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Agency Experts and Leaders Convene to Address Challenges Facing Federal Workforce Management

Posted by on Mar 29, 2017 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Agency Experts and Leaders Convene to Address Challenges Facing Federal Workforce Management

On the morning of March 28, at the University Club in Washington, D.C., Management Concepts joined forces with the National Academy for Public Administration (NAPA) to produce a spirited, critical event called “Exploring and Addressing Talent Gaps in Federal Workforce Management.” Speakers and panelists from Federal agencies included experts in workforce planning and organizational development from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), FBI, Government Accountability Office (GAO), and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They joined...

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Federal Spotlight: Georgia A. Thomas

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Coaching & Mentoring, Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Georgia A. Thomas

Georgia A. Thomas serves at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as the organization’s Southeast and Southwest Area Manager, Communication and Stakeholder Outreach (CSO), Field Operations. Here is our Federal Spotlight interview: MC: How long have you been in Federal service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? Georgia A. Thomas: I have been with the IRS since 1979. In my current position, I serve as an Area Manager in Stakeholder Liaison—Field Operations. I manage two Areas of the country, (1) the Southwest Area which...

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Put Your Data Visuals on a Diet: No More Pie Charts!

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Analytics, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Put Your Data Visuals on a Diet: No More Pie Charts!

  Happy Pi Day! To celebrate, I will be discussing one of the most widely-used (but not widely useful!) data visualizations: the Pie Chart. Data-driven, strategic decisions are only as good as the information behind them—and to decision-makers presented with data, the information’s only as good as the chart or graph that represents it. As data analysis is used more and more, the communication of actionable information becomes just as important as the information itself. While charts and graphs are invaluable tools for easily and quickly...

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Federal Spotlight: Doris Sartor

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Doris Sartor

Dr. Doris Sartor serves as Course Director for the Air Force Civilian Associate Degree Program at Maxwell Air Force Base, and is national president of Blacks In Government (BIG). Here’s our Federal Spotlight interview: MC: How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? DS: 35 years. My main responsibility is serving as Course Director, Air Force Civilian Associate Degree Program at the Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. The...

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Hiring Freeze? Time to Thaw the Organization’s Human Capital Plan

Posted by on Feb 24, 2017 in Human Resources, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Hiring Freeze? Time to Thaw the Organization’s Human Capital Plan

Despite the uncertainty and anxiety that comes with it, the Federal hiring freeze may be a forcing mechanism to invest in what the GAO has been asking the Federal government to do for almost two decades now—get better at human capital planning. HR staff and leadership at all levels can benefit from viewing this freeze as an opportunity to take an internal assessment of the programs that present the greatest human capital need. This will further prepare organizations to manage through the workforce reduction plan requested by the January 23...

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Finding Stability and Opportunity through Uncertainty

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Finding Stability and Opportunity through Uncertainty

Last week, my colleague Debbie Eshelman discussed the ability of individuals to embrace the chaos in Federal organizations to move their career forward. For many workers, as Debbie rightly noted, it feels like we are living in a more chaotic world than ever before. Dramatic changes in leadership and associated policies, operating norms, organizational structures, and the workforce are creating tremendous instabilities in organizations. Fortunately for Federal personnel there can be benefits to the organizational instability created by...

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To Overcome Anxiety in the First 100 Days, Coaching Is Clutch

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in Coaching & Mentoring, Workforce Management | 2 comments

To Overcome Anxiety in the First 100 Days, Coaching Is Clutch

Executive orders, cabinet confirmation hearings, and Supreme Court nominations are leaving many in the federal sector uncertain about how they’ll be impacted. This uncertainty can increase anxiety for Federal employees. This uncertainty, combined with how people feel about the uncertainty, affects people’s ability to tolerate ambiguity, increasing the intensity of their experience of anxiety. The experience of uncertainty can also in turn amplify a particular feeling you already have about what’s going on in your workplace. One of several...

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How Your Career Moves Forward in Chaotic Times

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Workforce Management | 2 comments

How Your Career Moves Forward in Chaotic Times

After the Presidential election, regardless of where your sympathies lie, it feels like we are living more than ever in a VUCA world. VUCA is a military acronym for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, and it is used to describe our environment during times of turmoil and change. There are so many different viewpoints and perspectives coming at us from so many different sources—the media, our coworkers, and our family and friends—that we often don’t feel like we are standing on stable ground and can’t clearly strategize our...

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Organizational Culture Clears the Way for Successful Change

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Organizational Culture Clears the Way for Successful Change

Do opportunities exist to fortify culture when a big change occurs? Change is happening across the Federal government at all levels. Individuals are adjusting their attention, teams are shifting their focus, and organizations are responding to new priorities. The speed with which organizations must respond to change while maintaining effective and productive momentum is increasing, and the potential consequences will have a greater impact on agencies and the public served. Any change that is introduced to an organization has the potential to...

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The Best Thing You Can Provide Your Job Applicants

Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

The Best Thing You Can Provide Your Job Applicants

A couple of months ago, I decided to take a yoga class for the first time. I had done some yoga videos on my own, but I had never been to a class. I was a little nervous about what to expect, how I would fit in with others in the class, and if I’d actually be able to do any of those contorted yoga poses. When I found a nearby yoga studio, I was excited to learn that I could attend one class free of charge. This meant I could realistically answer some of my basic questions before fully committing. Wouldn’t it be great if a job applicant could...

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Making Friends with Risk: How to Be a Champion for Your Program During the Administration Change

Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 in Workforce Management | 1 comment

Making Friends with Risk: How to Be a Champion for Your Program During the Administration Change

“With Mick [Mulvaney] at the head of OMB, my administration is going to make smart choices about America’s budget, bring new accountability to our federal government, and renew the American taxpayer’s trust in how their money is spent,” announced President-elect Donald Trump in mid-December. There is still a lot of uncertainty around what is going to happen under the Trump presidency, but one change I feel confident predicting is that the new administration is going to be laser-focused on government performance and results. And...

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How to Review 2016 and Gain a New Leadership Perspective on Your Organization

Posted by on Jan 4, 2017 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

How to Review 2016 and Gain a New Leadership Perspective on Your Organization

New year, new strategic planning. It’s a solid best practice. But as you plan for the new year at your organization, how do you know that you’ve truly understood the year that just happened?  Learning from past experience is something that occurs whether we’re intentional or not, but formal self-reflection (and organizational reflection)—to the tune of New Year’s resolutions, which often have  unique charms of timely inspiration, honesty, and introspection—can help you see things with even greater clarity. Aligning your organization to learn...

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The Test Your Organization Might Not Be Using, but Should

Posted by on Dec 21, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

The Test Your Organization Might Not Be Using, but Should

Have you heard feedback that your training participants “don’t like” the tests used in your training programs? In the training industry, many foundational courses continue to use multiple-choice tests quite effectively to ensure participants understand course material. However, for hands-on courses where participants learn a skill, the evaluation type should match the content of what participants learn. For example, the best evaluation of a skill such as data management would require participants to complete a data management exercise. For a...

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Developing the Next Generation of Government Leaders: TOC Panel Leads the Way

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Developing the Next Generation of Government Leaders: TOC Panel Leads the Way

On December 13 at the Ft. McNair Officers Club in Washington, DC, a panel of distinguished millennial government professionals shared a wealth of wisdom and perspective, as well as a roadmap for overcoming generational differences and preparing the next generation for bright futures in public service. The panel event, put together by Management Concepts and the Training Officers Consortium (TOC), was moderated by Tim Bowden (Executive Director of People and Performance Consulting at Management Concepts), and the panelists included: Jovanka...

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Federal Spotlight: Alexis Bonnell

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Alexis Bonnell

Alexis Bonnell serves as Division Chief: Applied Innovation and Acceleration for the U.S. Global Development Lab, United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Here’s our Federal Spotlight interview: MC: How long have you been in Federal Service, and what is your main responsibility in your role today? AB: I started at USAID as a contractor in 2010 as a Senior Advisor to the Chief Operating Officer focused on Business Transformation and Knowledge Management, then I became a direct hire as Chief of Engagement for the Office of...

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The Lines are Blurring: How Leaders Can Respond to the Ever-Changing Work Environment

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

The Lines are Blurring: How Leaders Can Respond to the Ever-Changing Work Environment

Organizational life in all sectors is feeling a lot different these days, but it is hard to pinpoint exactly what is different about it, let alone what to do about it. What is clear is that organizational life has changed, and it’s still changing. I recall reading an article some months ago about how the lines are blurring between technology and the human element, causing us to rethink how we do our everyday work. Since then, I have been thinking about other lines that are blurring in organizations—such as the increasing need for multiple...

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Well-Defined Roles Are the Basis for Long-term Talent Management

Posted by on Nov 22, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Well-Defined Roles Are the Basis for Long-term Talent Management

In recent posts, we have discussed our experiences working on an assignment with a health care services organization to help them develop their organizational structures for job roles and job families. Until now, we have focused on the specific analytical diagnostics and processes for implementation of projects like this. In this post, we focus less on “how” we helped them and more on “why” organizations such as our health care services client are seeking assistance with their organizational structures. Truly well-organized and...

