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Spend Your Present Preparing for Your Future

Young Government Leaders (YGL) and GovLoop present the NextGen Public Service Awards for superior public service and achievement. The 4th Annual NextGen Public Service Awards will be given at the 2014 NextGen Award’s Ceremony, which will kick off the NextGen Training Summit on July 23rd in Washington, DC. We have 18 finalists in six different categories. All month long we will be introducing you to the finalists.

Meet the Finalist:

Who: Raymond Marbury, Program Manager at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security

Achievement: NextGen Public Service Award Finalist, NextGen Advocate Award

“Dr. Marbury’s passion for social responsibility demonstrated through his research, is a quality reminiscent of a smart responsive government that constantly evaluates federal operations and the impact to the community.” – George Etienne, Deployment Service Manager, at the USCIS

Succession planning may not mean much to the general public, but Dr. Raymond Marbury believes it should be a priority in every organization, public or private.

Succession planning is critical but unfortunately often overlooked, Dr. Marbury explained. “Some [succession] elements can actually impact national security,” said Dr. Marbury. While it’s difficult for organizations to plan for the future, Marbury hopes his research can change management priorities across the country.

Dr. Marbury said he stumbled upon the topic of succession planning while working on his dissertation. A light bulb went off and he began to dive into the research and literature and thought “this is a significant issue in our federal workforce that needs to be addressed.”

Dr. Marbury describes the crux of succession planning as preparing for a smooth transition within the workforce so your organization can continue operations through an emergency or phase retirements.

“So the basic premise of succession planning is being prepared for human capital changes that will occur in the workforce,” said Dr. Marbury.

A lack of succession planning is usually paired with lack of foresight, which can spell trouble throughout the entire organization.

“I was completely shocked [to learn] that more than half of the federal managers that were surveyed did not know if their agencies have succession plans,” said Dr. Marbury. “That has huge implications for the executive branch of government when you think that if the managers are not aware then that means they’re probably not transferring bodies of knowledge and information from the senior level employees to the midlevel and junior level employees.”

Dr. Marbury’s concludes that because many agencies don’t make sufficient plans “it could end up costing agencies 30% in human capital, and that’s $21 billion over 10 years.”

“It’s more cost effective to invest in your talent than for you to not make strategic investment and then end up using contract vehicles to fill the gap in agency missions,” said Dr. Marbury. “In an environment where we’re talking about trimming the federal budget, not preparing [it], which will cause us to spend tremendous amounts of money later on, is just not fiscally responsible.”

Who should we look up to for preparedness? Benjamin Franklin, according to Dr. Marbury.

“[He] once said that ‘selling to prepare is preparing to sell.’ I take that quote with me wherever I go when I talk about succession planning. This is something that is not optional; it’s something that you must do if you are interested in having a sustainable organization.”

Dr. Marbury says his job provides the ability to see missions realized through the contributions that you make.

“I don’t think of it as work,” said Dr. Marbury. “I think of it as just something that I do because I like to do it.

We’ve talked to all the NextGen Public Service Award finalists recently. See the full list here. And register for NextGen!

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