AGA PDT 2017: Top Takeaways from Financial Management Conference
Last week in Boston, over one thousand of the nation’s government financial management professionals convened for expert insights and networking (and CPEs) at the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) annual Professional Development Training (PDT) event.
Topics ranged from pressing issues such as cybersecurity and systems modernization, to always-important skill development in auditing, communication, leadership, and finding resilience and balance in the churn and turmoil of today’s rapidly evolving work environments.
In the exhibition hall, we hosted a Management Concepts booth and brought a small cadre of our leaders, consultants, and Federal FM training experts, including Steve Maier, President of Management Concepts. It was great to catch up with so many of our longstanding partners and colleagues and meet with clients and customers; and the presentations were lively, jam-packed, and informative.
Here are our top takeaways from our conversations in the exhibition hall and from sessions throughout the conference:
- Agencies need to take action on good ideas for doing their work differently. This may be a frequent comment at conferences lately, but the message isn’t losing steam (and it shouldn’t). This includes leaders getting everybody in organizations to accept that they need to do their work differently, and it won’t happen without a concentrated, patient, but constantly pro-active commitment to culture change. Is your organization practicing a learning culture to make this effort a success?
- There’s a large need for inter- and intra-agency collaboration to improve operations and increase capabilities. We agree! Change agents should connect to show how their organizations can add value to other organizations in your agency.
- The individual needs to adapt to technology, not the other way around. While there’s a time and a place for true custom solutions, organizations and providers can’t always customize technology to such a point that it removes the value of purchasing a COTS system.
- To advance professionally, having a mentor, a coach, and a collaborator is key.
Training solutions that truly help professionals excel in the Federal financial management space have to take into consideration an interdisciplinary menu of training topics. Especially in times of turmoil and uncertainty, honing core skills in leadership, or acquiring data analytics skills, can help you and your team reach new heights.