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Federal Spotlight: Christian Blackman

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Christian Blackman

Christian Blackman serves as the Region 6 – Disaster Grants Branch Chief at the Department of Homeland Security – Federal Emergency Management Agency. Here’s our Federal Spotlight interview with Christian Blackman: MC: How long have you been in Federal Service, and what is your main responsibility in your role today? CB: If I were to start at the beginning, I had an internship during my junior year of college. I was a recipient of a Florida Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation grant and interned at the USDA...

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Improve Your Workplace Culture: Visualize It

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Improve Your Workplace Culture: Visualize It

A few weeks ago, I blogged about what it really takes to shift individual and collective mindsets in organizations—the capability to intentionally create new neural networks or pathways—to make real, desired change. Now, I share with you a great technique that uses mindset for culture change as a creative force to unleash something new or different, regardless of the current situation. The technique is called visualization. We all visualize, whether we realize it or not. Most often, we visualize experiences that have already happened, using...

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Why We Need Agile Performance Management More than Ever

Posted by on Nov 18, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Why We Need Agile Performance Management More than Ever

While presenting on a panel about Agile Performance Management at yesterday’s NAPA Fall Meeting (National Academy of Public Administration), a member of the audience asked a question that I think gets at the core of why we chose the topic for the panel. Paraphrasing, the audience member said, “When you talk about Agile Performance Management, it sounds like old ideas with new lipstick. What’s so new about it when it comes to managing your workforce?” First of all, as the panel member who proposed the panel topic to NAPA, I readily admit the...

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Like Wearing Seat Belts, SES Reform Is Not Just the Law, It’s a Good Idea

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Like Wearing Seat Belts, SES Reform Is Not Just the Law, It’s a Good Idea

The recent election results and upcoming change in administration cast doubt on the ongoing commitment to execute several of President Obama’s Executive Orders (EO). One EO in particular, about which we have written previously, relates to improving the Senior Executive Service (SES). We believe that the Executive Order was created to upgrade long-overdue Federal executive hiring and development practices to mirror common practices in the private sector. We encourage the new administration and its agencies to continue modernizing practices...

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A Salute to Veterans

Posted by on Nov 10, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

A Salute to Veterans

On November 10 in Washington, DC, the Department of Labor hosted a Salute to Veterans ceremony in anticipation of Veterans Day. The event began with opening remarks from Mike Michaud, Assistant Secretary for the Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS), including a pair of video messages from Congressmen. Then, a panel of distinguished speakers shared their personal experiences, successes, and efforts as leaders, veterans, and supporters of veterans. Here’s a quick digest of what the panelists and speakers...

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Making the Mark for Millennials in Public Service

Posted by on Nov 9, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Making the Mark for Millennials in Public Service

On November 3, 2016, Management Concepts participated in the third part of a four-part professional development series with the Young Government Leaders (YGL) – Atlanta Chapter and Blacks In Government NOW Generation (BIG-NOW). We have joined forces to create these events in an effort to increase the participation and engagement of underrepresented groups within public service. Over 80 participants joined us for our first event in Atlanta for breakfast and a lively discussion on how Millennials today are needed more than ever to fill...

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How to Fix Your Organizational Structure, One Role at a Time

Posted by on Oct 31, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

How to Fix Your Organizational Structure, One Role at a Time

In a recent post, I discussed how a lack of a systematic approach to role definition and organizational structure design can create issues that reduce organizational effectiveness. In response to some excellent follow-up questions, I wanted to shed further light on the specific approach we used for a client in healthcare services that had experienced a period of rapid growth resulting in a muddled organizational structure. To resolve a problematic organizational structure, one of the first things to do is to perform detailed discovery work to...

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Top Insights from the Ultimate Culture Conference: How to Nurture, Measure, and Shape Organizational Culture

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Top Insights from the Ultimate Culture Conference: How to Nurture, Measure, and Shape Organizational Culture

I had the opportunity to attend the 2nd Annual Ultimate Culture Conference and the Schein Culture DNA Seminar on October 18-19 in the great city of San Francisco, CA. Many diverse viewpoints on culture and leadership were shared by an impressive lineup of innovative practitioners (from Zappos, Lyft, Inkling, Google, Intel) and thought leaders (including Edgar Schein, Robert Cooke, Josh Bersin, James Rodgers, Daryl Conner, and Bill Parsons). I, like many others in the room, engaged throughout each day in spirited culture conversations and left...

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Federal Spotlight: Max Finberg

Posted by on Oct 24, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Max Finberg

Max Finberg serves as the Director of AmeriCorps VISTA at the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers the AmeriCorps program and leads national service and volunteer initiatives for the nation. Here’s our Federal Spotlight interview with Max Finberg. MC: How long have you been in Federal service and what is the main responsibility for your current role? MF: At the end of this year, I will have served a total of 14 years in the Federal government in a variety of capacities. I started in the...

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Shifting Mindsets: How to Make Culture Change Real

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Shifting Mindsets: How to Make Culture Change Real

One of the new roads I drive every day to and from work had been only partially finished for almost a year. There was a good-sized bump in one place. It became a habit to slow down every time I came to the bump. The road is now finished and the bump is gone, but I catch myself applying the brakes even though there is no need to do it anymore. Why does this happen? The twice-daily repetition and reinforcement created a “bump” mindset. As I learned at a coaching conference some years ago, once the interaction of our thoughts and emotions and...

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Are you a #ChangeAgent: Be the Change You Want to See

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in Uncategorized, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Are you a #ChangeAgent: Be the Change You Want to See

It has been a year in the making but we have finally garnered the interest of key federal government officials to ask Management Concepts to help them tell their story about culture and change management at their agency. On September 29, 2016 we sponsored an event with the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) on the topic of  “Positive #ChangeAgents Transforming Work Cultures By Delivering Results Differently and Better”. This opportunity came about when Dr. David Bray, CIO of the Federal Communication Commission approached us to...

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Federal Spotlight: Wanda Killingsworth

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Wanda Killingsworth

Wanda Killingsworth serves as Senior Program Analyst with the IRS, and president of Federally Employed Women (FEW). MC: How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? WK: I have more than 25 years of Federal service with the Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (IRS). My current role is as a Senior Program Analyst. In this position, I serve as a Team Lead and Subject Matter Expert responsible for providing Risk Management infrastructure to various IT projects and ensure projects...

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Defining and Refining Organizational Structure to Improve Performance

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Defining and Refining Organizational Structure to Improve Performance

At Management Concepts, we are often asked to help clients rationalize and reorganize their organizational and functional structures when they reach a level of inefficiency that threatens to impact performance.  In a recent example, the CEO of a healthcare services company had begun to notice that a recent period of rapid growth had led to a muddled organization structure. The organization had gone through a period of rapid expansion with significant growth in staffing through organic growth, as well as through acquisition.  The organization...

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The Power of Shared Learning and Experience in the Workplace

Posted by on Sep 15, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

The Power of Shared Learning and Experience in the Workplace

I remember as a child my mother saying to me, “most often two heads are better than one.” This phrase still pops into my head when I am contemplating whom to involve in an upcoming work project or initiative. On occasion, working solo is the right course of action, but in most situations, involving others produces better outcomes for everyone. The part that was left unsaid by my mother is what happens when the shared learning and experience involves two, three, four or more individuals. Here are some things I have learned about the power of...

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Federal Spotlight: Rebecca Rose

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Rebecca Rose

Rebecca Rose serves as the Assistant Director of Communications at the U.S. Department of Energy. Here’s our Federal Spotlight interview with Rebecca Rose: MC: How long have you been in Federal service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? RR: I’ve been in the Federal service for close to 10 years now. I have two current roles: By day I lead a team of more than 20 geographically dispersed employees with a $5 million budget for strategic communications and outreach within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable...

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BIG is Committed to Excellence: Think Big!

Posted by on Sep 1, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

BIG is Committed to Excellence: Think Big!

Management Concepts was a proud gold sponsor of the Blacks In Government (BIG) 38th Annual National Training Institute (NTI) held in Atlantic City, New Jersey from August 22-25, 2016. This was a very special year for the organization as it celebrated its 40th year as a national organization. This year’s theme was “Commit to Excellence: Think, Believe, and Achieve BIG!” and more than 1,600 attendees had access to 100+ workshops and agency forums addressing an array of critical topics to help them achieve excellence in their...

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How Assumptions Impact Organizational Culture

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

How Assumptions Impact Organizational Culture

We all make assumptions as we go about our daily life, with a good portion of them being made while at work. Many of these assumptions are made without knowing it or thinking about it. Assumptions are usually based on something we have learned previously and do not question.  As part of our belief system, assumptions help us form judgments, make meaning, and draw conclusions about what is happening and what others are thinking. When information is missing, they help us complete our own story. Assumptions are also an important part of daily...

