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DorobekInsider: The July Federal News Radio Book Club book: Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation

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Our next meeting of the Federal News Radio Book Club is what we call a “get” — we will be talking about a book selected by Aneesh Chopra, the first ever federal chief technology officer, and Chopra will be with us for the discussion.

The details:
When: Friday, July 31 at 2p ET July 17 at 2p ET TIME UPDATED
Where: On Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose program and on FederalNewsRadio.com
The book: Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation by James P. Andrew, Harold L. Sirkin, and John Butman — and James Andrew, Global Leader
Senior Partner & Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group’s innovation group will be joining us… so not a bad line-up: Chopra, Andrews and then Rose and Dorobek.

Just a reminder in case you have not participated in a Federal News Radio Book Club “meeting” before: It is something akin to the Oprah book club except we talk about books that help feds do their jobs better. And perhaps unlike other book clubs, our “meetings” take place on the radio — specifically on on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose and online at FederalNewsRadio.com. And we’d love to hear your thoughts about these issues. Comments will soon be available here. I have also set up a Facebook event page for the book club.

How did this come about: Well, Obama CTO Aneesh Chopra, in his interview with Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller, mentioned the book. I have posted part one of the interview below:

You can hear part two here.

As soon as I heard the interview, I sent a note to Chopra and his team… and to Andrews… both were interested… and we worked out the details and…

I started reading the book over the weekend and it is definitely a fascinating read. The book was written for the private sector, but… there is plenty in there that is applicable to government… and I know that Chopra will bring the pieces today.

I’m a third of the way through the book. I’ll post some liner notes when I’m a bit further along.

In the meantime, mark your calendar… Friday, July 17 at 2p ET for the Federal News Radio Book Club discussing Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation by by James P. Andrew, Harold L. Sirkin, and John Butman.

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

June 15, 2009 at 3:11 PM

DorobekInsider.com: Hear the July 2009 Federal News Radio Book Club meeting – Fired Up or Burned Out

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Today was the fourth “meeting” of the Federal News Radio Book Club on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose program where we discussed Fired Up or Burned Out: How to reignite your team’s passion, creativity, and productivity by Michael Lee Stallard. The book was recommended by Martha A. Dorris, the acting Associate Administrator Citizen Services and Communications for the General Services Administration. It was a great discussion among Dorris,Stallard, Rose and myself. You can hear the full conversation here.


Fired Up or Burned Out

One of the goals of the Federal News Radio Book Club is to ensure that the books that we select have application to helping government managers and contractors do their jobs more effectively. And that is one of the reasons why I try to have a senior government person — in addition to the author of the book — join us during the book club “meetings.” And Dorris did a particularly good job connecting the book to the government.

My take aways from the book — and our “meeting”:

* Leadership matters… It seems elementary, but it is leaders can play a remarkably powerful role in the success of an organization

* Don’t underestimate the ‘squishy’ issues: Relationships and connection are very important to building a successful team.

* Trust feeds leadership — and the ‘squishy’ issues: Our first Federal News Radio Book Club book was Stephen M.R. Covey’s 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.] It is a theme that keeps coming up — in our book club meetings… and in government.

And some additional resources: Here is the Fired Up or Burned Out Web site and you can read Michael Lee Stallard’s blog at www.michaelleestallard.com… and Stallard wrote about his DC adventures on his blog here.

Love to hear your thoughts about the session and/or the book.

And I’m always looking for interesting books.

Our next book club meeting is on July 17 — and it is a good one — appointment listening, as we say in radio. More on that tomorrow.

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.

Written by cdorobek

June 12, 2009 at 10:24 PM

DorobekInsider.com: Friday’s Federal News Radio Book Club – Fired Up or Burned Out

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Shockingly enough, the Federal News Radio Book Club “meeting” is coming up this Friday at 2p ET on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose – and, of course, on FederalNewsRadio.com.

The book that we will be discussing is Fired Up or Burned Out: How to reignite your team’s passion, creativity, and productivity by Michael Lee Stallard.

Here is the Fired Up or Burned Out Web site and you can read Michael Lee Stallard’s blog at www.michaelleestallard.com.

