Bring NextGen to Your Agency

We’re blogging from the Next Generation of Government Training Summit. Follow along @NextGenGov and read more blog posts here.

So, you’re at NextGen. Maybe it’s your first time — or maybe you’ve been here before.

And you’ve heard lots of great information. You’re re-energized and ready to get back into the office Monday morning and make some awesome changes.

But, you might be at a bit of a loss as to how to actually go about actually taking action.

During the final breakout session of the conference, GovLoop Founder and President Steve Ressler gathered a panel of Federal employees who have experience taking ideas from NextGen and turning them into viable action items in their organizations.

Russell Maltempo of the FDIC, Emily Dougherty of the EPA, Lorenza Molina-Irizarry of the Census Bureau, and Laura Kunkel of HUD all shared success stories.

Forming NextGen groups – or affinity groups – allows lower level employees the opportunity to fix problems they see while engaging with their peers.

Molina-Irizarry said having a dedicated NextGen group at her agency allows her to interact and meet with mid- and upper-level managers that she would not otherwise see. She says her group has found success because they act as ‘Millennial consultants’ for leadership.

Kunkel said that it’s important to keep the culture of your organization in mind when forming your group. She explained that, if your agency is more formal, it might require extra legwork, but the payoff can be worth it.

“Do your research before [making your proposal],” Molina-Irizarry advised, adding that many agencies have official policies concerning the formation of groups that meet during business hours.

Your EEO or HR office should be a good place to start if you’re interested in starting your own group. After you learn about the official process, it’s important to focus on WIIFM – “What’s In It For Me” – when making the case to your fellow employees.

There is also the NextGen Emerging Leadership Forum, which can be reached at [email protected].

Keep in mind that no change happens over night. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get immediate buy-in from either management or your peers. Effective groups take time and effort to form – and putting in that time and effort will pay off if you focus on achieving your goal.

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