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SES Reform Implementation Tips

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

SES Reform Implementation Tips

You may recall a blog piece from a few weeks ago describing President Obama’s recent Executive Order directing the Federal government to improve the performance and return on investment of the Senior Executive Service (SES).  The order highlights succession planning, streamline hiring, onboarding, and development and rotations as focus areas as areas for improvement. Federal departments are deploying phased changes over the next few years, and the early adopters are now busy creating and refining processes for implementation. I’ve had...

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Federal Spotlight: Manny Ramirez

Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Manny Ramirez

Manny Ramirez serves as the Diversity Program Manager at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. Here’s our Federal Spotlight interview with Manny Ramirez: MC: How long have you been in Federal service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? MR: I began working for the Federal government in June of 2010; this summer will mark my six year anniversary as a Federal employee. I was originally hired as a Program Analyst in the Child Nutrition Division. In 2013, I took a detail in the Human Resources...

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DATA Act Implementation Impact

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in Grants & Assistance, Workforce Management | 1 comment

DATA Act Implementation Impact

If you’ve already read the two DATA Act reports issued by the GAO since late July, you already know that the government watchdog has documented its concerns about DATA Act implementation. It’s only eight months away. One of the things that surprised me is that OMB still does not have a complete list of the Federal agencies that will need to be DATA Act compliant. I understand the approach of starting with the 24 CFO agencies – but what about the goal of having transparency on every Federal dollar spent? Between this lack of clarity and the...

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NAPA Culture Event: Changing the Culture of Government

Posted by on Aug 4, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

NAPA Culture Event: Changing the Culture of Government

On July 28th Management Concepts sponsored a breakfast event with the National Academy for Public Administration (NAPA), the theme was “Changing the Culture of Government.” NAPA brought together experts in organizational culture like Tim Kuppler, Director of Culture and Organizational Development at Human Synergistics, Inc. with leading Federal executives to talk about the unique culture that is government. NAPA’s President Dan Blair moderated a Federal panel that included: Carolyn Colvin, Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration...

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The Key to Successful Change – Focus on Motivation

Posted by on Aug 2, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

The Key to Successful Change – Focus on Motivation

For complex organizations like Federal agencies, undergoing change can be very difficult. As the recent report by Management Concepts and Human Capital Media, “Successful Change Management Practices in the Public Sector” found, Federal agencies have a mixed record of achievement as they struggle to deal with changes arising from organizational realignment, new technology implementation, and changes in the Federal workforce. Despite this mixed record, the major elements of a successful change management are now well understood, and require a...

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Management Concepts FEW Recap

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Management Concepts FEW Recap

Management Concepts was a proud Emerald Sponsor for the second year in a row for the 47th Federally Employed Women’s (FEW) National Training Program (NTP) held in Dallas, Texas from July 11-14, 2016. The week was packed with exciting speakers, workshops, motivational keynote speakers, thought-provoking panels, and many opportunities to meet a diverse group of people from all over the country who are seeking professional development opportunities. There were more than 850 attendees in Dallas, and we were excited to have Maria Morukian, an...

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Strengthening the Senior Executive Service (SES)

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Strengthening the Senior Executive Service (SES)

On December 15, 2015, President Obama issued an Executive Order designed to improve the performance and return on investment made in the Senior Executive Service (SES), a government wide program managed by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The SES Program consists of executives charged with driving the transformation of government. These leaders are specially selected for their range of experience and commitment to public service, and they help serve as a bridge between political appointees and their respective organizations. They...

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Five Reasons Your Organization Needs to Invest in Training

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Five Reasons Your Organization Needs to Invest in Training

An organization’s workforce is its most valuable asset. It’s also the driving factor that shapes how an organization succeeds in the face of challenges or crises. Training is an effective way to build a top-notch workforce with all the right skillsets and its payoffs extend beyond the skills gained. In addition to the personal payoffs of investing in employees, organizations need to consider five business payoffs as part of any investment in the workforce: Increase productivity and efficiency. Whether by raising competency levels or filling...

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Technology Modernization: A Good Test for Real Culture Change

Posted by on Jul 21, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Technology Modernization: A Good Test for Real Culture Change

Change in government doesn’t always happen at the fastest pace, especially when technology is involved. Each year millions of dollars are taken away from needed technology innovations to maintain outdated IT systems. With legislation like FITARA, expanding DevOps practices and tools, and new proposed IT funding legislation, Federal agencies have an opportunity to design a new and different kind of legacy modernization approach. Creating a sense of urgency around this opportunity will be even more important with Federal spending for IT...

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IT’S CRUNCH TIME! Fiscal Year-End Spending

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Financial Management, Workforce Management | 0 comments

IT’S CRUNCH TIME! Fiscal Year-End Spending

The end of the fiscal year is rapidly approaching…and you know what that means… Yep!  We’ve got a lot of things to get obligated – things we need but either haven’t been able to purchase yet, or things we haven’t had the funding for.  There’s hope that – as often happens – “they” will find some funding that’s available and we’ll get some of it.  It may be late in the year, but we’ll take it! Did you miss our complimentary webinar last week on the ins and outs of fiscal year-end spending? Don’t worry – an archive recording and the presentation...

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Embedded Change Management contributes to Organizational Resiliency

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Workforce Management | 2 comments

Embedded Change Management contributes to Organizational Resiliency

The Oxford Dictionary defines resilient as “able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.” Recognizable behaviors that make a person resilient include a positive attitude, optimism, perseverance, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback. A classic example of a resilient person is someone with the fortitude and mental toughness to repeatedly withstand personal or professional challenges, and who inevitably comes out ahead each time. But is resilience is a learned skill or an inherited trait? Current...

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The Presidential Transition as a Change Driver

Posted by on Jul 8, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

The Presidential Transition as a Change Driver

In 196 days the next President of the United States will be inaugurated, marking a major milestone in what is one of the most significant and predictable cycles of change in the Federal government. The 2017 change of administration has been the focus of a number of efforts aimed at improving the effectiveness and continuity of operations for Federal agencies undergoing potentially significant leadership transitions.  Organizations including the Brookings Institution, the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), and the American...

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Federal Spotlight: Honorable Davita Vance-Cooks

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Honorable Davita Vance-Cooks

Davita Vance-Cooks serves as the Director of the Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the 27th Public Printer of the United States. Here’s our Federal Spotlight interview with Davita Vance-Cooks: MC: How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? DVC: I started Federal Service with the Government Printing Office , which is what it was called back then, in August of 2004. I was hired to be the Deputy Managing Director of Customer Service, and at that time I was responsible for providing...

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Technology, Risk and Change Management

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Technology, Risk and Change Management

Sometimes it feels like technology can solve all of our organization’s problems.  Organizations of all sizes regularly make major technology investments in an attempt to realize productivity growth and performance improvement as well as conform to regulatory requirements. Organizations have transformed their accounting, customer service, marketing, human resources, web-content and many other business functions by adopting new systems, the results of which have been highly variable and often necessitate even more change in the future. Today...

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Generational Shifts: A Change Lever to Align Culture

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in Workforce Management | 1 comment

Generational Shifts: A Change Lever to Align Culture

For as long as organizations have existed there has been a need for people from different age groups to be part of the workforce, with some entering, some advancing, some scaling back, or some departing over time.  Similar movements are occurring among the four generations currently in the workforce, creating new opportunities for organizational leaders to tackle escalating levels of uncertainty and change (size, type, speed, complexity) across their organizations. A lot of media attention has focused on the labeled differences among the four...

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Planning is Critical in Successful Organizational Change

Posted by on Jun 17, 2016 in Workforce Management | 2 comments

Planning is Critical in Successful Organizational Change

One of the contributing factors to project and program failures within public organizations is the lack of organizational change management planning. This is well documented in Management Concepts recent report, “Successful Change Management Practices in the Public Sector.” While project and program managers often focus their plans on the technical aspects of what needs to change in order to realize project success, they may often underestimate the impact of changes on personnel and the level of planning it takes to mitigate this impact. The...

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ACQUIRE Conference Recap

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

ACQUIRE Conference Recap

The first ever ACQUIRE Conference and Expo started with an excellent presentation by Joshua Cooper Ramo on his book The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune and Survival in the Age of Networks. His overall premise was to tie the term “networks” to mean interpersonal, sociological, and information networks. His theory is that everything is tied together and will only become more and more complex over time – definitely a thought provoking topic to start the day. Another interesting session dealt with the millennial generation – how they think, what...

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Culture: What’s Your Story?

Posted by on Jun 13, 2016 in Workforce Management | 2 comments

Culture: What’s Your Story?

Every organization creates stories. Whether intended or not, these stories reflect who you are. These stories tell the tale of your organizational culture and what others inside and outside your organization think, feel, or accept as true about you. Does your culture inspire connection, innovation, energy, or agility? Does it incite uncertainty, confusion, negativity, or frustration? Or is it a mix of these attributes? We all have a unique lens through which we see and experience organizations. When individuals share stories with others about...

