Weekly Roundup: October 26-30, 2020

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

Friday, October 30, 2020

Highlighting articles and insights that we found interesting for the week ending October 30, 2020

Michael J. Keegan

DOD could get permanent telework capability in 2021. The Defense Department wants to convert its key telework tool, the Commercial Virtual Remote (CVR) environment, to a permanent capability by next summer, according to John Sherman, DOD’s principal deputy CIO.

CVR, which is the Defense Department’s version of Microsoft Teams, has been extended for use until June 2021, Sherman said Oct. 28 during C4ISRNET’s CyberCon event, with the goal is to move to a more enduring capability

White House mulls CXO role at agencies. The White House is considering whether agencies should have formally designated customer experience officers (CXO), said Matt Lira, Special Assistant to the President in the White House Office of American Innovation.

Improving federal customer experience is one of three “cross-cutting priority goals” in the Presidents Management Agenda. In early October, the White House said it was looking to hire additional customer experience and design professionals to drive more engaging customer-facing services at agencies.

Army IT chief mulls risk management reform. The Army’s newest IT chief is looking at reconfiguring the risk management framework among other legacy security processes. Lt. Gen. John Morrison started as the Army’s new Deputy Chief of Staff, G-6, in late July following the split of the CIO/G6 role into separate positions and offices.

Don’t silo away innovation. Corporate innovation requires a high-ranking champion, whether that’s an entrepreneurial CEO or someone in the C-suite whose job is to foster new ideas and ventures, write Tendayi Viki and Alexander Osterwalder and of Strategyzer. “The board can help reduce friction by clearly delineating where each leader’s role begins and ends,” they write. Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model)

A golfer’s perspective on leadership. Subordinates look to their leaders for appropriate behavior, writes retired golfer Jordan Fuller, who recommends leaders be enthusiastic, encouraging and have a clear vision. “To achieve success, know where your endgame lies, and use everything else in your leadership arsenal to win the support of your players, and win the game,” he writes. The Context of Things

Don’t let urgency make you solve the wrong problem. Avoid falling into the problem-solving trap of “any explanation is better than none” elaborated by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche by taking time to fully understand the conundrum, seeking feedback and reassessing your motives, writes business professor John McCallum. “Even when you think you have nailed a decision, be prepared to slow down, listen, and think again when someone says you are in too big a hurry to be rid of a problem,” he writes. Ivey Business Journal

Why this CEO strives to create “a culture of grace”. Long-term thinking, being good at recruiting and firing liars are just a few of the lessons that Curriculum Associates CEO Rob Waldron has learned in 12 years on the job. “A culture of grace, respect, and realistic expectations will result in the highest performance from employees long-term,” he writes. Real Leaders

What 4 strengths are required of strategists? Good strategists can identify problems, understand how those problems interact with organizational bureaucracy, the ability to think deeply, a willingness to explore options and the courage to transform systems and products, writes Chicago Booth adjunct professor Ram Shivakumar. He gives examples of outstanding strategists who have relied on such strengths including Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Henry Ford. Chicago Booth Review (University of Chicago)

DOD could get permanent telework capability in 2021. The Defense Department wants to convert its key telework tool, the Commercial Virtual Remote (CVR) environment, to a permanent capability by next summer, according to John Sherman, DOD’s principal deputy CIO.

CVR, which is the Defense Department’s version of Microsoft Teams, has been extended for use until June 2021, Sherman said Oct. 28 during C4ISRNET’s CyberCon event, with the goal is to move to a more enduring capability

White House mulls CXO role at agencies. The White House is considering whether agencies should have formally designated customer experience officers (CXO), said Matt Lira, Special Assistant to the President in the White House Office of American Innovation.

Improving federal customer experience is one of three “cross-cutting priority goals” in the Presidents Management Agenda. In early October, the White House said it was looking to hire additional customer experience and design professionals to drive more engaging customer-facing services at agencies.

Army IT chief mulls risk management reform. The Army’s newest IT chief is looking at reconfiguring the risk management framework among other legacy security processes. Lt. Gen. John Morrison started as the Army’s new Deputy Chief of Staff, G-6, in late July following the split of the CIO/G6 role into separate positions and offices.

