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Why Are Management Changes So Hard? – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • President Obama unveiled his three part management reboot that will attempt to modernize the executive branch. We break down the agenda. Plus a proposed gov reorganization and more on the Innovation Fellow. Click here for the full recap.

But Up First: More on Management

We told you about the Obama administration’s “new management agenda.” DorobekINSIDER producer Emily Jarvis has a good synopsis of what it contains… and you can hear what the President said.

Another take

  • National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar: Obama Reasserts His Faith in the Federal Government. Facing fresh questions about government’s effectiveness, Obama calls for an “aggressive” new management agenda.

But if you want to know why focusing on government management is difficult?

This from the Hill Newspaper:

Supporters and critics of President Obama are looking for leadership on many pressing issues from the White House, but many believe they are not getting it. On Monday, Obama held a Cabinet meeting and spoke about his effort to modernize government databases. He avoided public remarks on several matters seen as more pressing, such as turmoil in Egypt and the wider Middle East, faltering efforts to reform immigration in the U.S. and the rocky implementation of ObamaCare. Instead the president spoke to a small group of reporters about his efforts to improve databases and make government more efficient. “We’re working to make huge swaths of your government more transparent and more accountable than ever before,” Obama said at the White House. Even to the most loyal Obama supporters, the move seemed irrelevant, even odd.

The not so subtle subtext: Government management simply doesn’t matter. That being said, we will continue to focus on helping government do its job better.

And along those lines, Chris Dorobek is moderating a panel Thursday at the Multiple Award Government & Industry Conference (MAGIC) 2013 in Alexandria, VA talking about innovation and procurement.

Our panel: Innovation Beyond Technology: Rethinking Acquisition

Federal IT managers often expect to find innovation in the technologies they are acquiring, not in how they acquire it. As agencies move to a shared services environment to eliminate duplication and waste, how can acquisition remain agile to meet the evolving needs of the technology workforce? From Infrastructure as a Service to commodity BPAs, this session will explore how agencies identify future technology trends and put in place contract vehicles or other innovative acquisition models to procure leading edge products and services in a cost-effective and integrated fashion.


  • Frank Baitman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Mary Davie, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Integrated Technology Services, Federal Acquisition Service, General Services Administration
  • Angela Messer, Executive Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Stuart Taylor, Managing Director, Mobile Segment, Internet Business Solutions Group, Cisco Systems

We had a good pre-conference call and one of the topics we will be discussing is leadership. Yes, I know leadership is often billed as that pixie dust that one just sprinkles around to make magic happen, but… it is actually more complex than that. We hope to have a frank and honest discussion about what leadership is, what people need to do their jobs, and what each of us can do to be a leader.

Thoughts? Anything else we should be talking about?

Meanwhile, Some stories worth your time:

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. The federal Chief Information Officers council is creating an innovation committee that will identify and analyze cutting-edge technology, according to agency officials. Federal Times reports, the committee would look ahead 18 months to three years and identify potential uses and problems associated with the technology being developed, including mobile devices.
  2. California’s mammoth public retirement system will fire up a new searchable pension database this month, according to a notice sent recently to member organizations. The database will provide retiree information that is considered public: pensioners’ names, their monthly gross pension payment, their base allowance, the Cost of Living Adjustment, their years of service, when they retired, their pension benefit formulas, final compensation and last employer, reports the State Wonder.
  3. On Day 3 of Navy boot camp here, recruits sat through a two-hour session on sexual harassment and sexual assault — including a warning that alcohol often plays a significant role, but is never a defense. t was the third time in the opening days of an eight-week boot camp that recruits were confronted with the problem of sexual assault in the military. On the bus ride from O’Hare International Airport to start basic training, they watched a videotape of Capt. John T. Dye, who commands the Navy’s only boot camp, speaking directly about sexual assault as a crime. The video message was repeated the next day as recruits waited for medical screening and their first Navy haircuts, reports the New York Times.
  4. The Federal Communications Commission wants to team up with at least 500,000 Americans to gather data on the range and strength of broadband Internet networks, according to an FCC official. Federal Times reports, Walter Johnson, the chief of the electromagnetic compatibility division at the FCC, said at the Federal Mobile Computing Summit in Washington on Tuesday that by the end of the year, Americans will be able to download an app from the agency that will gather data on the user’s network strength and coverage areas
  5. The Internal Revenue Service accidentally exposed the Social Security numbers of tens of thousands of people, according to Public.Resource.org, a transparency watchdog. NextGov reports, the numbers were only on the Internet for less than a day. They were connected to non-profit political groups called 527s. The numbers were mistakenly included in a database of tax-exempt status seekers, which the IRS routinely makes public. Public Resources founder, Carl Malamud, pointed out the mistake to the IRS, which scrubbed the database a day late, reports Federal News Radio.
  6. The Senate’s plan to overhaul immigration policy would throw tens of billions of dollars at the Homeland Security Department. It would mandate a $7 billion system to check fingerprints of foreigners leaving the United States. And $7.5 billion for the 700-mile long fence. The Seattle Times reports, the bill would authorize $46 billion over 10 years on border security, mostly for contracted services and people. House Republicans, starting with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), oppose most of the bill. Even DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has said she doesn’t need much of what the bill would buy, including 20,000 new Border Patrol agents, reports Federal News Radio.
  7. And on GovLoop, the President is talking about management issues, and it is also the topic for the next DorobekINSIDER Live. You can register now for the hour long presentation on July 17th at noon EDT.

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

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