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Succession Planning as a Change Management Strategy

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Succession Planning as a Change Management Strategy

Succession planning is becoming a valuable strategy for organizations to undertake when looking to minimize the impact of changes on its workforce. Although still not widely utilized across Federal agencies, it is becoming recognized as an important talent management and change management strategy for retaining leaders at all levels and thus reducing disruptions caused by continual turnover. Here are two reasons this rings true: Management Concepts recently partnered with the Human Capital Media Research & Advisory Group (the research...

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Federal Spotlight: Karen Rainey

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Karen Rainey

Karen Rainey serves as an Information Technology Specialist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Here’s our Federal Spotlight interview with Karen Rainey: MC: How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? KR: I can’t believe it’s been 10 years of Federal Service with the Department of Treasury. Throughout my career I was afforded many opportunities in leadership. Currently, as an Information Technology Specialist, I provide dedicated server support to the Internal Revenue...

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What the Federal Government and Toyota Have in Common

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

What the Federal Government and Toyota Have in Common

Budget crunches, recruitment challenges, and knowledge loss as experienced employees retire—these together can sound like a recipe for disaster, yet history shows they can be a groundswell for innovation and increased productivity. The automotive industry—the Toyota Production System in particular, which influenced the famous NUMMI plant—demonstrates how pinching resources drives creativity and spurs innovation. In our recent Federal government change management survey completed in partnership with Human Capital Media, participants indicated...

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DATA Act – Federal Countdown to May 2017

Posted by on May 31, 2016 in Analytics, Workforce Management | 0 comments

DATA Act – Federal Countdown to May 2017

Last week my colleague Kim Coelho brought us up-to-date on the data standards updated by Treasury last week. This hopefully will allow movement on DATA Act implementation. Several agencies reported to the Government Accountability Office prior to April that their progress was hindered due to the lack of a final DATA Act Information Model Schema (DAIMS). Any delays are concerning at this point as the statutory deadline for most requirements is May 2017. It may be that the release of the DAIMS will enable those people in the weeds of DATA Act...

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Flipping the Engagement Curve

Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Flipping the Engagement Curve

There is an old saying that “what goes up must come down,” and when it comes to employee engagement in government organizations, the idiom is accurate. Last year in a report issued by the GAO, it was reported that OPM’s Employee Engagement Index (EEI) dropped from a record high of 67 percent in 2011 to 63 percent in 2014. When you think about the turmoil government employees endured in that four-year period—notably, an extended government shut down, stagnant pay, and massive budget cuts—this quick drop in employee engagement seemed like a...

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Federal Agencies: Still Do More with Less

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Agencies: Still Do More with Less

Just last week I was doing some research for a project I’m working on when I came across this lead quote from a story in the Washington Post about the challenges facing the Federal government: “Now more than ever, Federal workers are being told that they will be expected to do “more with less” for the foreseeable future.” The article describes the steps many agencies are taking to increase efficiency and maintain critical citizen support functions in the face of shrinking budgets and fewer staff and it includes this line from an employee at...

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Changing Government Event with NAPA and Federal Change Agents

Posted by on May 10, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Changing Government Event with NAPA and Federal Change Agents

You may have seen or heard some of the buzz about our recent event on “Changing Government.” We celebrated Public Service Recognition Week by bringing together current and former Federal leaders who have guided their organizations through significant change, ranging from operational and public relations issues, to making difficult and potentially unpopular decisions with lasting effect on their organizations and the people serving in them. The half-day event was broken into three segments: A brief review of 2016 Changing Workplace Survey...

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AMA: Mentoring

Posted by on May 6, 2016 in Coaching & Mentoring, Workforce Management | 0 comments

AMA: Mentoring

This Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), we wanted to provide Federal employees with some helpful information on mentoring. Whether you’re a millennial, baby boomer, someone who wants a mentor, or thinking about mentoring yourself, this information can be useful throughout your career. Below please find our take on a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) with our Coaching and Mentoring Practice Lead, Natalya Pestalozzi. What’s the best way to find a mentor? Potential mentors are everywhere. Finding the right one for you and entering into a...

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Millennials in the Public Sector: We Want You!

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Millennials in the Public Sector: We Want You!

If you Google “millennials and public service,” the search results paint an interesting picture. You will see clear references to a widening millennial talent gap alongside articles about how millennials actually love their government jobs and want a career in the public sector. Where is the truth, you ask? As always, it is probably somewhere in the middle. However, the important takeaway from this far from scientific observation is this: The Federal Government Needs Millennials. As we celebrate Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), it is a...

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Federal Spotlight: Michelle A. Crockett

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Michelle A. Crockett

This Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), we are especially proud to highlight out latest Federal Spotlight. Michelle A. Crockett, serves as the Acting Director of the Civil Rights Office at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Here’s our Federal Spotlight with Michelle Crockett: Moderator: How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? MC: As Acting Director, Civil Rights Office, at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), I serve as the...

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Report: Successful Change Management Practices in the Public Sector

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Report: Successful Change Management Practices in the Public Sector

The quest to improve management of change in public sector agencies is by no means a new one. In 2006, Frank Ostroff, writing in the Harvard Business Review comments, that “the greatest challenge in bringing about successful change and significant, sustained performance improvement in the public sphere is not so much identifying solutions, which are mostly straightforward, as working around the unique obstacles” that are found in the public sector organizations. These unique obstacles – the profound differences in the missions, purposes,...

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Public Service Recognition Week 2016

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Public Service Recognition Week 2016

Thank you for your daily contribution to deliver on the promises of government. Without the dedication and commitment of the men and women who serve our nation as Federal, state, county, and local government employees, our country would simply not function. We join the Public Employees Roundtable (PER) in celebrating Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW). The first week of May each year we will have special recognition for students who attend classes in the education centers. With more than a million public sector employee alumni, we are...

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TOC Recap: Sea Change – Ocean of Opportunities

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

TOC Recap: Sea Change – Ocean of Opportunities

The Training Officers Consortium (TOC) 2016 Annual Institute was held in Ocean City, MD from April 17-20, 2016 And Management Concepts was honored to be a gold sponsor. There were more than 175 attendees and the theme this year was “Sea Change – Ocean of Opportunities.” The institute provided the attendees with a range of speakers and sessions on such topics as: Keys to Leadership Accountability, Adaptability and Resilience Talent Management Coaching Diversity and Inclusion Competency Best Practices Over the course of three days we conducted...

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Roles Young Professionals Play in Recruiting Diversity, Leading Cultural Transformation

Posted by on Apr 8, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Roles Young Professionals Play in Recruiting Diversity, Leading Cultural Transformation

Last month Management Concepts, Young Government Leaders, and Blacks In Government (BIG) NOW Generation partnered to host a panel focused on the impact millennials in government can have on recruiting diversity and shaping culture. Our panelists, Christian Blackman of BIG NOW, Manuel Ramirez of USDA FNS, and Rebecca Rose and Miguel Joey Aviles of YGL, offered their advice on how young professionals can lead from their current positions to help their agencies move toward a constructive culture. The far ranging panel discussion, with great...

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Federal Spotlight: Elaine Ho

Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Elaine Ho

Elaine Ho serves as a Fellow in the White House Leadership Development Program. Here’s our Federal Spotlight interview with Elaine Ho: MC: How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? EH: Right after law school, I started my career in the Air Force JAG Corps in 2001. I was actually at JAG School on September 11th. I served four years on active duty until 2005 and, in fact, I’m still in the Air Force Reserves today. After active duty, I took some time to go into private practice. In...

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Leadership Presence: Harnessing Our Personal Power

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Leadership Presence: Harnessing Our Personal Power

“Your body shapes your mind. Your mind shapes your behavior. And your behavior shapes your future. - Amy Cuddy Notice your body posture right now as you’re reading this blog. Are you hunched over at your computer, shoulders turned in, head lowered close to the screen? Are your hands folded, are your legs crossed? If so, straighten your spine, push your shoulders back, lift your chin up, open your arms and drape them on your desk or at the sides or your chair. Or better yet, raise your arms in a V of triumph and throw your head back! Notice...

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Federal Spotlight: Mary Davie

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Mary Davie

Mary Davie serves as Assistant Commissioner, Office of Integrated Technology Services (ITS) at the General Services Administration (GSA). She was recently named a Federal 100 award winner – her third to date. Mary was also named the Meritorious Executive Winner in the 2015 Presidential Rank Awards, which recognize SES members for their exceptional service. Here’s our Federal Spotlight interview with Mary Davie: MC: How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? MD: I actually started working...

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Internet of Things – Web of Policies

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Internet of Things – Web of Policies

I’m lucky. I’m embarking on the quintessential project management example of life: The house remodel. The options of what I could have connected to WiFi blows my mind. I think I could buy a fridge that would sense that I just took four Thin Mints out of the freezer and logged it to my fitness wristband. The possibility of this is cool. And I’m not sure if I’m ok it. This is the Internet of Things (IoT) as an individual consumer. But what happens when we’re spending government dollars? The ones pooled together from a diverse public, divided on...