Fired Up or Burned OutI’ll pen my liner notes later this week — I have less than 20 percent of the book to go. (My Kindle doesn’t have page numbers, of course — it’s an electronic book, after all — but it does have the percentage of the book that you have read, so… I’m 80 percent done.)

I mentioned earlier that this book was suggested by Martha Dorris, the Acting Associate Administrator Citizen Services and Communications at the General Services Administration. Dorris has had Fired Up author Stallard come and meet with her staff, so they think in terms of the impact on government.

One of the better reviews on Amazon describes the book this way:

Michael Stallard’s “Fired Up or Burned Out” addresses organizational and personal passion, creativity, and productivity. Stallard notes in his introduction that fewer than three in ten Americans are engaged in their jobs (surviving rather than thriving), and sets about to explain why and how it can be fixed.

“Fired Up” is organized into four sections (and 15 chapters): what fires us up; the keys to connecting a team and lighting their fires; where it begins; and lessons from twenty great leaders. Each section begins with a “What you will learn guide,” and each chapter ends with a “Review, Reflection, and Application” summary. The former provides the theme and the latter provides an excellent reference for future review.

What you will learn includes:

* Why a sense of emotional connection is necessary for people and organizations to thrive.
* How the oft discussed elements of vision, value, and voice are reflected in the richer concepts of inspiring identity, human value, and knowledge flow.
* Why connection depends on the right kind of people whose actions increase connection.
* The three types of people who affect connection: intentional disconnectors, unintentional disconnectors, and intentional connectors.

Stallard begins with the fundamental belief that all people want and need to feel valued and shows how the “Power of Connection” works to this end. “Connection meets basic human psychological needs for respect, recognition, belonging, autonomy, personal growth, and meaning.” People with a higher degree of connection experience superior mental and physical health improving the performance of both. And the lack of connection will gradually diminish both leading to burn out.

Psychiatrists have also observed that the lack of connection leads to feelings of loneliness, isolation, confusion resulting in behaviors of distrust, disrespect, and dissatisfaction. And at a time when the public is concerned about organizational ethics, it has been noted that in cultures where large numbers of people are disconnected, unethical behavior is more likely to occur.

Stallard links connection to vision, value and voice. Many business authors have underscored the value of the first two elements but less has been written on “voice.” I found the discussion of “voice” one of the most interesting and refreshing aspects of this excellent book.Stallard explains in detail how “voice” or knowledge flow increases connection and fires up people, helps people to make better decisions (the wisdom of the crowd), and increases creativity and innovation. He then suggest several strategies on how to increase knowledge flow within the organization – top to bottom, bottom to top, and across all functions.

Author Michael Stallard has had an interest in work cultures throughout his career as he wanted to understand the culture that would bring out the best in himself. His interest led to a generalized notion of what would bring out the best in all, and left Wall Street in 2002 to start a think tank, EPluribus Partners, to assist people and organizations in achieving their potential.

The final section, “Learn from Twenty Great Leaders Over Twenty Days” provides excellent examples of Stallard’s principles in practice by great leaders – Marquis de Lafayette, George Washington, John Wooden, Howard Schultz, and many others.

“Fired Up” is an excellent read for those who lead, those who want to lead, and, even, for those who do not want to lead. All can fall into the traps of life that lead to failure. “Fired Up” shows us a practical way to avoid these traps and to live a full, productive life.

I should note that Dorris specifically asked that we talk about the Wooden example — so if you haven’t finished, read that section.

If you have questions or issues you would like us to discuss, you can post them on the Facebook page for the book club… or Tweet them to me (#WFEDbook)… and if you don’t get the idea behind the Federal News Radio Book Club, you can read the details here.

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.

Written by cdorobek

June 8, 2009 at 8:42 AM

DorobekInsider: June’s Federal News Radio Book Club book — Fired Up or Burned Out

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I am happy to announce the next selection for the Federal News Radio Book Club selection — the book is Fired Up or Burned Out: How to reignite your team’s passion, creativity, and productivity by Michael Lee Stallard.

Fired Up or Burned OutJust to details out of the way, our book club “meeting” will take place Friday, June 12 at 2p ET on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose. On that day, the author of the book, Michael Lee Stallard, will join us, as will Martha A. Dorris, the acting Associate Administrator Citizen Services and Communications for the General Services Administration. Dorris actually recommended this book to me — and Stallard has spoken to teams at GSA, so he has some idea of the challenges facing federal agencies.

