Can Great Strategy Help Integrate DHS?

Can Great Strategy Help Integrate DHS?

Why is this so hard?  DHS has many different missions, many agencies with different regional presences, diverse missions, and demanding stakeholders with their own mission priorities. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) originally designated the implementation and transformation of DHS as “high risk”. Challenges in Workforce Engagement, Acquisition, and Financial Management remain a priority. DHS senior leaders have collaborated to tackle the issues of strategy, resource allocation, capability requirements, operational planning, joint operations, and headquarters organizational design, and including DHS employees in these projects to increase transparency.

The collaboration and coordination of the leadership of the agencies – with focus on the workforce, mission alignment, and an integrated and transparent budget process – is strong and sustainable. The next administration must continue the existing governance structure and focus efforts on a clearer strategy, with strong measures to track and report success and areas of focus.

Transition must not just focus on learning and operational continuity. It must prioritize strategy from the beginning – with a clear framework to measure strategy implementation.

If DHS continues to invest in its workforce and provides them with the resources they need to implement strategic initiatives, it can attract the workforce of the future, and inspire them to achieve the next level of mission performance.

Nearly 14 years after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) brought together 22 distinct organizations and functions with different but related missions into one organization, it can reflect back at the successes and continued challenges. As each new DHS leader embarked on reviewing the progress, recognizing accomplishments, and setting priorities, DHS has become more integrated and more efficient.

As the next secretary takes the reigns, a clear strategy followed by excellent execution is critical to inspire its workforce, integrate efforts, and make critical leaps in mission outcomes.

A compelling strategy at the departmental level can cascade to the agencies and headquarters functions, allowing leaders of these organizations to establish flow down strategies. Integrated execution of these strategies, sponsored at the top of the department and each key agency, should be a top priority to achieve a unified effort.

Blog Homeland Security

Contributors

Helen Smith |

Helen Smith is a Senior Associate at Arc Aspicio and has 5 years of experience at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the Department of Homeland Security. She holds a B.A. in International Affairs and French Language from the University of Colorado.

Confessions of a Chief Strategy Officer

Confessions of a Chief Strategy Officer

I’ll admit it, I was a little smug. After more than 20 years in the consulting business helping clients develop, implement, and integrate their strategies, I thought… “how hard could it be to do the same things for my own company – a company of consultants?” I had the commitment of my leadership, a group of talented people, and a plan and resources to grow the company. We had energy and we had a great process and tools to successful. What could go wrong?

Exploring Trends in Strategic Workforce Planning (Attract, Engage, and Retain)

Exploring Trends in Strategic Workforce Planning (Attract, Engage, and Retain)

Federal agencies have been undergoing significant transformation, requiring effective workforce strategies that can assist them in facing increasing challenges. As government leaders look for and implement initiatives to improve performance, Strategic Workforce Planning, (SWP) has become instrumental in assisting organizations to focus on their most important resource: their people

#Innovate Your Heart Out: We See an Innovation Day in Your Future

#Innovate Your Heart Out: We See an Innovation Day in Your Future

Innovation is difficult to harness for organizations of all sizes (Government and private sector alike). Replicating a process to encourage and produce innovation is even more challenging. Innovating in a structured space and time seems counter-intuitive, and begs the question: can thinking outside the box be a structured activity? Arc Aspicio recently held an Innovation Day to answer this question.

A Unified Brand Helps Serve a Complex Mission

A Unified Brand Helps Serve a Complex Mission

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), created in 2003, undertook the most significant reorganization of federal agencies since the Cold War. It brought together federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies with a focus on securing the U.S. from threats in a collaborative way. DHS pulls together five complex mission areas: preventing terrorism and enhancing security; managing our borders; administering immigration laws; securing cyberspace; and ensuring disaster resilience.

Towards Preparedness and an Emergency Management Workforce of the Future

Towards Preparedness and an Emergency Management Workforce of the Future

Grit and determination. This is what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) workforce is known for. After what is arguably the most challenging year in its history, the FEMA leadership called on the agency to enable the workforce through four elements: build, empower, sustain, and train. A key factor in creating a scalable, sustainable disaster response workforce is to foster a proactive culture, one focused on preparedness. A proactive mindset can create an environment that asks the “what if” questions that lead to more prepared response efforts.