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Want a Smarter Workplace? Focus on Diversity

Posted by on Feb 26, 2016 in Leadership, Uncategorized, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Want a Smarter Workplace? Focus on Diversity

Diversity efforts are often perceived as solely focusing on compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws or enforcing political correctness. Yet in reality, there are scientific and business reasons for leaders to take action to create more diverse and inclusive working environments. For today’s organizations, diversity and inclusion are crucial for organizational success, creativity, innovation, and talent maximization. This is Your Brain on Diversity Creating diverse environments is not only important for building stronger...

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Unofficial Rules of Change

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Unofficial Rules of Change

If you’ve ever been stuck waiting in the lobby of a dentist office or standing in line at the market, then you’ve no doubt had a chance to flip through pages of pop culture magazines. You may have even surveyed the ever-popular “Do, Don’t” section featuring A-list celebrities in compromising situations or donning attire that should have never made it off the hanger. What draws our attention to these pages is, among other things, a desire to avoid making similar unalterable blunders. As a professional, at some point you’ll experience an...

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Federal Spotlight: Darryl E. Peek II

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Darryl E. Peek II

Darryl E. Peek II serves as a Senior IT Specialist in Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), Office of Cybersecurity and Communication (CS&C), Federal Network Resilience (FNR) Division. Here’s our interview with Darryl. MC: How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? DP: I have been in Federal service two and a half years. I started my career off supporting the Intelligence Community (IC) and after doing that for a number of years I...

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How Does the Strength of Culture Make a Difference?

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

How Does the Strength of Culture Make a Difference?

A recent Nextgov blog highlighted that while some specific areas of satisfaction actually increased, the American Customer Satisfaction Index shows a continuing downward trend in citizen satisfaction with the Federal government for the third consecutive year. As I read this blog I couldn’t help but think about what the biggest contributing factor might be for this continuing drop in citizen satisfaction. After a quick mental exercise of naming some factors based on over three decades of working with Federal organizations, “the human...

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Color Inside the Lines: It Helps Your Brain

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Color Inside the Lines: It Helps Your Brain

Coloring books saved my life last week. Okay, that is a slight exaggeration but next time you are browsing on Amazon, do yourself a favor add one to your cart. Here’s why. While the “DMV” was piled under an epic amount of snow, much business went on as usual—only from our homes. And, if your situation was like mine, that means trying to get work done with two kids and a dog begging to go sledding, and a husband who was on one conference call after another within earshot. Snow days are not what they used to be and by mid-week my head was...

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Change of Administration: Leadership Transitional Year

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Change of Administration: Leadership Transitional Year

With the presidential election and change of administration happening in less than a year, there will be a huge focus on political and career leadership transitions within the Federal agencies. Obviously positions designated for political appointees will be most impacted by the political changes. However, the skilled and committed civil service leaders will likely remain in place. So before these transitions occur, this is the perfect time to implement a disciplined approach to leadership succession management. I’ve been involved in...

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Employee Wellness

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Employee Wellness

Last week I lost my house key. And then a replacement house key. And then my wallet. Yesterday I dashed out to do an errand and upon returning to my car, realized I had left my phone in the car. In the computer bag with my laptop. Next to the car keys. With the car running. I was equally angry and amused by this complete and utter flake out. Amused by my almost cinematic absent-mindedness, and angry because I had recently made significant changes in my professional and personal life to be more healthy and well-balanced. Here I was, having...

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Federal Spotlight: Kevin Baker

Posted by on Jan 5, 2016 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Kevin Baker

Kevin Baker serves as the Associate Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Enterprise Planning and Performance at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Here’s our Federal Spotlight interview with Kevin Baker: MC: How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? KB: I have been lucky enough to serve the nation for 22 years in a variety of roles, both at the FCC and prior to that, in the Department of Defense (DoD). I currently serve as the FCC’s Associate CIO for Enterprise Planning and...

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Linking SES Performance and Organizational Performance

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Linking SES Performance and Organizational Performance

Last week the White House published an executive order aimed at strengthening the senior executive service. The Obama administration has made a priority of identifying ways to improve government performance through increased leadership effectiveness and this order is the latest move to establish agency-level requirements that look to contribute to building a SES cadre that can lead agencies to improve their overall performance. The wide ranging order calls for: Agencies must “establish an annual talent management and succession planning...

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HCMG Recap: Are You Accountable, Adaptable, and Resilient?

Posted by on Dec 15, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

HCMG Recap: Are You Accountable, Adaptable, and Resilient?

Management Concepts was one of the three lead sponsors of The Human Capital Management for Government (HCMG) Training Series event, “The Next Generation of Federal & Defense Human Capital” held in Alexandria, Virginia from December 1-3, 2015. More than 100 government and industry professionals gathered to talk about topics such as employee engagement, leading across generations, executive coaching, culture change and performance, the future of the workplace and much, much more. On the morning of Tuesday, December 1 we had the...

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Choosing the Right Consultant for the Right Results

Posted by on Dec 9, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Choosing the Right Consultant for the Right Results

Every now and then, I encounter professionals that appear to have a love/hate relationship with contractors and/or consultants working with organizations in their industry. Interestingly enough, one of the most significant challenges cited by the executive buyers of consulting services was defining and managing the scope of consulting projects. Many would agree the success of the project is critically defined prior to launch of the consulting engagement, yet only 58% of executive buyers lock in the strategic direction ahead of time. Despite...

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Millennials: Are We Really Any Different?

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Workforce Management | 3 comments

Millennials: Are We Really Any Different?

I’m a Millennial. There, I admitted it…but just barely. As most determine this generation to be born roughly after 1980 and brought up in the new millennium, I was born in 1983 and I’ll be honest, it’s not always great to be looped in with kids who were texting at 10. My favorite toy growing up was called playing outside. If a teacher called home, you better believe my mom did NOT give her the third degree about unfairly blaming me for something. I spend my teen summers working (mostly internships, but I also did my stint in...

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Federal Spotlight: Isaac E. Hernandez

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Isaac E. Hernandez

Isaac Hernandez serves as Director of IT operations at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Here’s our Federal Spotlight interview with Isaac E. Hernandez: MC: How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? IH: I’ve been in Federal service for six years and about 9 years in the Marines. In my current role I am the Director of IT Operations. That means… that I “keep the lights on.” I make sure that all the IT systems and services that we provide for our customers are up and...

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Getting to the Root of Federal Employee Engagement

Posted by on Dec 3, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Getting to the Root of Federal Employee Engagement

Each year when the Office of Personnel Management releases the results of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) agencies across the Federal government get a window into the health and status of their workforce. For Federal leaders, the FEVS provides an opportunity to understand how employees feel about their jobs, their agency, their ability to grow, and their overall employee engagement levels. Since the surveys’ inception in 2004, Federal Human Capital (HC) and Human Resources (HR) practitioners have had a solid tool for...

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Inclusive Workplaces Care for Caregivers

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Inclusive Workplaces Care for Caregivers

A recent flash poll conducted by the Government Business Council found that 51% of Federal employees surveyed have been, are currently, or plan to be a caregiver for a loved one who will need long-term care. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unpaid caregivers provide about 90% of the long-term care in our country, mostly for those ages 50 and older. For many members of the Federal workforce population who are either currently or expecting to care for elderly family members, the financial, physical,...

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Federal Spotlight: Rebecca Ayers

Posted by on Nov 19, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Rebecca Ayers

Rebecca Ayers serves as the Manager for Performance Management Solutions at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Here’s our interview with Rebecca Ayers. MC: How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? RA: I was fortunate to join the Federal government through the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program in 2003. In fact, we were the last class from when it was called the Presidential Management Intern program. My entire career has been with the U.S. Office of Personnel...

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FEVS: Finding Your “One Thing”

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

FEVS: Finding Your “One Thing”

If you are like me and were a teenager in the early 1990’s there’s a good chance that you are also a fan of the movie City Slickers with Billy Crystal and the late Jack Palance. For those of you who may not recall the film, the story revolves around three middle-aged men from New York who head out on two-week cattle drive as part of a ranch vacation. Over the course of the cattle drive the characters deal with a series of mishaps and adventures that challenge the men to connect with themselves and make key decisions about where they are in...

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Federal Spotlight: Tony Scardino

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Tony Scardino

Tony Scardino serves as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Here’s our Federal Spotlight interview with Tony Scardino: MC: How long have you been in Federal service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? TS: I have been in Federal service for 20 years and spent an additional five years supporting the Federal government in advisory and grantee roles. As the CFO of a Federal agency now, my main responsibilities are to ensure financial viability for an agency that is fully...

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Building an Emotionally Intelligent Team

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 1 comment

Building an Emotionally Intelligent Team

Why is emotional intelligence so important for teams? Quite frankly, organizations need teams to get the work done. Historically, the most consistent and effective efforts come from groups of people who over time developed trust, group identity, and efficacy to become teams. Who has the responsibility of building the emotionally intelligent team? One might argue the responsibility rests with individuals with the positional authority and influence to translate the organizational vision into goals and objectives for the team to achieve. Why...

