Welcome to GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week with Chris Dorobek… where each week, our goal is to find an issue — a person — an idea — then helped define the past 7-days… and we work to find an issue that will also will have an impact on the days, weeks and months ahead. And, as always, we focus on six words: helping you do your job better.
This week has been Public Service Recognition Week and it comes on the heels of a lot of public service that probably that probably should not be recognized. Earlier this week, we unveiled the Partnership for Public Service Service to America Medal finalists — the SAMMIES… and we spoke to Tom Fox of the Partnership for Public Service about how YOU can help recognize good work… and a programming note: Starting on Thursday, we will be introducing you to the SAMMIES finalists.
There were a number of stories competing for the big issue this week.
- One was the budget. The House late in the week approved a bill that would adjust sequestration. The New York Times reports that the house approved the legislation that would cut $310 billion from the deficit over the next decade — and it shifted the cuts away from defense spending and toward domestic programs. The Times notes the bill has no chance of passing the Senate and the White House issued a veto threat saying the bill fails the test of fairness and shared responsibility.
- Meanwhile the House passed the first appropriations bill of the year — a measure that would spend $51 billion on the departments of Commerce, Justice, NASA and other related agencies. The Hill notes that the bill is the least controversial of the 12 annual appropriations bill and — are you sensing a theme here — it has no chance of making it through the Senate and the White House issued a veto threat. The White House has said President Obama will veto any and all of the 12 bills until the House renounces the top-line spending level in the overall budget written by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The legislation cuts spending by about 3 percent compared to current levels, which Republicans said shows their ongoing commitment to trim spending. The GOP said spending by agencies covered by the bill has been cut by 20 percent over the last three budget cycles.
- The House also voted for a plan that would increase the percentage of salary that federal employees must pay toward their retirement benefits. But — ready for it — the plan is unlikely to make it through the Senate.
- The gay marriage discussion. This is mostly a policy issue and we’ll leave that for others, but it does indicate the ongoing battle between the White House and Capitol Hill. The Washington Post notes that on the same day President Obama became the first president to fully embrace same-sex marriage, House Republicans once again approved measures that limit Obama administration policy decisions and federal policies favorable to gays and lesbians… they voted to bar the Justice Department from using any federal funds to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act. And the House Armed Services Committee voted to bar gay and lesbian service members from getting married or holding “marriage-like” ceremonies at military facilities.
Our Issue of the Week: It’s public service recognition week. The time when managers and the public are supposed to take a step back and really highlight the amazing work government workers do on a daily basis. But this year has been rough for many feds — especially those in the Secret Service — who are facing a public service nightmare with the prostitution scandals in Colombia and El Salvador. So for our issue of the week we wanted to harken back to a time when the Secret Service was held in really high esteem. A new book Rawhide Down draws on exclusive new interviews and never-before-seen documents, photos, and videos about the near assassination of President Ronald Reagan. The book’s author Del Quentin Wilber told me what he thinks of the current scandals hitting the Secret Service.
- What impact will cloud computing have on CIOs? Keith Engelbert is CIO of Student Transportation Inc., an operator of school buses, writes in Fortune about a recent report about, “The Changing Role of the CFO,” and it found that 17 percent of corporate financial decision-makers believe the position of the chief information officer will disappear from the business landscape in the next five years. Why? The cloud. Technology has dramatically changed the way organizations invest in and consume technology — and CIOs who do not value the cloud in today’s current IT environment are putting an expiration date on their usefulness in the enterprise. CIOs need to fundamentally shift their strategic thinking as it relates to technology because cloud services all but guarantee uptime and data’s availability. CIOs can now use cloud services to focus on how data is accessed, shared and used within the organization which is the next evolution of the title.
- Why Do Our Best and Brightest End Up in Silicon Valley and Not D.C.? The Atlantic says that the country’s most thoughtful used to look to politics to make a difference on issues like healthcare reform. But now they come to Google Ventures. And David Ewing Duncan sat down with Bill Maris, who leads Google Ventures. Maris says that government is really successful when it’s willing to make big bold objectives like: We’re going to get to the moon. And they’re willing to invest in those things to get there. He says there never was a bold statement like — we’re going to invent the Internet. Instead it was government investing in these technologies and things will develop from them… and that flows out to universities, which flows out to companies. Maris says that this system has given us a lot, and he says he hope will continue to give us in the future. But without leaders with big ideas we get stuck.
- How do you create a culture that embraces innovation? Scott Anthony of Innosight says it requires a highly engaged leadership and the right motivating factors — guess what? It isn’t only money… and, in fact, he mentions a DorobekINSIDER Book Club book — Daniel Pink’s Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
- Why does it seem that CEOs don’t get innovation? Stephan Lindegard writes that top executives are risk adverse, and too often they aren’t taught how to be innovative. We have his post of five reasons why CEOs don’t get innovation…
- Finally, are you addicted to Facebook? Well, have you tried to cut down your Facebook time, but you haven’t… or can’t… Or is Facebook impacting your ability to do your job? Mashable writes this is becoming a problem, apparently. Meanwhile in Fast Company, Martin Lindstrom writes about how he managed to put down his iPhone… and even not jump to Google to answer every trivial question that arises.