Just a reminder about how the Federal News Radio Book Club works — it is something akin to the Oprah book club except we talk about books that help feds do their jobs better. So unlike other book clubs, our “meetings” take place on the radio — Federal News Radio 1500 AM. And we’d love to hear your thoughts about these issues. Comments will soon be available here. I have also set up a Facebook event page for the book club.

And here Here is the Fired Up or Burned Out Web site and you can read Michael Lee Stallard’s blog at www.michaelleestallard.com.

I literally just started the book, so I’ll finish it this weekend. But I hope you’ll join us Friday, June 12 at 2p ET on Federal News Radio 1500 AM.

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.

Written by cdorobek

May 22, 2009 at 1:16 PM

DorobekInsider.com: The Federal News Radio Book Club — Grown Up Digital by Don Tapscott

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The third episode of the Federal News Radio Book Club is coming up on Friday, April 17 at 2p on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose . The third book is Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott… and Tapscott will be joining us for the hour.

UPDATE: You can hear the Federal News Radio Book Club here.

400000000000000097782_s4Tapscott is the author of Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, which he co-wrote with Anthony D. Williams. Even years later, I think Wikinomics is still one of the better explanations of the power of Web 2.0 thinking.

The reason I selected Grown Up Digital is that I think this is a very unique time for governments — a time when young people are looking at public service in a way that they haven’t in generations. But the real questions is whether governments are ready for this new generation. In Grown Up Digital, Tapscott argues that this generation is… well, wired differently. They are networked, and that they will be a powerful force for change. He argues that options is like oxygen, they want to customize… and they have great dis-truth detectors. And they want to innovate.

Does the federal government sound well tuned for this generation?

And that is why I selected this book because these are the people that agencies are going to have to attract.

As with previous sessions of the Federal News Radio Book Club, this is similar to the Oprah book club — so no, you don’t have to be anywhere, other then near your radio at 2p ET or online at FederalNewsRadio.com.

The Federal News Radio Book Club is something akin to the Oprah book club — but we talk about books that help feds do their jobs better. So unlike other book clubs, our “meetings” take place on the radio — Federal News Radio 1500 AM. And we’d love to hear your thoughts about these issues. You can send me your thoughts… Twitter them to me… or post them on our Facebook page about this month’s book club.

I hope you’ll join us.

Links to the previous Federal News Radio Book Club meetings:
* Discussing
The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey… More details and a link to hear that book club meeting here. And hear DOD Deputy CIO Dave Wennergren talking about this book here.
* Discussing Jeff Jarvis’s What Would Google Do?More details and a link to hear that book club meeting here.

Meanwhile, here is a video of Tapscott talking about the book.

Written by cdorobek

April 16, 2009 at 9:18 PM

DorobekInsider.com: Hear the March Federal News Radio’s Book Club – What Would Google Do?

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A few weeks ago, the Federal News Radio Book Club featured Jeff Jarvis’ What Would Google Do?

The book is fascinating for many industries — there is a false but growing thought that Google has undermined good journalism when, in fact, journalism needs to change with the times.

3125936268_d71b8a90a1_oBut times are also changing for government. This change is a bit scary. People often talk about how the change is really a mind-set, and Jarvis’ What Would Google Do? does a great job at providing a guide to this new thinking. (BusinessWeek magazine earlier this year ran excerpts of the book. I have links to the BusinessWeek pieces from here.

You can hear Federal News Radio Book Club discussion about What Would Google Do? here … we have the entire hour online.

I should also note that I wrote about What Would Google Do? in Signal magazine in my April column.

What Would Google Do? has many principles that speak to the challenges facing government agencies. The book taps into the idea that information is power, but that the real power of information comes in the sharing. Among the principles the book outlines are: give up control; get out of the way; and make mistakes well.

Read the full column here.

Along with the book Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams, I think What Would Google Do? is one of the seminal books on the subject of how to view information… and how to survive in the new information focused world… a guidebook for how to think about information management — and information sharing.