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We Asked the CHCO

Posted by on Oct 22, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

We Asked the CHCO

For the past six months, Management Concepts sponsored the “Ask the CHCO” radio interview series, hosted by Lauren Larson of Federal News Radio. Every Wednesday Federal Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCOs) shared priorities for their agencies, goals for the future, successful programs, and areas in which they strive to improve. As a trusted learning development and workforce improvement partner to the Federal government, Management Concepts appreciated the opportunity to hear from these Federal leaders on trends in human capital. We heard...

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Federal Spotlight: Gary Washington

Posted by on Oct 8, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Gary Washington

Gary Washington serves as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Here’s our inaugural Federal Spotlight interview with Gary Washington: MC: How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? GW: I have been in the public sector for more than 28 years. Ten of those have been in the military, with the U.S. Air Force. But, my entire career has been in the information technology (IT) field. My main...

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Ask the CHCO: SBA’s Bridget Bean

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Ask the CHCO: SBA’s Bridget Bean

When you hear the term “Main Street” it characteristically conjures up the image of a retail hub in a small town where residents shop and socialize about the day’s events. Whether in a small town or a larger city, with several Main Streets, historically the term denotes a brick and mortar location of small businesses. Today, businesses are as diverse in presence as the entrepreneurs who have established and run them; and SBA is committed to have its workforce be reflective of that diversity. Here are four things SBA is doing well, through the...

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Management Concepts: The Next Evolution

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Management Concepts: The Next Evolution

Here are just a few of today’s challenges and priorities the Federal government is wrestling with as it strives to evolve its workforce: Knowledge sharing Targeting the workforce to Millennials An ever-increasing focus on data-driven decisions Transparency Collaboration The Federal government is expected to make advances in these key issues in FY16 as its workforce continues to shift from administrative to technical work and meet the demands of our digital age. As a 42 year old company, we too have been required to evolve in order to stay...

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To Shutdown or Not

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Financial Management, Workforce Management | 0 comments

To Shutdown or Not

It’s seven days until a partial shutdown of the U.S. government could occur. If Congress does not pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) or 12 appropriation bills, or the President vetoes legislation sent to him, then we could have a funding gap, something that has happened 18 times since Congress changed the fiscal year to a start date of October 1 in 1977. We all know why this happened. The gap will start in Guam, “where America’s day starts,” 14 hours ahead of Washington time. So, by 10:00 a.m. on September 30, hopefully we know. A gap will...

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BIG’s National Training Recap

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

BIG’s National Training Recap

Last month, Management Concepts attended the Blacks in Government (BIG) 37th Annual National Training Institute (NTI) held in Orlando, Florida from August 24-27, 2015. This year’s NTI provided more than 1,450 attendees with 100+ workshops and agency forums addressing an array of critical topics, superb speakers, and the latest technology. This indeed was a week of first-class training. The training opportunity facilitated active and practical discussions on recent changes in public service for Federal, state, and local government employees....

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Ask the CHCO: State’s Arnold Chacón

Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Ask the CHCO: State’s Arnold Chacón

In a recent “Ask the CHCO” Federal News Radio interview, The U.S. Department of State Director General, Arnold Chacón, emphasized the ongoing importance of recruiting and preparing foreign affairs professionals. The Department of State is consistently ranked among the Top Five of Best Places to Work (large agencies), and Ambassador Chacón believes that is due in large part to the mission of the department and the opportunity to do meaningful work. The dynamic and fast-paced world of foreign affairs requires the department to respond rapidly...

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Ask the CHCO: SSA’s Dr. Reginald F. Wells

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Human Resources, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Ask the CHCO: SSA’s Dr. Reginald F. Wells

The latest “Ask the CHCO” interview with Dr. Reginald F. Wells, the Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Human Resources of the Social Security Administration (SSA), highlighted Federal workforce management in action. Dr. Wells is the last remaining original member of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council that has championed Federal human capital management efforts such as wellness in the workplace, efficient hiring, and career development. The Council’s mission is to provide a forum for senior management to exchange best practices and...

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Can You Be an Anytime Coach?

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in Coaching & Mentoring, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Can You Be an Anytime Coach?

We would all like to create a more encouraging and empowered workplace, and see better performance from our employees, colleagues and leaders. One way to do this is to implement the key principles of our recently published book, Anytime Coaching—Unleashing Employee Performance, co-authored with Wendy Sherwin Swire. Since the original publication, we’ve learned from conversations with leaders who have read and applied its principles that they witnessed many benefits, including: Becoming more aware of the “self” that leaders bring to their...

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Ask the CHCO: DoD’s Paige Hinkle-Bowles

Posted by on Aug 16, 2015 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Ask the CHCO: DoD’s Paige Hinkle-Bowles

In her interview with Federal News Radio for our Ask the CHCO series, Ms. Hinkle-Bowles shared some key areas of focus for the civilian workforce that support the DoD “Future Force” Initiative. Described as opportunities to build, shape, and improve workforce performance to meet changing DoD mission needs, Ms. Hinkle-Bowles discussed how many of the challenges facing the department’s 900,000 civilians in recent years are currently or will be addressed in the near future. As the interview concluded, I found myself wondering – how will DoD...

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Building Resilience

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Building Resilience

Imagine you are in the water at the beach on a stormy day. The surf is high, and each time a wave comes it knocks you over. You stand back up, and another wave comes and knocks you down again. You may sustain this for a little while, even get a thrill from the waves crashing and getting back up, but eventually you will start to lose your ability to face the oncoming breakers. Even the strongest physique can’t withstand being hit by those waves time after time. At some point, we all get fatigued by trying to withstand the impact of wave after...

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Ask the CHCO: Intel’s Deborah Kircher

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Ask the CHCO: Intel’s Deborah Kircher

In FY14, the Intelligence Community (IC) was ranked one of the best places to work in the Federal government and fourth overall among large agencies. Workforce engagement done the right way – we could all learn a new strategy or two for engaging our workforce from the US Intelligence Community. Ask the CHCO interview with Deborah Kircher, the Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Human Capital and the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Chief Human Capital Officer, highlights best practice strategies in workplace initiatives that make her...

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FEW’s National Training Recap

Posted by on Jul 29, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

FEW’s National Training Recap

Management Concepts was a proud Emerald Sponsor of this year’s Federally Employed Women’s (FEW) National Training Program (NTP) held in New Orleans, Louisiana from July 13-16, 2015. I have been a lifetime member of FEW for more than 10 years and when possible, I always want to support the mission of FEW especially the commitment to and “for the advancement and professional growth of women in Federal Service.” Now ironically I have never served in the Federal government but much of my career has been as a strategic partner within many...

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Ask the CHCO: DHS’ Catherine Emerson

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Ask the CHCO:  DHS’ Catherine Emerson

The Ask the CHCO interview with the Department of Homeland Security’s Catherine Emerson served as a reminder to me as how it was to work at DHS, because I had worked there prior to joining Management Concepts. I can vouch for the dedication that many DHS employees have to their missions. I can also attest that the uncertainty associated with long-term and frequent vacancies, not to mention re-organizations and shutdown preparations, wears even the most dedicated employees down. In good news, Ms. Emerson and her team are dedicated tackling...

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Ask the CHCO: GSA’s Antonia Harris

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Human Resources, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Ask the CHCO: GSA’s Antonia Harris

Federal News Radio recently interviewed Antonia T. Harris, Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) for General Services Administration (GSA), as part of our Ask the CHCO series. Ms. Harris provides not only a clear roadmap for the Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) at GSA, but also for the HR profession in the Federal government. Ms. Harris’s HR philosophy focuses on “understanding the value you add as an individual to the success of the organization.” This is sound advice in any function, but particularly important to HR as HR seeks a...

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The New Meaning of Jobs and Careers

Posted by on Jun 23, 2015 in Human Resources, Workforce Management | 0 comments

The New Meaning of Jobs and Careers

I grew up in a small town in central Florida with an economy driven, in large part, by agriculture – cattle ranching, farming, and citrus growers were the economic backbone of the community. Throughout much of my childhood, the adults I encountered either worked in family businesses where they’d stay for their entire working career, or changed jobs only a few times, staying with organizations for multiple decades. My dad’s work life included only three employers over the span of nearly five decades. I often think about how the impressions of...

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From QUIET to LOUD: Military Personnel Reform

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in Human Resources, Workforce Management | 0 comments

From QUIET to LOUD: Military Personnel Reform

A Military Times article published last month reported that the Pentagon is quietly pushing for military personnel reform. While this is an exciting development, I think the push should actually be loud and swift to create the energy and momentum needed to fully rethink and modernize the DoD’s approach to managing military talent. That being said, Acting Undersecretary for Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson’s quiet call for revolutionary change in the human resources practices at DoD is a perfect example of what it means to step...

