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Archive for July 30th, 2009

DorobekInsider: One day until the Federal News Radio Book Club with CTO Chopra discussing Payback

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I have been going on and on and on about the fifth meeting of the Federal News Radio Book Club. Well, tomorrow is the big day. The “meeting” of the book club comes up at 2p ET on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose show… and we are discussing the book Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation by James P. Andrew, Harold L. Sirkin, and John Butman. And I expect that both federal chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra, who selected the book in an interview with Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller. (You can hear that interview from here)… and the author, Jim Andrew, will be here in Federal News Radio’s Studio 1-A.

For those of you who have never listened to one of our book club meetings before, these are something akin to the Obama book club — you participate by reading the book and sending along your questions. (Previous book club meetings are below.)

We like to keep this conversational… and here are some of the discussion topics:

* We’ll start talking about innovation. Chopra has made it part of his mantra. And Payback looks at how an organization can make innovation matter — and may it pay off.
* I’m going to ask Chopra to talk about some of the challenges with innovation in government
* Why does innovation end up being challenging?
* Why does innovation in government seem particularly challenging?
* The book largely focuses on the private sector. Do the lessons from the private sector work for the public sector?

If you have questions or comments about the book… or about innovation… you can offer up thoughts, comments, insights, questions, discussion topics… whatever you want to add to the discussion… You can do that here on the DorobekInsider… you can do that on the Payback book club meeting’s Facebook event page… on my Facebook page… you can do that through on my Twitter feed… or just an e-mail — cdorobek at chrisdorobek.com.

Previous Federal News Radio Book Club “meetings”:

* The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
* What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
* Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
* Fired Up or Burned Out: How to reignite your team’s passion, creativity, and productivity by Michael Lee Stallard. Read more and hear the book club meeting here.

For those of you who have never listened to one of our book club meetings before, these are something akin to the Obama book club — you participate by reading the book and sending along your questions. (Previous book club meetings are below.)

We like to keep this conversational… and here are some of the discussion topics:

* We’ll start talking about innovation. Chopra has made it part of his mantra. And Payback looks at how an organization can make innovation matter — and may it pay off.

* I’m going to ask Chopra to talk about some of the challenges with innovation in government

* Why does innovation end up being challenging?

* Why does innovation in government seem particularly challenging?

* The book largely focuses on the private sector. Do the lessons from the private sector work for the public sector?

If you have questions or comments about the book… or about innovation… you can offer up thoughts, comments, insights, questions, discussion topics… whatever you want to add to the discussion… You can do that here on the DorobekInsider… you can do that on the Payback book club meeting’s Facebook event page… on my Facebook page… you can do that through on my Twitter feed… or just an e-mail — cdorobek at chrisdorobek.com.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2424/3620570890_06a4b5d95b_o.jpg


Previous Federal News Radio Book Club “meetings”:

* The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
* What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
* Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
* Fired Up or Burned Out: How to reignite your team’s passion, creativity, and productivity by Michael Lee Stallard. Read more and hear the book club meeting here.

Written by cdorobek

July 30, 2009 at 4:10 PM

DorobekInsider: The UK government encourages tweeting — and issues Twitter guidance

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I mentioned that I was over the Britain for the past few days celebrating my sister’s birthday. (My mother was able to rent this remarkable place designed by famous British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, who designed the British Embassy‘s Ambassador’s residence in Washington, DC, which is part of the Massachusetts Avenue historic district and is a marvelous building that unfortunately gets overlooked because of the modern new part of the embassy.)

While I was “across the pond,” there was an item stuffed inside the London papers — the British government was encouraging its career workers to use Twitter. Here is the story from the BBC:

New government guidance has been published urging civil servants to use the micro-blogging site Twitter.

twitterLaunched on the Cabinet Office website, the 20-page document is calling on departments to “tweet” on “issues of relevance or upcoming events”…

Neil Williams, of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), published the “template” strategy.

Writing on the Cabinet Office’s digital engagement blog, Mr Williams – who is BIS’s head of corporate digital channels – conceded that 20 pages was a “a bit over the top for a tool like Twitter” but added: “I was surprised by just how much there is to say – and quite how worth saying it is.”

You the full BBC story here.

Read Williams’ full post about the Twitter strategy here.

