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03.14.2012: DorobekINSIDER: Tech and the courts; your career framework; and mobile government

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Happy Tuesday… Happy Pi Day… yes, March 14… or 3.14… get it? And just so we all feel like we’re back in school again… Pi is  is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of any Euclidean circle’s circumference to its diameter. [From the Smithsonian Magazine:  I am Pi: Thoughts on the Ratio of the Circumference of a Circle to Its Diameter.]

Excellence.gov Award winners… Yesterday, I got to emcee the American Council on Technology and the Industry Advisory Council’s annual Excellence.gov awards. Some GREAT stuff… and some great programs being recognized. We’ll tell you about them over the next few days. But the big winner — the big prize — goes to a State Department program…  Integrated Logistics Management System (ILMS). The State Department, as you know, has embassies and consulates all around the world. And how did they order all the stuff they need before? Yes — paper. The Integrated Logistics Management System has transitioned the State Department from a largely paper-based organization to the leading edge of supply chain technology. The solution is an efficient, accountable and measurable way to support the State Department’s complex, worldwide supply chain–the procurement, storage, shipment, tracking and tracing of supplies and personal effects around the globe. It is now fully deployed domestically and at 245 overseas posts in 175 countries. Congratulations to all of the nominees — it was an impressive group. I was thrilled to be a part of it. The Defense Department CIO Terri Takai was our keynote speaker and she did an amazing job talking about what is possible. So… thanks for the invite. As I say, we’ll talk about other winners in the days ahead.

On today’s program…

  • Technology in the courts… We often talk about technology in the executive branch… even in the legislative branch, but there are three branches of government, and we’re going to look at the impact technology has on the courts.
  • Setting your career plan: How do you make sure you’re the right career path. Frank DiGiammarino is going to give us an overview of his career framework — the first in a series of conversations with Frank.
  • And government mobility — and how to do that effectively.

All that ahead..

But after the break… we start with the stories that impact your life for Pi Day — Wednesday the 14th of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

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Written by cdorobek

March 14, 2012 at 1:04 PM

03.12.2012: DorobekINSIDER: New media matures – and changes the VA; how to take responsibility; and having good conflicts

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The start of our second week… thanks for being here.

GovLoop InsightsAnd there was some significant news on Friday — a new nominee to be the Obama administration’s chief technology officer — Todd Park. Park has been serving as the chief technology officer at the Department of Health and Human Services. He is an awesome guy… and he has done some remarkable things. We’ll chat about that more later… And HHS has also named Frank Baitman as the new chief information officer at the HHS. Baitman has served most recently at FDA and SSA. That post has been filled in an acting capacity for some time.

And did you order an iPad HD? Well, if not… Apple’s cupboards are bare, for the moment. Apple’s good marketing aside, it mostly means you have to wait a bit… like a few days. No need to panic.

We have a great show for you today…

  • Remember when everybody was talking about NEW media — you needed a new media person to change how you get information out to the public? Well, that term is becoming passe. But new media — whatever you want to call it — it is more that just messaging. It has really changed the very nature of how organizations work and operate. And we’re going to talk to the person who has led new media at the Department of Veterans Affairs about their challenges in 2012…
  • Accountability — we’re always talking about accountability in government, right? As if there isn’t enough accountability… but sometimes people don’t feel really responsible for the agency’s goals and mission. We’re going to talk to a professor who has studied this subject — and he’s written a new book… Stepping Up: How Taking Responsibility Changes Everything. We’ll talk to him about responsibility.
  • Ever have a big of a fight with somebody at work? Nothing physical, but… is there a way to have happy conflicts? Seem too good to be true? We’ll talk to an expert about how you can turn a negative into a positive.

All that ahead… but after the break, we start off with the stories that impact your life for Monday 12 March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

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Written by cdorobek

March 12, 2012 at 1:19 PM

03.06.2012: DorobekINSIDER: The TAG Challenge and helping government be entrepreneurial

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So… day two of GovLoop Insight’s DorobekINSIDER. Thanks so much for being here.

Here is what we have for you today…

* We all remember tag — we all played it as kids. But what if the technologies of the Internet and the networked world could be brought to the game of tag. The TAG Challenge is going to be testing that concept later this month. And this challenge is being made possible by a State Department grant. You’ll learn about this innovative new program.