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Ask the CHCO: Interior’s Mary Pletcher

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Ask the CHCO: Interior’s Mary Pletcher

In case you missed it, last week’s “Ask the CHCO” segment on Federal News Radio featured an interview with Mary Pletcher, the Department of Interior’s Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Capital and Diversity. Since assuming her role in 2013, Ms. Pletcher has focused on a variety of efforts to support Interior’s goal to develop a 21st century workforce. Ms. Pletcher has her work cut out for her given the Department’s large geographic reach, broad mission, and the number of diverse occupations within Interior’s workforce. Did you know...

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Diversity and Inclusion

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 1 comment

Diversity and Inclusion

Government agencies serve the American public, and thus should not only be representative of the population they serve, but demonstrate the value of that diversity in their workforce. However, a recent survey put out by the Government Business Council and Monster Government Solutions identified some concerning data about how Federal employees experience diversity and inclusion efforts. The study found that 75% of government employees feel misunderstood because of some aspect of their identity, and only 28% believe their organization is...

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Ask the CHCO: NSF’s Dr. Joanne Tornow

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Ask the CHCO: NSF’s Dr. Joanne Tornow

The latest “Ask the CHCO” interview with Dr. Joanne Tornow from the National Science Foundation (NSF) reminded me of the essential need for subject matter expertise for the success of financial assistance programs. In the case of NSF, this includes the constant renewal of its scientific and programmatic workforce supporting the distribution of 94% of this agency’s budget to the scientific community. Dr. Tornow and her team at NSF support approximately 2,000 employees and contractors, of which 300 are on temporary assignment from the...

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Dispelling Training Evaluation Myths

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Dispelling Training Evaluation Myths

A few months ago, I attended a local professional group meeting where the topic of training evaluation was discussed. I learned a lot about what many people think about training evaluation. Most of the attendees were not training or human resources professionals, so I would not expect them to be experts on the topic. I’m glad they felt comfortable asking the questions that were on their mind. It was a good reminder for me that many misconceptions exist about training evaluation. Let’s talk about two of those myths or misconceptions and what...

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NAPA Forum Recap: The List

Posted by on May 20, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

NAPA Forum Recap: The List

We recently had the honor of sponsoring the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) monthly May program – The Government Accountability Office (GAO) High Risk List Forum. GAO reports: “Every two years at the start of a new Congress, GAO calls attention to agencies and program areas that are high risk due to their vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, or are most in need of transformation.” The 2015 report brought the total project list to 32; while progress was made on the previous thirty, there is still room for...

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Ask the CHCO: NASA’s Jeri Buchholz

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Ask the CHCO: NASA’s Jeri Buchholz

During an interview on our sponsored, “Ask the CHCO” series on Federal News Radio last week, Jeri Buchholz of NASA highlighted the importance of leveraging the organizational culture to accomplish the agency’s mission. Buchholz entered NASA during a daunting stage in the history of the agency, when the shuttle program had ended and many employees worried about the agency’s future. Buchholz describes a period of overwhelming “uncertainty and mourning,” in which many employees who had spent their entire careers focused on a certain mission saw...

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TOC Recap: Connect, Learn, Lead

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

TOC Recap: Connect, Learn, Lead

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth at the Training Officers Consortium (TOC) 2015 Annual Institute held in Roanoke, VA from April 26-29, 2015. There were more than 150 attendees and the connections we made were outstanding. The theme this year was Connect, Learn, Lead and I witnessed the active participation exuded by all participants taking this to heart. This intensive three-day residential program provided skill-building workshops and seminars. Stuart H. Weinstein, Ph.D., Practice Leader for Instructional Systems at Management...

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Recruiting the Next Generation of Feds

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Recruiting the Next Generation of Feds

Over the past several weeks, we’ve heard from a number of Federal leaders through our sponsored “Ask the CHCO” series on Federal News Radio about the work going on to recruit, retain, and engage Federal workers. CHCOs from USAID, FLRA, and HHS have shared best practices and initiatives to improve the Federal employment experience. Much attention is being paid to retaining and engaging Federal workers, as shortages in mission critical skills suggest that a renewed focus on attracting high performing, highly skilled individual to Federal...

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PSRW: Q&A with Dr. David A. Bray

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Workforce Management | 1 comment

PSRW: Q&A with Dr. David A. Bray

In recognition of Public Service Recognition Week, May 3-9, 2015 Management Concepts spoke with a few of the Federal government’s most dedicated public servants. Here’s our Q&A with Dr. David A. Bray,* Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) who also tweets as @fcc_cio. MC: How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? David: While my official title is Chief Information Officer for the Federal Communications Commission, I’d describe my role...

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PSRW: Q&A with Mika Cross

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

PSRW: Q&A with Mika Cross

In recognition of Public Service Recognition Week, May 3-9, 2015 Management Concepts spoke with a few of the Federal government’s most dedicated public servants. Here’s our Q&A with Mika Cross,* Work/Life Policy Director and Flexible Workplace Strategy at Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She serves as Co- Chair, Human Capital Special Interest Group (HC-SIG) at ACT-IAC and was a 2014 winner of the Federal News Radio Causey Award for Public Service. Mika is also the proud single parent of two children, ages 7 and 12. Her daughter...

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Our Dedication to Public Servants

Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Our Dedication to Public Servants

Nancy Potter spent 62 years at GSA and upon her retirement she noted, “I take satisfaction in knowing I was part of a team and organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in this nation. From the day the doors swung open in 1949 to today, GSA has played a unique role in our government, touching lives in more ways than most people imagine.” Nancy’s story is remarkable for her tenure, but her dedication and commitment is shared by millions of Federal employees, each unique in their contribution to our country. That’s why the first...

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Is Your Ecosystem Thriving or Collapsing?

Posted by on Apr 27, 2015 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Is Your Ecosystem Thriving or Collapsing?

Imagine a thriving ecosystem, and you may envision a lush landscape with great diversity, energy, and balance. Now imagine an ecosystem that is suffering and you probably see a barren landscape, where life forms are dying off and there is bloodthirsty competition for limited resources. Now think of some of the organizations or teams within which you have worked. Notice any similarities? When you think about it, organizations have a lot in common with some of the most complex biological ecosystems: Individuals at all levels matter Ecosystems...

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Ask the CHCO: FLRA’s Vicki Barber

Posted by on Apr 20, 2015 in Human Resources, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Ask the CHCO: FLRA’s Vicki Barber

On this week’s edition of Federal News Radio’s Ask the CHCO series, reporter Lauren Larson interviewed Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA)’s Chief Human Resources Officer Vicki Barber. Ms. Barber took her post at FLRA in 2010 at the same time the agency was undergoing a major overhaul of its human capital strategy. In the interview, she discussed some major lessons learned and best practices that have taken FLRA from the bottom of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings to fifth among small agencies. She credits the...

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The Future Generation Workplace

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 in Human Resources, Workforce Management | 1 comment

The Future Generation Workplace

Last Friday, I attended the session, The Future Generation Workplace, led by Mika Cross, Director of Work/Life and Flexible Workplace Strategy at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at the Federal Workplace Expo & Training event in Washington, DC. Ms. Cross led a diverse cross-section of Federal HR leaders in an interactive session on what forces are shaping the future of work. The participants shared insights on the workforce trends that are driving change at their organizations. Considering how much change in technology,...

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5 Steps to Take to Escape Old Employee Engagement Ideas

Posted by on Apr 15, 2015 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

5 Steps to Take to Escape Old Employee Engagement Ideas

Last week I was having a conversation with some colleagues about the renewed focus on employee engagement in the Federal government and how Federal agencies can meet the goal of reaching 67% engagement by 2016. Moving the engagement index up by 3 percentage points over a two year period is an ambitious goal that will require thinking differently about employee engagement. Of course, as John Maynard Keynes wrote, “The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones.” So, with that in mind, here are a few steps you can...

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Ask the CHCO: HHS’ John Gill

Posted by on Apr 7, 2015 in Workforce Management | 0 comments

Ask the CHCO: HHS’ John Gill

As part of the series “Ask the CHCO*,” Federal News Radio’s Lauren Larson interviewed Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) and Deputy Assistant Secretary John Gill. Currently, he leads a human resources operation that serves 90,000 diverse Federal employees across multiple departments with complex and challenging missions. He took this opportunity to share his insights into the current state of the Federal workforce and where it’s headed in the future. Mr. Gill shared some examples of the progress that has been made in recent years to...

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No More Generation Bashing

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 2 comments

No More Generation Bashing

“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today… When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful and impatient of restraint.” – Hesiod, Greek poet and philosopher, 700 BC We’ve been hearing the same complaints about generational differences for, literally, millennia. The old lament the youth of today, while the young believe themselves to be the future and that the generation before them – although living in...

