DorobekINSIDER: Work Feel Hard? Meet the #SAMMIES2014 Finalists

Hey there. I’m Christopher Dorobek — the DorobekINSIDER — and welcome GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER… where we focus on six words: Helping government do its job better.

Work ever feel hard? Tired of ‘the beatings will continue until morale improves’?

Remarkable work done by passionate and persistent public servants was recognized Monday night in the annual Service to America Medal award dinner sponsored by the Partnership for Public Service.

The 2014 Service to America Medals

The 2014 Service to America Medals

The event is always awesome — and they get A-list people to hand out awards:  OMB Director Shaun Donovan, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell of the Department of Health and Human Services.

I think anybody who attends — or anybody who takes time to meet any of the finalists — will come away proud of the work public servants are doing — and the challenges that they are working to overcome… both external and internal.

We are lucky enough to get to talk to many of the finalists… and if you’re ever having a terrible day and wondering why you’re doing what you’re doing, take a few minutes and listen to one of these remarkable people. It will redouble your commitment and passion.

Some of our most memorable interviews:

Those are just a few. You can find all of our SAMMIES interviews here. (We have a few more to go.)

And you can hear the Partnership’s Tom Fox about his lessons learned from the SAMMIES.

Other coverage:

Congratulations to the winners!


The DorobekINSIDER #MustRead list:

DorobekINSIDER water cooler fodder:

Before we finish up… a few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder… yes, we’re trying to help you make your water-cooler time better too…

  • The DorobekINSIDER Book Club – Join us in reading Frans Johansson’s book: The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas — and then join the discussion about what the concepts mean for government. More information about how it works here.
  • In one of his last interviews as federal CIO, Steve VanRoekel on the digital service and the challenges of government IT [Michael J. Keegan (@mjkeegandc). Host, Producer, & Editor, The Business of Government Hour & Magazine on GovLoop]:  What were your top say three challenges that you faced in your position?  I came to the administration from the private sector. Having this perspective shapes the way I see the challenges being faced in federal IT.  Challenge 1: Pace of Technological Change and Government Culture. The culture and systems in government aren’t set up to keep pace with that dynamic change in technology. This is a big challenge on thinking about how government can better keep pace with technology trends. Challenge 2: Government Attracting the Best Talent. Along with keeping up with the pace of technological change, the government must find ways to attract and hire the best technical people…so how government can be competitive in this space is a really big challenge. Challenge 3: Government Budget Cycle and IT. The government budget cycle also presents a significant challenge when attempting to implement technology in a somewhat turbulent environment. The three significant challenges centers around the timing of how budgets are done, the pace of technology, and the federal agency’s ability to hire the right talent to do technology.
  • You Can’t Just Hack Your Way to Social Change [Harvard Business Review]  HT @HallM13   “Any data scientist worth their salary will tell you that you should start with a question, not the data”

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