Weekly Roundup: March 29-April 2, 2021
DHS Secretary announces cyber 'sprints' on ransomware, ICS, workforce. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday said his agency will begin a series of 60-day sprints focused on ransomware, industrial control systems, transportation systems and election security. "With respect to responding to ransomware attacks, we will strengthen our capabilities to disrupt those who launch them and the marketplaces that enable them," Mayorkas said at a virtual RSA Conference event.
Pandemic accelerated rise of smart cities. The pandemic has changed the way governments approach smart cities – likely permanently – a new report shows. ESI ThoughtLab’s “Smart City Solutions for a Riskier World,” released March 30, reviewed 167 cities worldwide and found that 81% of respondents said the pandemic and its repercussions were the biggest disruptions not only of 2020 but also in recent memory. Changes wrought this last year have prompted 69% to say they are reconsidering urban planning as a result, and more than two-thirds said smart city programs are crucial to the future.
Could 2022 see the end of OCO? When it comes to defense spending, there's one recurring debate that's as germane as the topline budget number: the overseas contingency operations account. The controversial OCO account, which funds the U.S. government's response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, has been criticized for being used to circumvent spending caps set by the Budget Control Act in 2011. But with record defense budgets topping $740 billion for 2021, budget caps no longer in effect and a new administration, the question arises of whether there's enough momentum to zero out OCO, originally named for the Global War on Terror, which has received nearly $2 trillion dollars since its inception.
First set of CMMC certification orgs emerge. The Defense Department's unified cybersecurity program is making gains with its first tranche of certifying organizations, but assessments for defense contractors are a ways off. The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Accreditation Body, which governs the implementation of the program, has begun selecting the first organizations that will be charged with assessing defense contractors' cyber readiness -- CMMC Third Party Assessment Organizations (C3PAOs).
8 leadership lessons from a famous physicist. Nobel-winning physicist Richard Feynman had aphorisms for life that included the value of hard work and the importance of experimentation, imagination and curiosity, writes John Baldoni. "Organizations only grow when leaders and followers alike are willing, as Feynman encouraged, to 'experiment, fail, learn and repeat,'" he writes. SmartBrief/Leadership
4 ways inquiry can help you explore further. Resiliency and innovation are rarely on the surface, and uncovering them requires inquiry of situations, other people's views and yourself, writes Larry Robertson. "The goal here is less an answer and more tapping the cognitive dissonance that shakes you free of the obvious," he writes. SmartBrief/Leadership
What's the point of this meeting? Meetings can be reduced, or at least focused, by determining what purpose they have and whether another format would be better, writes David Dye. For meetings that must go on, get better prepared by gathering ideas ahead of time and making sure every meeting has clear goals and outcomes. Let's Grow Leaders
Don't give up on brainstorming too early. Research suggests that people get disillusioned with their ideas the further into the creative process, even when great solutions are still possible. Avoid the "creative-cliff illusion" by constantly asking whether there are better solutions, says Kellogg School of Management professor Loran Nordgren. Kellogg Insight
4 key traits of people who achieve the impossible. Reaching for seemingly unattainable goals requires motivation, a willingness to learn, creativity and flow, writes Steven Kotler, executive director of the Flow Research Collective. "[L]earning how to get into focused and absorbed flow states is the master skill that will turbocharge all the other steps, and power you to peak performance," he writes. Next Big Idea Club Magazine
Not all failure is alike. Failure manifests itself in three forms, writes Dan Rockwell: The arrogant who avoid responsibility, the humble who deserve a second chance and the manipulators who repeat mistakes even after swearing not to. "Deal firmly with the arrogant, gently with the humble, and shrewdly with manipulators," he writes. Leadership Freak
* * * * * *
Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: A Conversation with Zach Huitink on Managing Risk in Federal Procurement. Join host Michael Keegan next week for Special Edition of The Business of Government Hour – COVID-19 and its Impact: a series on how the pandemic has transformed government management and operations with guests Zach Huitink on the risk management actions government can take to make the federal procurement systems more resilient and more business of government stories...
Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Friday at 1 p.m. on Federal News Network 1500AM WFED