** You face big problems. How would you like to be able to tap the best minds to help solve those problems — or at least move the ball down the field. We’ll tell you about Fuse Corps…. we’re going to talk to Peter Sims, the author of the DorobekINSIDER Book Club book, Little Bets… he’s the man behind this program and we’ll get details…

** AND… feds, you have a TSP account? We’re going to have the DorobekINSIDER exit interview with the man who has kept you informed about what was going on with your Thrift Savings Plan account… he has just retired. We’ll talk to Tom Trabucco.

After the break… some updates on yesterday’s program… and the stories that impact your life for Tuesday 6 March 2012… the government world in 120-seconds…

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Written by cdorobek

March 6, 2012 at 1:17 PM

DorobekINSIDER: GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week: What governance means to you

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GovLoop InsightsHey there — I’m Christopher Dorobek — the DorobekINSIDER — and welcome to the GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week with Chris Dorobek.

Each week, our goal is to 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.

Transforming American GoveranceThis week, we’re going to talk about governing — and the relationship between governing and what you do. We’re going to talk to one of the editors of a new book — just out this week — titled Transforming American Governance: Rebooting the Public Square. We’ll also have some weekend reads — he weekends are a good time to rejuvenate — but also some time to take a step back and ponder. And we’ll have some reading that may guide you as you work to think outside of the box. We’ll take a look at the impact drones have on the military… and on how you can actually do more with less. All of that just ahead…

But after the break… we will start off as we do every week with a look at the week that was for the third week of January 2012…

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Written by cdorobek

January 25, 2012 at 2:52 PM

DorobekINSIDER: GovLoop Insights issues of 2011: Tech that is fundamentally changing government

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GovLoop Insights

NOTE: Updated to clean up formatting

Hey there — I’m Christopher Dorobek — the DorobekINSIDER — 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.

And for the month of December, we have been taking taking a break from the issue of the week — and we are taking a look at the issues that defined government for the year. And next week, we’ll talk about the issue of the year — I don’t think anybody will be surprised, but… we’ll talk about it next week.

 

Over the past few weeks, we spoke about cyber-security — and dealing with big data… How do you deal with all the information that you now have access to?

And then last week, we spoke about how transparency and open government can really help you get your job done — talking to Earl Devaney, who is retiring from government after more than 40 years… for the past two years, he has been the chairman of the Recovery, Accountability and Transparency Board.

This week, we are going to talk to one of the concepts that is really changing… well, it’s changing so much in technology, but it is also having a huge impact on government… and I’m going to bring you some highlights of one of the best speeches that you probably didn’t hear.

But we’re going to start off this week, as we have so many week’s this year, talking about… yes, the budget. And it was a roller coaster week — one of many this year. After it seemed likely that there could be a government shutdown, House and Senate negotiators this week signed off on a more than $1 trillion, year-end spending bill and it made its way through the House on Friday.

The bill is more than 1,200 pages and Politico reports that it covers a remarkable breath of topics — domestic spending… the Pentagon and foreign aid — plus tens of billions more related to the war in Afghanistan.

The funding bill sets government spending for the year at $1.043 trillion, a level agreed to in an August deal that raised the nation’s legal borrowing limit. The figure represents a 1.5 percent drop in spending from the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

That doesn’t count $115 billion for overseas military operations, a $43 billion dip since this past year as the war in Iraq winds down. It also doesn’t include $8.1 billion in emergency disaster-relief spending.

The measure covers spending for three-fourths of the government. A number of agencies were covered in the November deal including the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, State, and Transportation, as well as NASA and some smaller agencies. This deal covers the all other agencies.

And as a result of this deal, most domestic programs will see cuts as part of the effort to reduce the deficit.

The measure omits funding for the Internal Revenue Service to prepare for the 2014 implementation of the federal health-care law. But it increases funding for border agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

It includes $8.4 billion for the EPA — a $233 million drop from last year. And provides $550 million for Obama’s signature Race to the Top education program, a cut of more than 20 percent.

And it includes an increase for the e-government fund.

The other big event, which seemed to get less attention, is the end of the war in Iraq after nine years. The flag of American forces in Iraq has been lowered in Baghdad, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told troops the mission had been worth the cost in blood and dollars. I’ll leave that debate to others.

