Our Story, Part 3: Driving Innovation in the Federal Government

Our Story, Part 3: Driving Innovation in the Federal Government

Our Story, Part 3: Driving Innovation in the Federal Government

We tell our story to share who we are as a company. This blog is the third in a series that highlights how our strategy and culture lead to positive results for our clients and employees.

Innovation. Few words get head nods more than “innovation”. Everyone agrees that innovation is a good thing, but people often have trouble describing what specific innovation their organization brings to the table.

At Arc Aspicio, we use proven accelerators to jump start projects and tasks. Accelerators are repeatable processes with supporting techniques, tools, and templates to help us creatively problem solve and develop new ideas and strategies for our clients to specific types of challenges. For example, with Design Thinking, we developed a method that allows us to dig deeper to understand the root cause of our client’s biggest challenges with a unique focus on the complexity and issues in Government. We use this approach across projects to focus on empathy for the core stakeholders. Rather than create top-down solutions for problems, we consider input and experiences from the operators, users, or customers, seeking first to understand their needs (empathy!) and then developing solutions to address them. As one of our clients at the Federal Emergency Management Agency always says, “walk in our clients shoes” at the site of disasters to to open your eyes and gain some valuable perspective.

Recently, one of our clients came to us with a recurring problem and perplexing question: Why are users not taking advantage of their key service, and how can we increase usage of it? The Arc Aspicio team began with a Design Thinking approach, collaborating with the client to view the issue through a different lens. Rather than prescribe a set of rules to increase usage of the service, we stepped back to look at the big picture and ask: Why are we here? What got us to where we are? And what can we learn by empathizing with the user and learning about their experience?

This was a problem that lacked a clear solution, dealt with a national problem and a complex, diverse set of stakeholders. In other words, it was perfect for Design Thinking!

Our team began considering the user experience by asking a broad range of users about their interaction with the service. We interviewed and observed users, learned about the service’s benefits and drawbacks, and used this information to adapt our mindset and questions for future sessions. What began as an effort to increase usage of a national service evolved into an opportunity to better understand the user’s needs and specific actions to address their concerns. In this situation, our job as consultants wasn’t to change outcomes, but rather to understand the challenge and to better meet the needs of those most impacted.

Projects like this – where we find solutions then roll up our sleeves to implement them in total collaboration with our clients – is at the heart of the work our consultants love to do.

About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. As a rapidly growing company, Arc Aspicio has a bold strategy for 2016-2018 that drives growth through new capabilities in strategy, design, human capital, data analytics, information sharing, cybersecurity, and strategic communications. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude – for its clients and its great team. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com

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Contributors

Karly Noblitt |

Karly Noblitt is an Associate at Arc Aspicio and provides strategy management support to the Chief Strategy Officer. She also serves as a Program Analyst at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), where she provides project management, acquisition, and OMB 300 support to the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). Before starting at Arc Aspicio, Karly spent over five years working for the federal government on Capitol Hill and in the White House, where she gained experience in such areas as project and team management, legislative and policy work, logistics and operations, stakeholder engagement, and office management.

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.

Achieving Strategy Breakthroughs by Enabling the Operational Workforce

Achieving Strategy Breakthroughs by Enabling the Operational Workforce

Are you developing a strategy but are unsure where to start, what to rely on, and who to engage when driving a business, organization, or agency forward? Start by enabling the operational workforce. The workforce includes those who are executing daily tasks and operations of the many programs within an organization. Enabling the workforce gives them authority, allowing them to access their full potential to achieve desired results, and helps the Government develop, communicate, and implement strategy.

Greater Washington Innovation Awards Selects Arc Aspicio as Nominee in Professional Services Category

Greater Washington Innovation Awards Selects Arc Aspicio as Nominee in Professional Services Category

Arlington VA, March 14, 2018 — The Greater Washington Innovation Awards chose Arc Aspicio to participate in their showcase as a nominee for the Professional Services Innovator of the Year Award. This prestigious event gave Arc Aspicio employees the opportunity to present their innovative methods for solving the Federal Government’s most complex challenges.