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Support Your Mentors

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Coaching & Mentoring, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Support Your Mentors

Throughout my career, I have had the good fortune of having several excellent mentors. They naturally took me under their wing, took an interest in my development and gave their time, energy, and expertise without my even having to ask. I am so thankful for them, knowing that my career most certainly would have taken a different direction had it not been for their genuine interest and commitment to our relationship. This organic mentoring, though, doesn’t happen for everyone and organizations cannot rely on this more natural process as a way...

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Inside the Minds of Chief Learning Officers

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Coaching & Mentoring, Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Inside the Minds of Chief Learning Officers

On March 10 Steve Maier, President of Management Concepts moderated a thought-provoking panel discussion at a recent Training Officers Consortium (TOC) luncheon that included the following esteemed Federal Chief Learning Officers (CLOs):   Sheila Wright, Housing and Urban Development Michael Casey, General Services Administration Jeffrey Vargas, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Susan Camarena, Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration We’ve all heard the phrase “do more with less” – especially in government – but...

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Individual Talent Acquisition Skills Key to Solving the Government’s Recruiting Woes

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in Human Resources, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Individual Talent Acquisition Skills Key to Solving the Government’s Recruiting Woes

On Monday, The Office of Personnel Management Director, Katherine Archuleta, revealed an ambitious, data-driven approach to “untie the knots” in Federal hiring and recruiting new employees. According to the Washington Post, “Among the problems: Hiring managers often are blocked by rigid rules from hiring talented candidates, Archuleta said. Job seekers send résumés to apply for open jobs, only to hear nothing for months, if at all. Human resources staff members, who do the bulk of hiring, are poorly trained.” As an HR professional, when I...

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Building Leadership Capability: A Roadmap for Improving Employee Engagement

Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Building Leadership Capability: A Roadmap for Improving Employee Engagement

Just a couple short months ago, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released the results of the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), measuring whether or not the characteristics of successful organizations can be found in agencies across the Federal government.  The FEVS results, and in particular the employee engagement index, are used increasingly by agencies to identify areas for improvement and compare their agency to other agencies and the private sector. Reinforcing the need to focus on engagement in the Federal...

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Telework: The “Just Right” Solution to New Types of Workspaces

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Telework: The “Just Right” Solution to New Types of Workspaces

When it comes to office space these days, a lot of people are feeling like Goldilocks. For some moving to an open concept environment, all that space to collaborate is just a little too open and too distracting, but others feel like the walls of their cubicles are receding inch by inch in traditional spaces that are too small and too isolating. You may not have much influence when it comes to your workplace design, but many have access to what can be a “just right” solution to balance your need to be productive and collaborative: Telework....

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How Leaders Can Bridge the Gap Between Where They Are Now and Where They Want to Be – It’s All in the Mind

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in Leadership, Project Management, Workforce Management | 0 comments

How Leaders Can Bridge the Gap Between Where They Are Now and Where They Want to Be – It’s All in the Mind

In a previous post I presented a basic approach to goal setting that could be used to help leaders acquire new skills as they set goals to make the required behavior changes necessary to close the gap between where they currently are and where they want to be in their careers. The steps to closing the gap include several elements that should be considered when setting behavior-change goals. Goal setting for closing any skill gap is a process. The same process can be applied to any goal, whether professional, organizational, or personal. The...

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Managing the Diverse Needs of Expecting and New Parents in the Workplace

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Human Resources, Leadership, Workforce Management | 1 comment

Managing the Diverse Needs of Expecting and New Parents in the Workplace

A few weeks ago, the President issued a memorandum “Modernizing Federal Leave Policies for Childbirth, Adoption and Foster Care to Recruit and Retain Talent and Improve Productivity.”  These policy changes provide greater flexibility for and support of new parents – both mothers and fathers. Such policies alone, however, cannot create a family-friendly workplace. Leaders and supervisors must take action to imbed a family-friendly culture, especially for expecting and new parents. I was visibly pregnant with my first and then second child when...

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Career Resolutions for You and Your Staff

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Acquisition, Coaching & Mentoring, Financial Management, Grants & Assistance, Human Resources, Leadership, Project Management, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Career Resolutions for You and Your Staff

Each January, we all make resolutions with varying degrees of sincerity and dedication. As we get further and further from New Year celebrations, life has a way of creeping in. Achieving lifestyle changes is not solely about exercise or dieting; it should also be about improving your professional competence and positioning yourself and/or your staff for future success. This year, why not try a different resolution? Are you an individual trying to manage your career? Resolve to focus on your career. Ask for the stretch assignment. Explore...

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What to Consider When Starting a Federal Workforce Plan

Posted by on Jan 16, 2015 in Human Resources, Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

What to Consider When Starting a Federal Workforce Plan

To the Federal Human Capital professional: Workforce planning is must-have skill in advancing your human resources career. Even if you aren’t driving creation of your agency-level workforce planning, understanding the process and how to effectively contribute to it is critical. Even at the division level, however, the workforce planning process can appear to be a huge undertaking. To make it both manageable and effective – as well as headache free – you need to plan out your individual process before you begin. The first step is to really...

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Career Pathing: The Magnificent Seven of Program Development

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Human Resources, Workforce Management | 0 comments

In the Federal Government, career pathing identifies the required competencies, proficiency levels, and General Schedule grades for roles so that employees, their supervisors, and human resource leaders alike can determine transferrable skills, developmental needs and solutions, and potential career movement opportunities including promotion readiness, lateral moves, and other opportunities.” Developing a career pathing program in Federal agencies is best done as simply as possible. In most cases, that means piloting the program with a few...

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Want to Make Better Decisions? Ask Better Questions.

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 1 comment

We’ve all heard the adage, “There’s no such thing as a bad question”… but let’s be honest – we have all been subjected to a question at some point that prompted a mental response of “Are you kidding me?!” This reaction is usually accompanied by rolling of the eyes, shaking of the head, feelings of disgust, and so on. On the other hand, masterfully worded and perfectly timed questions have the ability to provoke deep thought, challenge previously held beliefs, reveal new unimagined solutions to problems, or even alter the mission of an entire...

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What do Senior Leaders in the Federal Government, Members of Congress and Carp Have in Common?

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

In my role supporting Federal Government agencies trying to build leadership at all levels I often find myself discussing the differences between effective and ineffective leaders. Of course, there are many different opinions about the traits and qualities that separate the good from the bad when it comes to leaders in the Federal Government, and there is probably no single set of competencies and behaviors that completely discriminate between the two. Personally, I believe an often-overlooked element of effective leadership is external...

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2014 NAPA Fall Meeting Focuses on the Future of Public Administration

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in Human Resources, Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Management Concepts will be participating in the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) 2014 Fall Meeting taking place November 13, 2014 in Crystal City, Va. Management Concepts is an Academy patron-level sponsor and the event’s focus is on “Public Administration 2025 – How will Government Adapt?” The event’s theme aligns with our view that the government in the next ten years will look drastically different than how it looks today. With technology, priorities, and the workforce changing considerably, the government must remain...

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Ethics and Engagement: Validate Ethical Values to Drive Productivity

Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Ethical Dilemmas in Daily Work Imagine an employee who has just completed a project. He tells his manager that although it meets the requirements, it could be top-notch if he had just one more day to work on it. The manager says no, brushes off the idea, says “Thanks for your work,” and issues the next assignment. A situation such as this presents an ethical dilemma for the manager. Quality is important, particularly for the client who receives the product. But deadlines are important, too; so which takes greater priority? For an...

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Federal Workforce Trends Not So Scary When You Have a Plan

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Coaching & Mentoring, Human Resources, Workforce Management | 0 comments

As GAO reported in its February 2013 High Risk update, agencies must integrate strategic human capital planning with broader organizational strategic planning  to develop the talent, skill, and experience mix required to cost- effectively execute mission and program goals. Most critical to the strategic human capital plan is the workforce planning that informs it. Workforce planning has become so increasingly complex in the Federal Government, however, that it’s scarier than Freddy Kruger reading you a bedtime story. Why is it complex?...

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Effective Mentoring as Part of Phased Retirement: HR’s Role

Posted by on Oct 24, 2014 in Coaching & Mentoring, Human Resources, Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Implementing OPM’s Phased Retirement program creates a powerful opportunity for HR to drive value and productivity through an agency mentoring program. Moreover, according to OPM, “the main purpose of Phased Retirement is to enhance the mentoring and training of the employees who will be filling the positions or taking on the duties of more experienced retiring employees.” Federal HR professionals can rise to the challenge through a structured process for implementing the mentoring program. Although OPM has yet to write implementation...

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Hedgehogs, Foxes, and the Future of Federal Workforce Planning

Posted by on Oct 17, 2014 in Human Resources, Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

As reported by the GAO in July 2014, the Federal Government has a pronounced need to create more agile talent management capabilities to address inflexibilities in current systems. How can the Federal Government accomplish this? It’s not about the systems themselves, but rather about the approach to Federal workforce planning. Most agencies plan like a hedgehog, but they need to plan like a fox.  Not following the animal references? Greek poet Archilochus of Paros wrote: “The fox knows many things; the hedgehog one big thing.” He was...

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