On Today’s Program for Tuesday May 15, 2012
- Suspensions and debarments — it is the ultimate way if there are problems with a government contractor, but it can also wreak havoc to government contracting. A panel at the ACT-IAC Excellence in Acquisition conference recently, and we’ll hear highlights…
- Do more with less — we hear THAT all the time, right? But could there be a better way? We’ll talk to an expert who says the right answer may be doing something different — Ron Ashkenas.
This morning Chris moderated a GovLoop discussion about re-imagining government customer service. It was a great discussion. Chris’ big take-away: customer service looks externally, but it also looks internally — and that this agency has taken steps to reach out to people within the organization. It’s interesting because when he made the comment about looking internally as well as externally, there was an audible gasp in the room… and I’m still not sure it was of agreement and hope that there be more inclusion… or what.
GovLoop’s Pat Fiorenza has written up his thoughts. Some more food for thought a Forbes interview with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who offered his 10 leadership lessons — and they are really good — and applicable to government. A few of them directed at customer service: “Obsess over customers.” And Bezos says, “Determine what your customers need, and work backwards.” He also says one has to tolerate failure… and “In the old world, you devoted 30% of your time to building a great service and 70% of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts.” We have the link to his full list online.
One other note on this subject: During our discussion, there was a talk about culture and leadership. We have a lot of buzzwords that we use to avoid doing something — culture seems to be one of them. We say that the culture of government doesn’t embrace failure or risk and one of my mantras is that these are the remarkable times for government. Yes it is the worst of times in many ways, but these are also remarkable times. Today, leadership isn’t just in a corner office or some c-level person. It is throughout organizations. And there are remarkable opportunities to break patterns. What is Einstein’s famous quote: The definition of insanity is that we keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. There is a real desire to stop doing the same thing over and over again… to stop the insanity… and you can do it. And it is why I work here at GovLoop because I think this platform can help make that happen.
CNN reports that House Speaker John Boehner is warning that he won’t permit another increase in the debt ceiling without a larger amount of spending cuts and reforms approved in tandem. Speaking this morning at the address to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s 2012 Fiscal Summit, he said, “When the time comes, I will again insist on my simple principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase.
This is the only avenue I see … to force the elected leadership of this country to solve our structural fiscal imbalance,” The House Speaker released excerpts of the speech he is giving today at a fiscal summit sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. And yes, it could be yet another potential of a government shutdown later this year. We will keep watching.
7 Stories you need to know: Defense contractors join the Pentagon’s cyber-defense strategy
A Few Final Links to Linger Over:
- Jerry Brown On California’s Budget Deficit: ‘Cutting Alone Really Doesn’t Do It’
- Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive: What Should Your Agency Use?
- NASA Wants You to Build ‘The Ultimate App’ Using its Data