Weekly Roundup: July 19-23, 2021

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Friday, July 23, 2021

Highlighting articles and insights that we have found interesting for the week ending July 23, 2021

Senate Panel FY2022 NDAA Markup Features Long To-Do Lists on Cyber, Tech. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes a $1 billion increase in funds for programs developing AI, microelectronics, advanced materials, 5G, and biotechnology. The bill also features major to-do lists for DoD on broad areas of cybersecurity and emerging technologies, including items on defeating ransomware attacks, working closely to help the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and undertaking zero trust security migrations like those called for in President Biden’s cybersecurity executive order for civilian agencies.

VA Official Charts Agency’s IT Modernization Approach.  Dan McCune, the acting associate deputy assistant secretary of the Enterprise Program Management Office at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), talked about major themes in the agency’s IT modernization approach. The VA’s modernization strategy has three dimensions – people, processes, and technology, McCune explained. The agency also made a significant investment in cloud technology. Because of its previous investment in the cloud, VA was able to scale up its bandwidth and telehealth delivery dramatically and exponentially for its customers, McCune said

DoD Software Modernization Chief Lays out Overseas Strategy at Cloud Café Event. The Department of Defense (DoD) unveiled its outside the continental United States (OCONUS) cloud strategy last month, which strives to enable an all-domain advantage for international operations through cloud innovation.

DoD Deputy CIO Shares Guiding Principles for IT Advancement. Department of Defense (DoD) Deputy CIO Cynthia Medoza shared her most important guiding principles to advancing the DoD enterprise, which she dubbed as getting back to the basics. Among these three principles that she shared, include: building trusted partnerships, understanding mission results and outcomes, and leveraging best practices and lessons learned

Federal CISO DeRusha Maps FISMA Reform Priorities. Federal Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Chris DeRusha offered an expansive set of ideas for how Congress may undertake reform of the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) of 2014 to bring the existing law up to speed with the fast-moving security improvement work underway throughout the Federal government. DeRusha made no hard-and-fast recommendations for reform but talked about two areas he’d like to see Congress focus on. The first of those, he said, involves testing and validating security arrangements, rather than relying on “self-attestation” by agencies. The second area he suggested was increasing security automation.

Lawmakers push for new defense supply chain strategy. The Defense Department may soon have to create a supply chain risk assessment strategy and a plan for how to deal with materials and supplies manufactured in adversarial nations, according to a congressional report. The final report, released July 22, had 20 recommendations with six geared toward lessening U.S. dependence on foreign suppliers through legislative solutions to be introduced in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.

VA to continue pause on Cerner deployment for six more months. The Department of Veterans Affairs is continuing its pause on the deployment of its $21 billion electronic health record modernization effort for at least six months. Dr. Carolyn Clancy, an assistant undersecretary for health at VA, told lawmakers that by the end of the calendar year a new deployment schedule will be in place – one that is different from the planned geographic progression that was initially developed for the project. Clancy said the VA would conduct a review of the IT and physical infrastructure “at every facility in our system” and “subsequently deploy based on which sites are in the greatest state of readiness.”

*** Leadership Insights ***

Being a great leader requires putting the work in. Leadership will always require long-term effort to develop “the full repertoire of the skill set,” says Michael Useem, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His recent book profiles such leaders across eras, including Progressive CEO Tricia Griffith and President George Washington. Knowledge@Wharton

Speaking to leadership? Believe in yourself. Own your credibility when presenting to senior leadership, writes Joel Garfinkle, who recommends not rushing your speech so your confidence and expertise can shine through. “They want you to communicate your ideas clearly so they can benefit from them,” he says in this blog post and video. SmartBrief/Leadership

What leadership quality can you improve in 90 days? Take the next 90 days to seriously track, measure and reflect upon your leadership, including whether you’re having enough conversations and how meaningful they are, writes Wally Bock. “When the day is done, take some time alone to review your notes and record in your journal how you did that day,” Bock writes. Three Star Leadership

The importance of curiosity as a team leader. Curious leaders use questions to improve their team’s work, find out what needs attention and get to know people better, writes Dan Rockwell. He outlines five ways to practice curiosity with your team. Leadership Freak

Create connection to be a leader who “lights up a room”. Great leaders seem effortlessly charismatic but in fact have built relationships that seek to create wins for everyone involved, writes Matthew Barzun, a former US ambassador. “What we really want and need isn’t total freedom or total togetherness — it’s ‘freedom together,'” Barzun writes. Next Big Idea Club Magazine

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Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: A Conversation with Author April Rinne on FLUX: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change. How can government leaders see constant change as an opportunity, not a threat? How can fostering a flux mindset help leaders be more effective and resilient in the face of relentless uncertainty? What strategies can leaders follow to achieve this mindset? Join host Michael J. Keegan as he explores these questions and more with April Rinne, author of FLUX: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change.

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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