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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* Arc Aspicio |

Arc Aspicio enhances the future of our nation by creating bold ideas and bringing them to life. A consulting and solutions company, Arc Aspicio solves problems by applying our integrated capabilities in strategy, design, data, human capital, behavioral science, and technology. The company passionately pursues our vision to be the hub of creativity where people take action to change the world. To do this, employees collaborate with clients and partners to create solutions using a human-centered approach. Innovation is not possible without action. The company focuses on strategy first, then takes a hands-on approach implementing ideas to achieve results. Join Arc Aspicio and our Strategy Innovation Lab (SILab) by creating and sharing ideas to inspire people to change the world. Follow us on Twitter @ArcAspicio @SILabDC and, #welovedogs!

Reinventing Strategy

Reinventing Strategy

Since the GPRA Modernization Act in 2010, agencies across the Federal Government have raced to establish new Strategic Plans in response to incoming Presidential Administrations and agency leaders. Developing a new Strategic Plan is incredibly exciting for an agency. Leaders can redefine priorities, frontline managers can improve mission performance, and employees can better engage with the mission. Strategy, however, is so much more than just a Strategic Plan.

Running IT Like a Business: How Technology Business Management is Shaping the Future of Federal Agencies

Running IT Like a Business: How Technology Business Management is Shaping the Future of Federal Agencies

As the Government continually looks for ways to increase efficiency and encourage innovation, Information Technology (IT) is emerging as a solution to these needs. Recent Federal guidance mandates all agencies to adopt a new framework for better understanding IT costs. Technology Business Management (TBM) is a framework that incorporates IT departments into the overall business network, shifting away from treating IT as an independent unit. This provides a clear way to evaluate and manage IT, running IT as a business and communicating the value of new IT investments.

Behavioral Science – Using Behavioral Science to Affect Action

Behavioral Science – Using Behavioral Science to Affect Action

How do organizations encourage behavior change in their customers? Increasingly, they focus on customer experience, and as a consequence employ behavioral science methodologies. At the heart of behavioral science is the consideration of how an organization can make small investments that generate incremental savings/returns while considering both customers and organizational benefits. One example is Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Pre✓® and U.C. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry programs.

Launching into #Action Through Strategy

Launching into #Action Through Strategy

As a new employee, your first company-wide meeting can make you nervous. This was how I felt.

Arc Aspicio’s recent Strategy Launch Day was so well planned and it involved participants so that I learned that I had nothing to worry about! The company treats each employee equally and equips even the newest joiners with the information and skills they need to have a meaningful experience

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What Being a Consultant Means to Me

As a Consulting Associate at Arc Aspicio, I provide expertise and insight to help clients solve difficult problems. To be successful, a consultant does not need only to be a subject matter expert on their client’s industry and needs - though this often ends up happening over time.

Captivate Your Audience Through Design+Data

Captivate Your Audience Through Design+Data

So often, senior leaders must communicate their strategic and simple vision in a world of growing complexity. They must make decisions – and frequently explain them – based on an enterprise view of their data. It’s getting easier to do this these days through data visualizations and infographics that speak to specific employee and stakeholder audiences. Design+Data is what we call it at Arc Aspicio.

Chief Data Officers: Six Steps to Manage Data as an Enterprise Asset

Chief Data Officers: Six Steps to Manage Data as an Enterprise Asset

With an exponential increase in the types and quantities of data, organizations need defined strategies and techniques to manage data as an enterprise asset. To create enterprise-wide use of data, a Chief Data Officer (CDO) needs a clear data agenda for leadership and the whole organization to address current and future needs. CDOs should follow this six-part data plan to achieve short term capability gains and plot a path to greater enterprise data maturity.

Securing Cyberspace: Agile Strategy to Counter Changing Threats

Securing Cyberspace: Agile Strategy to Counter Changing Threats

Cybersecurity, managing and protecting computer systems from attacks, is evolving just as quickly as the techniques hackers use to cause damage. Historically, the public and private sectors believed that stronger technology and more advanced computer systems alone were enough to prevent attacks. As new trends emerge and the technologies used to both conduct and prevent hackings improve, cybersecurity strategies must remain agile, trying new tactics to counter changing threats.

Hacking Back – Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

Hacking Back – Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

With the increased frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks worldwide, companies and executives are becoming frustrated with a traditional focus on defensive tactics. As a result, some private sector actors are taking a more active role in cybersecurity by “hacking back” – hacking against the very groups that are attacking their systems in retaliation or to retrieve stolen data. As hacking back rises in popularity, it is important to consider a number of political and legal issues and the risks to counter-terrorism efforts.