About 4,000 US soldiers now remain in Iraq, but they are due to leave in the next two weeks. At the peak of the operation, US forces there numbered 170,000.

With that, we turn to one of 2011’s big issues — even if you don’t work in technology, you’ve heard of cloud. Last week, we spoke with Earl Devaney of the Recovery Board about how cloud computing allowed the Recovery Board to be much more agile then it could otherwise.

In November, I got to moderate a program focusing on cloud computing. [By way of transparency: I was paid to emcee the event.]  It was one of the most interesting presentations I had heard all year.

John Rucker

VA's John Rucker

I go to a lot of events and hear a lot of speakers. Many of them are very good — and many of them seek to peer into the future. But one of the best futurists I heard all year was John Rucker. He isn’t a professional speaker. In fact, he even jokes that he looks like a fed. And he is a fed. Rucker is the acting lead for the Department of Veterans Affairs data center consolidation initiative. And he gave a revealing look at the future of technology — and of cloud computing in the government.

After the break… I have his full speech — and his slides as well. But I wanted to bring you two highlights of his speech.

I noted that VA has long been seen as one of the most hapless agencies for government IT. VA CIO Roger Baker and VA CTO Peter Levin have made enormous strides to change that — and Rucker called him the best CIO he has seen in his more than 30 years of government service.

But he noted the cloud is going to have a big impact on the future of government technology…

John Rucker of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

He also said the cloud isn’t for everything…

John Rucker… he is the acting lead for the Department of Veterans Affairs data center consolidation initiative.

As I say, the speech doesn’t have flash — but I think it is one of the most far sighted assessments of government technology that I’ve heard.

It’s GovLoop — I’d love to hear what you think. Do you agree with his assessment? Or is cloud just a lot of hype?

Again, after the break, hear the speech in full… and the DorobekINSIDER must read list…

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Written by cdorobek

December 21, 2011 at 2:45 PM

DorobekINSIDER: GovLoop Issue of the Year: Cyber-security

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GovLoop InsightsThe GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week is changing a few for December. Generally, we try to find a issue — a person — an idea — that helped define the past 7-days… and we always 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.

For the month of December, we are taking a break from the issue of the week — and we are taking a look at the issues that defined government for the year. And we’ll unveil the issue that defined 2011 later this month. But that gives us a few weeks to look at a few of the big issues of the year. And this week, we’re going to talk about cyber-security and making sense of big data.

But first, a look at some of the big stories for the end of November and the beginning of December, 2011 — yes, the final month of the year.

Listen here…

Or read more… after the break…

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Written by cdorobek

December 2, 2011 at 5:36 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Issue of the Week: Cyber-security

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UPDATED: The GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week with Chris Dorobek is posted online.
Yes, I’m starting to get back to it. (More on where I’ve been this weekend.)
One of the projects I’m working on is with GovLoop, the collaboration platform for government. And each Friday, I’m doing a podcast focused on the issue of the week. Our goal is to look at an issue — a person — an idea — then helped define the past seven days… but we also work to find a topic that 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.
We’ve been honing it in recent weeks — and it’s the great thing about GovLoop: They move quickly and  they are very agile. And it is still a work in progress. We are working to make it easier to find, for example. But it can be found right now at insights.govloop.com.
Each week, I’m trying to post my script here… and link to GovLoop Insights where you can find the audio.
This week, I got to sit down with Mark Bowden — the author and journalist. You may not know him by name, but you have probably heard of his most famous book, Black Hawk Down. He is just out with a new book — Worm: The First Digital World War — and it is about the fight against the Confickr Internet worm and what it tells us about cyber-security.
But there was other news this week:
But before we get to the big story of the week, we look at the other stories making news… and we’re trying something new this week selecting the top stories across a number of topic areas — management… policy… technology… Defense… security… Your Money…And we start with the Defense story of the week… where the new Defense secretary, Leon Panetta, made his first policy speech this week laying out his vision of the future of the nation’s fighting forcein the age of austerity. In his speech, Panetta scaled back the amount of money that the armed services can cut to $60 billion. The Pentagon has been waging an agressive battle to reduce overhead, waste and duplication. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates had said those efforts could save $100 billion.Panetta also said that military pay and benefits must be part of an over all austerity plan, but that the troops should not bear the burden for reducing the deficit.

