Our Story, Part 4: Our Teams Tackle Complex Systems and Entrenched Behavior
From those questions, our team was able to identify the problems afflicting the offices. Using design thinking methods, we held a series of interactive sessions with stakeholders to develop actionable solutions that would change operations and culture. We also identified and shared best practices so that regional staff could learn from one another – enabling a collaborative environment was key! Cross-regional workshops enabled broad agency-level collaboration that further created connections and knowledge sharing that could help regions see how others overcame challenges and to find ways to build stronger relationships with headquarters.
The end result was a report that both Congress and everyone in the agency could use to see that regional offices are doing what they are best positioned to do. It sparked a deliberate focus on doing the right things, playing the right roles, and pursuing the right objectives in support of the agency’s mission.
About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. Focused on innovation, Arc Aspicio provides services in strategy, design, human capital, operations, analytics and visualization, technology and information sharing. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude, provides leadership opportunities, and explores the future. Our teams take a human-centered approach to working with clients and are flexible and responsive within dynamic Government client environments where missions evolve and new priorities arise sometimes even daily. We thrive on these situations and promote continuous improvement and new ideas. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.
We tell our story to share who we are as a company. This blog is the fourth in a series that highlights how our strategy and culture lead to positive results for our clients and employees.
Large and established organizations naturally focus on continuously improving their primary activities – they want to do things right. Their structures, culture, and incentives all point in this direction.
It is sometimes hard to remember to question those activities – to ask “Are we doing the right things?”
Arc Aspicio’s consulting expertise in strategy, paired with powerful techniques like Design Thinking and systems analysis, enables us to work closely with clients to answer: do they just want to do things right, or do they truly want to do the right things? It’s a vital question for both mice and men – the Disney Institute focuses on this very point to bring happiness to their guests. Doing each is essential for organizations to rapidly adapt to new mission demands or changing market conditions, but the latter can often be elusive.
One of our clients found themselves asking this question about its regional offices, which work around the country in coordination with State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) partners. Congress ordered the agency to provide a report in 180 days that detailed whether the regional offices were positioned for success.
Our team quickly got to work, interviewing hundreds of leaders from across the client’s organization and Federal and SLTT partners. Traditionally, these interviews focus on “how could they do their jobs better?” Instead, we conducted rapid, targeted research to understand the complex system in which they operated. As our understanding grew, we focused on several key areas:
- How should the roles and responsibilities for working with partners nationwide be best divided?
- Which functions should be found in each regional office and which are best managed centrally?
- How should the regional offices be integrated into policymaking and the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution process?