He has some good recommendations in his post:

For the next version of this document I’d like to set down how and when civil servants should support, encourage and manage Ministers’ use of Twitter for Departmental business (and navigate the minefield of propriety this might imply), and add a light touch policy for officials who tweet about their work in a personal capacity.

Finally, some of the benefits I’ve found of having this document in my armoury are:

  • To get buy-in, explain Twitter’s importance to non-believers and the uninitiated, and face down accusations of bandwagon-jumping
  • To set clear objectives and metrics to make sure there’s a return on the investment of staff time (and if there isn’t, we’ll stop doing it)
  • To make sure the channel is used consistently and carefully, to protect corporate reputation from silly mistakes or inappropriate use
  • To plan varied and interesting content, and enthuse those who will provide it into actively wanting to do so.
  • As a briefing tool for new starters in the team who will be involved in the management of the channel

I hope you’ll find it useful too.

And, in fact, you can read the UK guidance below… or download the PDF here:

View this document on Scribd

I should note here in the US, there is a somewhat grass roots group called the Social Media Subcouncil, which hosts a wiki and collects information about items just like this. EPA’s Jeffrey Levy was on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris earlier this year talking about the group and what they hope to accomplish. Hear that conversation here… and see the subcouncil’s collection of best practices and policies here.

One other note (and a slight poke): Why isn’t this kind of policy being done by GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy — to help put something like this together… to pull people together to talk about the challenges and issues. I know there are many good people in OGP, but they just don’t appear to be players in an area where they should be the leaders. Instead, the phrase people say to me: GSA OGP is MIA. (I should note: I have been told by OGP folks that my impression of the role of the Office of Governmentwise Policy is incorrect. I thought it was to help guide policy. I would welcome that conversation.)

Written by cdorobek

July 30, 2009 at 8:37 AM

DorobekInsider: More details on Pat Knapp, mother of Qwest’s Deirdre Murray

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I mentioned earlier that Qwest’s Deirdre Murray‘s mother passed away suddenly over the weekend. Knapp’s obituary was posted in the San Diego newspaper yesterday:

KNAPP, RITA (Pat) RIEHLMANN Beloved wife, devoted mother of four, age 83, died peacefully on July 24, 2009, at her home in Solana Beach, CA. Born October 5, 1925, in New Orleans, she personified its joie de vivre. She is survived by her children, Greg (Tujunga, CA) and his wife, Cathleen; Sam (San Diego, CA); Deirdre (Arlington, VA); and Steve (San Francisco, CA); her brother, Bernard; and a host of nieces, nephews and cherished friends. She was married to Norbert G. Knapp for 45 years; he died in 1993. Avid beachgoers, they loved tennis, baseball, dancing, and world travel. An LSU English graduate, Pat was an avid reader and letter writer, raconteur, crossword puzzle enthusiast and bridge player par excellence. She will be remembered for her strong faith in the Good Lord, her devotion to her family, her wonderful acts of kindness, and extraordinary intellect. Visitation on Thursday, July 30th, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at El Camino Memorial, 340 Melrose Ave., Encinitas, CA 92024, with Rosary at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 31st, Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. at St. James Catholic Church, 625 S. Nardo Ave., Solana Beach, CA 92075, followed by a private burial at El Camino Memorial Park. Reception at 2:30 p.m. at the Knapp’s, Del Mar Beach Club, 163 South Shore Drive, Solana Beach, CA 92075.

I spoke to Murray from London Tuesday… and, over all, I’d say she is doing as well as one might imagine. She was totally surprised — in fact, she barely was able to pack to get out to San Diego.

As I mentioned previously, she had just had a 10 day trip with her mother across Southern California that I had helped Murray plan… Deirdre was thankful that she had that time with her mother.

But reading the obituary, Knapp’s background in English reminded me of a story dating back to the now infamous Waxman-Doan hearings when then GSA Administrator Lurita Doan had, somewhat oddly, gone off on a rant about the hortatory subjunctive tense. (I blogged about it when I was over at Federal Computer Week… and you can hear Doan talk about the hortatory subjective from YouTube here.) Anyway, I remeber at the time that Murray and her mother had discussed this event — and the tense…

Anybody who knows Murray knows she is close to her family — close enough to discuss the hortatory subjunctive.

Written by cdorobek

July 30, 2009 at 5:56 AM