Using a Winning Formula for Mission Success

Using a Winning Formula for Mission Success

Using a Winning Formula for Mission Success

“You want the best players to like you for all the reasons. It won't work. It'll bite you in the bum after awhile. You need to have the same standards for everyone. You can treat people differently because each one is different, but they all have to march to the same drummer, to the same standards." – Gregg Popovich

In sports, teams that achieve repeated success tend to follow a consistent philosophy. Above all, a positive culture is crucial to organizational success. I know this personally from my time on the George Washington University Rowing Team!

Every professional sports team has talented players, but the best teams get the most out of those talents. Gregg Popovich, a five-time National Basketball Associate (NBA) champion as head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, insists that culture – not talent – is the key to his team’s success. His approach relies on identifying personnel that buy into the team philosophy. As a coach, Popovich holds everyone in the organization accountable for their designated role and believes transparency allows players to buy into the culture.

Translating Popovich’s philosophy to Government means choosing people from leadership down who truly buy in and believe in the mission and culture.

Identifying the correct personnel starts with transparency during the hiring stage. Presenting a vision for the mission to potential employees allows them to understand expectations. Knowing exactly what is expected and how to achieve success allows leadership and employees to start on the same page on day one.

Organizational transparency does not stop there. In homeland security, problems develop as challenges emerge, which can lead to a change in vision. The best way to continue organizational buy-in when faced with a change in approach is through transparency. For example, Government organizations like the Department of Homeland Security produce strategic plans to guide employees about the organization’s vision and how the organization may pivot in the event new challenges arise.

Organizations thrive when employees believe in a common goal, whether that is in sports or in Government with the critical and complex mission of protecting the American homeland. Strong leadership is the backbone to any successful organization, and the best leaders achieve buy-in through strong goal definition and transparency, even as difficult challenges emerge.

Firefighters Show You Can Develop a Strategy While Fighting Fires

Firefighters Show You Can Develop a Strategy While Fighting Fires

“Employees at all levels are too busy ‘doing their jobs’ and ‘fighting fires’ to devote time or pay heed to strategic initiatives.” It’s a common complaint. Academic literature has confirmed that ‘firefighting’ takes up much of the manager’s job and offers extensive advice on how to stop fighting fires – and even how to suppress the urge to do so.

The SILab: An Invitation to Embrace Innovation

The SILab: An Invitation to Embrace Innovation

Government agencies and businesses must embrace innovation and strategic thinking to keep up with today’s changing society, rising demands, and complex problems. Encouraging organizations to fully adopt innovative thinking, however, is difficult. Organizations are often focused on their daily activities and have limited time to discover new approaches. In addition, employees often choose to stay with proven, mainstream solutions because they fear wasting resources or failure. 

Putting the Mission First in a Leader’s Agency Reform Plan

Putting the Mission First in a Leader’s Agency Reform Plan

Agency leaders have more than a little to do these days. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released guidance for implementing Executive Orders and Presidential Memoranda on Federal management and human capital. The Comprehensive Plan for Reforming the Federal Government and Reducing the Federal Civilian Workforce (M-17-22) directs agencies to create comprehensive plans to enhance mission focus, streamline operations, and improve workforce effectiveness and efficiency.

SharePoint: Unique Solutions for Homeland Security Partners

SharePoint: Unique Solutions for Homeland Security Partners

As information sharing has become more common across local, state, and federal agencies, homeland security partners need tools to manage this critical data. SharePoint has emerged as an information sharing tool that can assist emergency managers, law enforcement agencies, and others across the homeland security enterprise with the sharing of sensitive data with internal and external partners, quickly and securely.

Managing Change Using a Maturity Model

Managing Change Using a Maturity Model

The pace of change is accelerating. Government agencies, and their employees, must find new ways to support their stakeholders and manage internal operations in the face of changing mission expectations and potential budget cuts. Guiding the workforce through the change is messy and challenging and is essential to successful implementation of innovative ideas, technologies, and processes. 

Lost in Translation No Longer: Data Translators Bridge the Gap to the Mission

Lost in Translation No Longer: Data Translators Bridge the Gap to the Mission

Two main types of problems can make it difficult to make data-driven decisions: technical and cultural. Technical difficulties could include data that is messy, incomplete, or split between different departments or components. Cultural factors might include a resistance to change, an environment that favors trusting your instincts, or a belief that things are fine the way they are. 

How to Use Data to Drive Employee Engagement

How to Use Data to Drive Employee Engagement

When it comes to retaining your workforce, one feature correlates to 87% increases in retention and 57% increases in employee effectiveness. It is not compensation. It is employee engagement. Engagement measures an employee’s emotional commitment to an organization and willingness to use discretionary effort to achieve organizational goals. In other words, engaged employees strive to exceed the status quo. 

A Leader’s Most Influential Tool: Gratitude

A Leader’s Most Influential Tool: Gratitude

Gratitude is one of a great leader’s most powerful tools. It creates positive energy among an organization and the sense of appreciation permeates through the work the collective group is performing. Influential leaders listen to the needs of their colleagues and express gratitude. This helps them bring out the potential in the people they lead and inspire them to achieve what is most important to them and to the project.

The Design Era of Project Management

The Design Era of Project Management

Project Management best practices and methods continue to evolve to address the biggest challenges Government agencies face in today’s market. The increased use of Agile and the move from traditional waterfall methodologies is fairly common in Information Technologies. Projects use Agile methods such as Scrum or Kanban, and organizations invest a lot of time and effort to make this cultural shift on projects.

Data: Lost in Translation No More

Data: Lost in Translation No More

The rise of Big Data technologies and data-driven approaches of business functions has created a demand for data architects and scientists that is growing by as much as 12% annually. These highly technical resources and capabilities address part of the challenge, but organizations still struggle with how to effectively use the data they have to make timely and informed decisions to improve business and mission outcomes.