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

Blog Our Story

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.

LeadersNest Names Lynn Ann Casey a FedFem Award Honoree

LeadersNest Names Lynn Ann Casey a FedFem Award Honoree

Washington, DC, October 19, 2018 — LeadersNest named Arc Aspicio CEO Lynn Ann Casey a FedFem Award Honoree. The FedFem awards salute high-impact women executives and leaders of the government contracting community. FedFem Award Honorees blend their entrepreneurial courage and Federal government support that effectively impacts the industry, national economy, and the local marketplace. 

Boosting the Mission: Developing Acquisition Requirements Guidance

Boosting the Mission: Developing Acquisition Requirements Guidance

To keep up with the fast pace of change in the field of Government acquisitions, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components are developing their own acquisition requirements (AR) policies. However, without specific timeframes to finalize these policies, DHS agencies often lack guidance on how to develop ARs. Among DHS agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard is leading the way with their own formal policy to describe this process. To compliment the U.S. Coast Guard’s policy, DHS created the Joint Requirements Integration and Management System (JRIMS) to offer direction for agencies—to review, validate, and suggest solutions for capability gaps and requirements.

Top Qualities of Design Thinking Leaders

Top Qualities of Design Thinking Leaders

Design Thinking is on the rise in the business world. Design Thinking leaders focus on creating the best product for their clients and working with the experiences and insight of fellow coworkers. Some of the key characteristics of Design Thinking leaders present themselves in individuals who are open and subject themselves to vulnerability with clients and coworkers. These qualities help leaders to connect and build relationships with others. They also create an open flow of communication that allows for others to better share their knowledge to align with and understand the company's mission.

Think, Key, Speak: Purposeful Communications

Think, Key, Speak: Purposeful Communications

I spent the early years of my career in the United States Navy as a Naval Flight Officer on the E-2C Hawkeye, the Navy’s aircraft carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Command and Control platform. The various missions of the aircraft demand that aircrew monitor up to ten radio frequencies, and actively speak on three or four of those, at any given moment in flight.

How Can Communities Ready Themselves for a Major Power Grid Event?

How Can Communities Ready Themselves for a Major Power Grid Event?

Communities are often the foundation for an expedited recovery following major events. But how can communities strengthen their response to, for example, a major cyber-attack or natural event, such as an Electronic Magnetic Pulse solar flare? A United States electrical grid failure could destroy a number of the nation’s high voltage transformers causing widespread outages for several weeks, even months. A public health emergency could quickly ensue particularly among the vulnerable as the ripple effects cause significant societal disruption. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) strategic plan encourages and empowers communities to prepare for the inevitable impacts of future disasters. How can communities prime for major events?

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?