders also know when to follow. Knowing when to follow is also a part of leadership, writes Wally Bock, who recommends figuring out each situation’s context, being clear in your vision and helping people find purpose in their work. “Whether you’re in a leadership position or not, you should prepare to lead well,” he writes. Three Star Leadership

Why practice really can make you a better leader. Musicians and businesspeople succeed by practicing much more than they perform, writes Gerald Leonard, professional bassist and a longtime consultant who is CEO of Principles of Execution. “To become a world-class performer, most experts spend time imagining themselves delivering a world-class routine, whether giving a speech, writing a novel, developing code, or performing music on stage,” he writes. Real Leaders

John Kamensky

Blended Data. Federal News Network reports: “The Chief Data Officers Council, barely a year after holding its first meeting, is picking up steam. . . . The CDO Council has also stood up a data sharing working group, which is studying governmentwide use cases for data sharing, while also ensuring the data remains protected.”

Effort & Performance. Government Executive reports: “In three related experiments, the researchers demonstrated that participants performed better on tasks when there was a bigger potential prize and when they felt like their efforts made a difference in earning that prize.”

Automating Menial Tasks. FedScoop reports: “The Air Force’s Vice Chief’s Challenge yielded 15 winning ideas based on technology to help automate menial tasks and give airmen new opportunities to get their hands on code. . . . The winning ideas ranged from chatbots for financial management systems to network monitoring software to improve cybersecurity.

Why Modernizations Fail. Government Executive reports: “Digital modernization. PMO stand-ups. Enterprise risk management. Shared services. AI and CX. All the “solutions” to government’s problems promise to speed, streamline, standardize and modernize, but they rarely address the organizational changes required to actally make them effective, or the organizational changes that result. That is a big mistake.”

Civil Service Reform Redux. Federal Times reports: “Both Democrats and Republicans agree that the federal government’s workforce management practices as they currently stand aren’t good enough to meet the needs of the American people. But as demonstrated at a Feb. 23 House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing, they have radically different ideas of how to fix things.”

OPM Director Nominated. Government Executive reports: “President Biden on Tuesday announced that he will nominate Kiran Ahuja to be the director of the Office of Personnel Management, tapping an Obama administration veteran to rebuild an agency slated for dissolution by President Trump.”

Telework Beyond Pandemic. In an op-ed for Government Executive, Matthew Cornelius writes: “Starting now, the Biden administration and Congress must build a telework foundation in terms of policies and infrastructure to sustain a more remote Federal workforce long-term, after the pandemic subsides.”

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Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: A Conversation with Bill Moore, Director & Chief Executive Officer, Defense Commissary Agency. What is mission of the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA)? How has the pandemic impacted its operations?How is the Defense Commissary Agency changing the way it does business? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with  Bill Moore, Director & Chief Executive Officer, Defense Commissary Agency next week on The Business of Government Hour..

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