And a quick preview: The Federal News Radio Book Club book for April is Tapscott’s Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World HC… Friday, April 17 at 2p on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose. More details on that soon.

ACT/IAC Government 2.0 panel: The liner notes — about middle age and centralization

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The ACT-IAC government 2.0 panel today at FOSE

The ACT-IAC government 2.0 panel today at FOSE

As I have been mentioning, I have the opportunity to moderate a panel at the FOSE trade show on Wednesday titled Government 2.0: Evolution or revolution.

I’ll be fascinated by how the discussion unfolds. It seems that there are several issues going on with this topic right now.

It comes at a time when the topic of government 2.0 is — the use of Web 2.0 tools — is beyond hot. In fact, it is so hot that O’Reilly Media has just announced they are going to host a Government 2.0 Summit in September. There are several reasons for that. Clearly, one is the election of Barack Obama as president. For people who have been laboring to get agencies to believe that these tools can help agencies accomplish their missions more effectively, there is now a White House that shares that belief.

But the real reason this issue is so hot right now is because these tools are… so easy to use … they enable collaboration in ways that have been only talk before … they enable people to tap into the concept that all of us are better then each of us individually … they bring to fruition what we all already knew: that information is power, but that information is even more powerful when it is shared.

And these tools have been growing so quickly — Mashable has reported that the number of Twitter users in 2008 grew by 752 percent. (I don’t see any real data behind this number, but…) Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson made mention of how the Twitter “fail whale” has become something of a cultural icon — there have been tatoos … and even a Fail Whale Fan Club. (An excellent write-up of Anderson’s presentation here.) And the March 2, 2009 issue of Fortune magazine, under the headline How Facebook is taking over our lives, notes that today there are more than 175 million Facebook users, and those people are sharing more information then ever before — even simple status updates. In February 2008, Facebook had 4 million status updates daily. One year later — February 2009 — there were more than 15 million daily. And people are spending more time onFacebook — Fortune reports that the average user is spending 169 minutes a month on the site, compared to the NewYorkTimes.com, which holds on to readers for 10 minutes per month.

All of this is influencing — some would undoubtedly argue infecting — how people do their work.

I have mentioned the fascinating conflict between government people keen on Web 2.0 vs the Web 2.0 people keen on government. That is perhaps most evident in how people view the evolution at the White House Web site.

But there is a growing chorus of people calling for these tools to be mandated, and for the White House or OMB come up with a way to coordinate the government’s efforts. Some — including two of the members on the ACT-IAC panel today — have suggested that government 2.0 initiatives are hitting middle age. And there was even a passing tweet that all CIOs should be required to use Twitter.

To be honest, I couldn’t disagree more. First, I don’t think the government 2.0 baby is even close to taking the first step — and those that have are icons. There is the remarkable Intellipedia… there is Navy CIO Rob Carey’s blog … there is almost anything done by NASA Goddard CIO Linda Cureton … there is TSA’s remarkable Idea Factory… there is the Alabama Department of Homeland Security’s Virtual Alabama … there is DC’s Apps for Democracy and its data repository … and the list goes on and on and one — and you can see many of those examples at the National Academy of Public Administration’s Collaboration Project.

There are many interesting and innovative things going on, but the government is just dipping its toe into the shallow end of the pool. There is so much more that can — and I believe will — be done. Those, however, are going to involve the ongoing evolution in thinking — and it is why on Friday the Federal News Radio Book Club will discuss Jeff Jarvis’s What Would Google Do? The book talks about giving up control — and there are few agencies that are willing to do that yet. [Listen to the Federal News Radio 1500 AM Book Club on Friday at 2p ET. All the details can be found here.]

Beyond that, all of these tools have to be focused on helping agencies accomplish their missions. If these tools prove to be better mouse traps, then use them. Demonstrate it. And be the evangelist for it. There are people who will resist — welcome to the real world — but in the end, the better mouse trap will win.

That being said, I’m not sure we’re ready to standardize on any specific tools. In my mind, there is still a lot of evolution yet to happen in this revolution. And there is plenty of time for mandates. Right now, there is too much innovation going on.

This afternoon on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we’ll talk about the session today… and I’ll report back here as well.

Written by cdorobek

March 11, 2009 at 7:37 AM