Friday, July 26, 2019
The IBM Center's Weekly Roundup highlights articles and insights that we found interesting for the week ending July 26, 2019.

Michael J. Keegan

For the military, is 5G worth the hype? The potential of 5G telecommunications technology has garnered the attention of Defense Department officials, but it may not be the most important new development for the military. Chris Brose, former staff director for the Senate Armed Services Committee, said: "The U.S and China are running two different 5G races" technologically speaking, with China focusing on building sub-6 spectrum whereas DOD is focusing on the millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, which the department says has fewer transmission issues, a DOD spokesperson told FCW, a sibling site of Defense Systems. 

Tips from state CIOs on modernizing the House. State legislatures take advantage of a number of online services, including interactive bill document management, remote voting, public commenting and remote testimony for legislative witnesses. The U.S. House could tap into that technology, too, according to two state CIOs who testified before the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress on July 24. Some of Capitol Hill's internal and public-facing IT systems are decades old, and lawmakers said the spotty Wi-Fi coverage on Capitol Hill illustrates Congress' dependence on modern applications that are wedded to aging infrastructure.

You really can improve your decision-making. A good way to make deliberate choices in a busy world is to remember your values, avoid taking the easiest route and look to reconcile seemingly incompatible ideas, writes Jesse Sostrin. "The best way forward is to make room for more in-depth thinking and to actively embrace more of the important decisions hiding in plain sight around you," he writes.

Turn dreary tasks into energizing learning experiences. Instead of seeing some tasks as draining and others energizing, redefine the unpleasant tasks in terms of achieving a goal that makes you feel good, writes Susan Fowler. "How does the chore connect with my values, purpose and self-identify, or help me contribute to the greater good of people I care about?" she writes.

Use your speech to evoke powerful emotions. The most effective presentations are those that evoke passion, empathy and a feeling of righteous anger that motivate people to improve their situation, writes Caitlin McGuire. Tell stories that help listeners feel "like they have had a conversation with a friend rather than a stranger," she writes.

Instead of jargon, write what you mean. Good business writing is direct, short, easy to understand and uses simple language with strong verbs, writes John Brandon. Nobody's perfect but do your best to check spelling errors and common grammar mistakes, he writes.

John Kamensky

Better Workforce Metrics. In commentary for Government Executive, Howard Risher writes: Human capital indicators “need to be conceived and managed to support an organization’s talent management strategy. Their value is greatest when they are used to identify and assess problems and enhance decision making. The right HCIs provide a focus and understanding of needed change.”

OMB’s Acquisition Reform Agenda. Federal News Network reports: “the Office of Federal Procurement Policy sent six legislative proposals to Congress at the end of April to clean up a few things, but more importantly to ask for permission to test and spread innovative acquisition concepts across government. . . .The most significant proposal would create an Acquisition Modernization Test Board, which would modernize OFPP’s statutory authority for governmentwide acquisition testing. . . “

GSA’s Acquisition Reform Agenda. Federal Times reports: “he General Services Administration’s strategy for improving the federal marketplace in the coming years will rely on approximately 25 reforms, according to agency officials, but a handful of those will serve as the central points to shore up the rest of the strategy. . . . four of those simplification initiatives will serve as cornerstones, meaning that they are central to and tied in with the success of the other “stones” around them.”

A New ACIR? Government Executive reports: “Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Rob Bishop, R-Utah, on Tuesday introduced legislation aimed at improving the relationships between federal, state and local governments by bringing back an evolved version of an intergovernmental commission to enhance coordination and accountability.  . . . “Restoring the Partnership Act” (H.R. 3883) would establish a commission, based on what was formerly known as the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. . . “

Small Agencies and the DATA Act. NextGov reports: “Large departments are assisting smaller agencies in meeting their DATA Act requirements through shared services providers. But that help isn’t always so helpful. . . . Almost 60% of agencies using shared services to manage their requirements under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act haven’t been getting the support they need, according to an investigation by the Government Accountability Office.

Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: Conversation with David Benjamin, co-author, Cracking Complexity. What are complex problems? How can we tackle complexity? How does engineering serendipity help address complexity? What can we do to translate opportunity into action? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with David Benjamin, co-author of Cracking Complexity: The Breakthrough Formula for Solving Just About Anything Fast. That's next week on The Business of Government Hour.

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