Arc Aspicio Named 2018 Washington D.C. Corporate Culture Winner

Arc Aspicio Named 2018 Washington D.C. Corporate Culture Winner

Arlington, VA, February 19, 2018 — CEO Report chose Arc Aspicio as a Washington D.C. Corporate Culture Award Winner for 2018. An independent committee grants the award to companies that focus on empowering employees and fostering a work environment that is both creative and collaborative. Winners of the Corporate Culture Awards are leaders in using company culture as an asset for growth.

Lean Strategies: Workforce Engagement and Retention in the Federal Government

Lean Strategies: Workforce Engagement and Retention in the Federal Government

Across the Federal government, agencies and programs have been tasked with building, training, and retaining the workforce needed to serve the American people. Public-sector leaders have been struggling with the right approach to this challenge, but we are now seeing more and more agencies turn to implementing private industry ’lean’ methods as a potential solution. Lean strategies aim to identify and improve an organization’s pain-points by following a set of principles and techniques focused on minimizing risk, optimizing cost and quality of processes, and engaging employees to deliver value-added benefits and improvements aligned to the organization’s mission and goals.

Architecting the Arc Aspicio Employee Experience

Architecting the Arc Aspicio Employee Experience

Human Resources (HR). What comes to mind when you hear “HR”? Hopefully, it’s positive! While most people would answer with “processing paperwork, administering benefits, onboarding and paying employees, etc.,” HR in 2018 is so much more. As the Association for Talent Development argues, HR is about being an “experience architect.” It can transform the employee experience.

Building Data Analytics Capacity in Your Organization: Centralize or Decentralize?

Building Data Analytics Capacity in Your Organization: Centralize or Decentralize?

As threats evolve and technology reinvents how we perform work, the Government must continue to find solutions to increasingly complex and multifaceted problems. Thanks to the expanded availability and relevance of data, agencies are now equipped with more resources to make accurate fact-based decisions surrounding these complex issues. As agencies make increasing use of this data, they need to determine whether to implement a centralized or decentralized analytical structure.

Making a Difference

Making a Difference

We’ve all been there, a moment in a past job where you ask yourself if your work really matters. You are approaching mid-career and what matters more to you now is seeing your work make a difference. I knew that I wanted to spend more time “doing” homeland security, rather than writing policy memos about what other people were doing. With this mindset, I walked into my interview with Arc Aspicio four years ago. My question for my interviewer—how do your people make a difference every day?

Arc Aspicio Launches “Our Story” and Launches Updated Website

Arc Aspicio Launches “Our Story” and Launches Updated Website

Washington, DC, February 12, 2018 —Arc Aspicio published a blog series and updated its website to focus on the story and history of the company. “Our Story” starts from the beginning and shows key accomplishments and milestones along the way.

Lynn Ann Casey founded Arc Aspicio with a small team of people that wanted to influence and shape the Homeland Security consulting industry for the benefit of the Federal Government and the people it serves – the American public. As the company has grown, it has remained focused on the its core values; to put the mission first, build trust with one another, be innovative, solve difficult problems, and invest in its people.

Learning by Doing: Discovering DC through an Arc Aspicio Internship

Learning by Doing: Discovering DC through an Arc Aspicio Internship

I chose to attend college in Washington, D.C. because as an eager, politically-motivated young woman, I couldn’t imagine a city with better opportunities. Now entering my final semester at the George Washington University (GWU), I realize that even my highest hopes for a life in D.C. couldn’t compare to what I found once I got here. With nearly every government agency headquartered within metro distance, there is an internship for every calling.

Letting Employees Dive In

Letting Employees Dive In

What do you want to be when you grow up? The truth of the matter is, I’ve never wanted to answer that question. I’ve never been someone who felt tied to one particular activity or career path (and I have a disgruntled high school guidance counselor who can vouch for that). What I did know coming out of college were two things: I wanted to solve problems facing our country and I wanted to continue learning.