Today’s Vision, Tomorrow’s Future: BIG NTI Conference Recap
At the 39th Annual Blacks In Government National Training Institute (BIG NTI), approximately 2,000 attendees filled the exhibit hall and ballrooms at Harrah’s in Atlantic City, New Jersey, from August 21st through the 24th. Management Concepts was a proud gold sponsor, and presented and hosted a pair of workshops in addition to a Munch & Mingle networking event in conjunction with the BIG NOW Generation.
The theme for this year’s BIG NTI was “Today’s Vision, Tomorrow’s Future”—and that theme was clearly reflected by the passion and purpose behind everyone in attendance. The workshops, presentations, ceremonies, and speakers encouraged all in attendance to be agents of change, for their own growth and success as well as for their colleagues and the missions they serve.
The conference kicked off with a series of inspiring welcome speeches from Dr. Doris Sartor, President of BIG, Hon. Darlene H. Young, Chair of the BIG National Board of Directors, and Tinisha Agramonte, Director of the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Commerce.
One of my most memorable moments was during Ms. Agramonte’s welcome speech, where she said, “It’s important to do what you need to do, so you can do what you want to do.” Simply put, those words were a great start to the conference. We had more than 100 attendees fill the rooms at our two workshops.
Michelle Clark, Director, Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at Management Concepts, co-presented with Marcus Brownrigg, Strategic Partnerships and Communications Advisor to the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps) on the topic of Creating Strategic Partnerships Through Internal and External Collaboration. This session took participants through strategies and methodologies for developing creative solutions to the nation’s challenges by instituting partnerships across agency lines.
The key take-aways were:
- Partnerships help you make your dollars go farther
- Why build partnerships? Combine resources, extend your ability to achieve goals, maximize ROI, learn new skills and develop new knowledge, extend the reach and benefit of your organization’s work, increase diversity and increase synergy
- The key to change in government is incremental change, brick by brick
- Share the work, share the credit
- Partnership principles are as follows: Have the same goals, mutual respect, defined roles, compromise, communication, accountability, and metrics
- Make it official: MOUs, charters, contracts
- To get buy-in from leadership, be able to explain the WIIFM to leadership. Be positive and focus on impact
In addition, Lahaja Furaha, Organizational Culture Practice Lead and Senior Human Capital Advisor at Management Concepts presented Making Culture Change Stick. In this workshop, participants discussed the formula to create lasting culture change with a direct and sustainable impact on performance. She was quoted as saying, “True culture change requires change agents. Culture needs leadership, but culture is a team sport; you don’t change culture just to change culture, you do it for a business imperative”
For the third year in a row, we presented the Blacks In Government and Management Concepts National Leadership Certification Program scholarships, encouraging others to take steps into their future as leaders. We received stellar applications and selecting the recipients were difficult decisions. However, we were very proud to award two training scholarships.
Congratulations to our winners:
- Melinda Burks, Senior Program Officer, English Access Microscholarship Program, Bureau of Educational and Culture Affairs, U.S. Department of State
- Monisha Barnes, Risk Analyst, Budget and Risk Management Division, Human Resources Line of Business, Department of Veterans Affairs
We also sponsored the Munch and Mingle that helped to expand our branding and relationship with BIG’s NOW Generation, their under 40 organization that strives to build up the leadership of the next wave of executives in government. It was very well attended and numerous senior leaders in government and BIG Board Members stopped by to provide words of wisdom to the next generation of leaders.
Lastly, we sought to engage, inform and interact with the exhibit hall attendees. More than 300 surveys were completed and we were able to participate in many conversations as they stayed to find out more about Management Concepts products and services.
Looking forward to the next BIG NTI – see you in New Orleans!