He also said that lawmakers on Capitol Hill should keep pet projects out of the defense budget. Panetta said that Congress must be a responsible partner in creating a defense strategy that may not include specific projects or systems.

Read more about the speech… and read the Defense Secretary’s speech for yourself.

And we always like to follow the money, so… A few short stories about your money this week… first, your agency’s money… The budget super committee continued its meetings — very little is known about what is actually going on. Politico however, spoke to insiders to get a rough a rough sketch of the priorities of the individual members. They found that some members seem intent on guarding their turf, others want to be seen as real deal makers, while others feel the need to protect their party’s base priorities. Meanwhile National Journal says that House Democrats have offered their suggestions for cuts — and revenues. The House Democrats recommend the committee avoid “precipitous” cuts to defense and national security programs.

And Americans are skeptical about the federal government’s role in the economy and its ability to reach an agreement on the budget deficit… that according to a new poll just out from National Journal.

And YOUR money… where will the stock market end the year with only one quarter left. That, of course, impacts your Thrift Savings Plan accounts. The New York Times find that the experts are… well, they’re more pessimistic.

Our procurement story of the week… from the Government Accountability Office, which testified this week saying that most federal agencies aren’t doing enough to police unethical government contractors. GAO analyzed five years’ worth of government contracts. It found that only a handful of agencies penalized contractors. Six agencies that awarded billions of dollars to contractors never suspended nor disbarred any of them. We have a link to the GAO report online.

Our gov 2.0 story of the week comes from Fast Company, which reports that the The New York Federal Reserve Bank is going to be tracking how people feel about the economy — by watching social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and the web. Fed officials wouldn’t provide many details, but… they did say that the goal is to monitor these public feeds to get a better sense of the relevant concerns and discussions that are taking place… and to improve the Federal Reserve’s communications and engagement with the public.

And a few tech stories — a Blackberry outage sent many Washingtonians spinning, but National Journal says that for official Washington, the Blackberry is still number one. And some experts say that isn’t likely to change quickly. Yet the new iPhone got it’s release and, as we said last week, most of the changes are behind the scene. But every indication is that customers are still thrilled. Record numbers signed up for pre-order. AND it is getting rave reviews. David Pogue of the New York Times calls the new iPhone conceals sheer magic.

Finally my must-read of the week — and it comes the Harvard Business Review — with a hat tip to the Wall Street Journal’s CFO Journal — and the headline is How Will the ‘Moneyball Generation’ Influence Management? Harvard professor James Heskett, who studies how culture affects management trends, asks a fascinating question about whether the “Moneyball” film (and book) will result in more Billy Beane-style managers in business. Moneyball is about Billy Beane, the baseball manager, who is credited with revolutionizing baseball by focusing not only on metrics, but on the sort of indirect metrics that others were ignoring — and that are particularly key to winning games, such as performance in late-inning pressure situations he discusses the  importance of adding non-financial measures to the management dashboard, “indirect goals” that help predict and explain financial performance beyond the “direct goal” of profit. VERY interesting for government. Heskett has written a new book himself: The Culture Cycle: How to Shape the Unseen Force that Transforms Performance. In that book, he comes up with  35 indirect measures key to future company performance. They included such things as the proportion of new business referred by existing customers and the proportion of employees leaving the organization voluntarily. My thought was what might be those non-financial metrics for government.

But our Issue of the Week is one that has been dominant throughout 2011 — cyber-security. And it is about another book that I told you about a few weeks ago. This week I got to sit down for a conversation with Mark Bowden — the author and journalist. You may not know him by name, but you have probably heard of his most famous book, Black Hawk Down. He is just out with a new book — Worm: The First Digital World War — and it is about the fight against the Confickr Internet worm and what it tells us about cyber-security. There have been many stories in recent weeks about the challenges facing government cyber-security experts— with a skyrocketing number of attacks.Worm is really a story as old as time — good guys vs bad guys…

And that brings us to the GovLoop Insights Question of the Week: How should the government prioritize cyber-security in this age of austerity. We don’t have to tell you that money is tight. So — where does cyber-security get prioritize?It’s GovLoop — so we’d love to get your thoughts.
The GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week is still a work in progress. I’d love to get your thoughts…. about what we are doing… what we should be doing…

Written by cdorobek

October 14, 2011 at 11:24 AM