Don’t silo away innovation. Corporate innovation requires a high-ranking champion, whether that’s an entrepreneurial CEO or someone in the C-suite whose job is to foster new ideas and ventures, write Tendayi Viki and Alexander Osterwalder and of Strategyzer. “The board can help reduce friction by clearly delineating where each leader’s role begins and ends,” they write. Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model)

A golfer’s perspective on leadership. Subordinates look to their leaders for appropriate behavior, writes retired golfer Jordan Fuller, who recommends leaders be enthusiastic, encouraging and have a clear vision. “To achieve success, know where your endgame lies, and use everything else in your leadership arsenal to win the support of your players, and win the game,” he writes. The Context of Things

Don’t let urgency make you solve the wrong problem. Avoid falling into the problem-solving trap of “any explanation is better than none” elaborated by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche by taking time to fully understand the conundrum, seeking feedback and reassessing your motives, writes business professor John McCallum. “Even when you think you have nailed a decision, be prepared to slow down, listen, and think again when someone says you are in too big a hurry to be rid of a problem,” he writes. Ivey Business Journal

Why this CEO strives to create “a culture of grace”. Long-term thinking, being good at recruiting and firing liars are just a few of the lessons that Curriculum Associates CEO Rob Waldron has learned in 12 years on the job. “A culture of grace, respect, and realistic expectations will result in the highest performance from employees long-term,” he writes. Real Leaders

What 4 strengths are required of strategists? Good strategists can identify problems, understand how those problems interact with organizational bureaucracy, the ability to think deeply, a willingness to explore options and the courage to transform systems and products, writes Chicago Booth adjunct professor Ram Shivakumar. He gives examples of outstanding strategists who have relied on such strengths including Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Henry Ford. Chicago Booth Review (University of Chicago)

John Kamensky

Evidence Act, Next Act. NextGov reports: “An official from the Office of Management and Budget couldn’t pin down a specific date for the release of implementation guidance required under the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act at a meeting for a federal advisory board . . . When asked by a committee member when guidance for implementing the Evidence Act would be released, Martinez suggested early 2021.”

Don’t Detect Fraud – Avoid it!  Federal News Network reports (scroll down for this story. . . ): “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services . . . has prevented over $1 billion in fraud over the past decade through predictive analytics capabilities. . . . The agency’s fraud prevention system, stood up in 2011, combs data on 11 million incoming claims every day, and flags suspicious billing from health care providers that program integrity contractors review.”

Shared Services in Labor. Federal News Network reports: “Labor started [its] back-office consolidation initiative in 2017 with a focus on human resources and soon expanded it to the other areas. Procurement, IT and personnel security now are all well on their way to meeting Labor’s goals of agility to meet new requirements from customers and cost savings.”

Restoring Trust. In an opinion column for Federal Times, James-Christian Blockwood writes: “Let us hope the upcoming election is not a catalyst or culmination of events leading to a potential next crisis — a civil war — but rather the restoration of civility and unity. a testimony to the importance of presidential leadership in times of crisis, and a clear demonstration of how democracy, though less than perfect, remains the best form of government in the world.”

Does Remote Hurt Productivity? RouteFifty reports: “State and local government finance and administrative leaders who responded to a recent survey raise concerns that productivity will take a hit if their staff continue the types of remote work arrangements that have become common during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Workforce Changing Faster Than the System. In an opinion piece for Government Executive, Howard Risher writes: “Leading edge thinkers now downplay the importance of jobs and job descriptions. With knowledge workers, the focus is on their expertise and ability to apply that knowledge in teams or individually to address problems. . . . [However, civil service] Personnel practices rooted in blue collar work from the last century continue to hold government back.”

CMS Building Data Skills.  Federal News Network reports: “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, for example, is looking at using AI and machine learning tools to flag fraud, waste and abuse. But first, Deputy Chief Information Officer Bobby Saxon said the agency needs to make its data systems — made up of 30 data warehouses and three enterprise data lakes — more cohesive.”

Full Telework. Federal News Radio reports: “The next frontier for federal telework? Allowing federal employees to work from anywhere — even if it’s several hundred miles away from their agency’s physical office space. . . . Several agencies say they’re actively considering it, even after social distancing is no longer a necessity.

Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: A Conversation with Preston Finley, Director-Foresight, Strategic Planning & Risk Management, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. How is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) using Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) to assess threats and opportunities facing the department and the veterans it serves? What is VA doing to promote and support a risk aware culture throughout the department? How is VA using strategic foresight and ERM to make better decisions? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Preston Finley, Director – Foresight, Strategic Planning & Risk Management within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 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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