Friday, April 30, 2021
Highlighting articles and insights that we have found interesting for the week ending April 30, 2021

New leadership could accelerate digital transformation in acquisition. The Defense Digital Service is overseeing a pilot project that frees up more than 175 million internet addresses, the latest example of how the Defense Department is relying on its digital arm for a variety of operations. Stan Soloway, former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Reform, said the Biden administration’s nomination of Mike Brown for under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment could lead to major positive change, given his unique qualifications.

Fed IT Experts: Legacy IT Systems Represent ‘Missed Opportunities’. The sustained use of legacy IT systems in the federal government presents a variety of challenges, including missed opportunities and a need for the modernization of agency cultures, Fed IT experts told Senate members today.

Former Comptroller General argues for fewer government financial auditing requirements. The latest Government Accountability Office audit of the United States government shows plenty of room for improvement in financial reporting. Former Comptroller General David Walker said requiring financial statement audits below the department-wide level incurs unnecessary costs and an audit opinion should only be required for the consolidated financial statements of the U.S. government. Walker said government financial reporting needs major changes, some of which relate to Social Security and Medicare on the financial statements, unfunded obligations and debt-to-GDP ratio.

Boosting student loan debt forgiveness could pay off for cyber recruiting. Almost all Defense Department personnel who have sought student loan debt forgiveness have been denied -- a trend that, if unchanged, could make it even harder to recruit and retain tech talent.

Mayorkas: DHS running ransomware task force, White House plan coming. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday said his agency plans to take up the recommendations from a new report focused on combating ransomware and that the White House is developing its own plan to confront the growing cybersecurity threat.

$2.1 billion in UI modernization comes with oversight. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh told a panel of House Appropriators that the agency's planned $2.1 billion investment in state unemployment systems needs oversight and monitoring, and metrics for measuring success. The Labor Department is asking for $100 million in fiscal year 2022 to back the development of information technology for states to administer unemployment insurance, on top of $2 billion already committed in the American Rescue Plan Act for the same purpose.

6 Strategies for Leading Through Uncertainty. Key insight: “From [an] elevated vantage point, interdependencies and larger patterns become observable, potentially revealing unforeseen obstacles and new solutions. This more holistic perspective allows for greater adaptability and course correction, when needed. Making this a regular practice...you can build your capacity to see the bigger picture and become more agile.”

5 Mistakes We Make When We’re Overwhelmed. Pretty interesting insights: “When you feel overwhelmed, you may react in ways that not only don’t help the situation, but that even make it worse.”

Start with the conclusion to avoid overtalking. Overexplainers have lots of good things to say, but they might be better off starting with their main point, then underline it with data or a story, writes John Millen. "The real work is boiling your message down to its essence, the few powerful points that really matter," he writes. John Millen blog

Physician offers simple tips for stress management. When facing a stressful situation, Dr. Mara Windsor recommends counting to 10 while taking deep, slow breaths before making a response, to allow time to reflect on the emotions that triggered the stress. People should also focus on their reactions to difficult situations, as it's counterproductive to "ruminate or fixate on the what if's, what could have been or the outcomes of the situation," writes Windsor, a group chief wellness officer at HonorHealth John C. Lincoln Hospitals. AZ Big Media (Phoenix)

Winning the Inner Game of Leading With Positive Self-Talk. Too often in the world of leadership development and coaching, we preoccupy on the visible manifestation of leadership—the gestures, actions, styles, and habits—when the real work of leadership is forged in our minds, invisible to all. They know their effectiveness as a leader is won in that space between their ears via the narrative that plays in their minds constantly. Invest time researching the research on what we know about our inner thoughts, and it feels safe to generalize two key points.

Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: A Conversation with Stacie Whisonant, Innovation & Strategy Team Leader at Federal Student Aid. What is the mission of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid? How is FSA using innovation to change the way it meets its mission? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Stacie Whisonant, Innovation & Strategy Team Leader at FSA.

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Friday at 1 p.m. on Federal News Network 1500AM WFED

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