Posts Tagged Collaboration

5 Benefits of Using Social Media in the Federal Government

With the release of the new movie, “Social Network”, there is a lot of talk about social media in the news.  Social media is rapidly growing in the U.S. Government but who is taking advantage of these online tools?  A study performed by Market Connections showed that the government is using social media more and more lately but user frequency is still lagging compared to the public sector.  The study confirmed that almost 40 percent of federal employees were not using social media and 5 percent do not know what the term means.

Social media allows people to learn, create, and share content virtually.

One reason federal employees are hesitant to jump on the social media bandwagon is their concern about security.  Agencies are finding ways to address these concerns by developing applications such as milBook, Intellpedia, and FedSpace.  These applications will operate behind federal firewalls eliminating the concern of sensitive information from being compromised and allowing federal employees to feel secure about sharing information online.

The use of social media within the Federal Government will enhance virtual communication among other agencies, contractors, and the public.   Leadership expert and speaker Ken Blanchard believes that frequent and orchestrated communication via many different kinds of media is key to any successful initiative.

Five benefits of using social media include:

  1. Enables internal collaboration
  2. Allows for information sharing with external partners or contractors
  3. Exchanges information with the public
  4. Keeps pace with fast moving events
  5. Harnesses the ideas of the public to support your mission

How frequently are you and your agency using social media to improve your communication reach?

To learn more about the benefits and challenges of virtual communication, click here to read the whitepaper, Achieving Excellence Virtually.

Also, click here to become a fan of Ken Blanchard on Facebook.

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Let Me Help You

Collaboration is, yet again, prevalent across the news, blogs, and industry publications.  Government Executive magazine featured an article in the September issue about agencies working with and supporting other federal government agencies.  The article focuses on how interagency collaboration has the potential to bring teams together that demonstrate the know-how to get things done efficiently and successfully.

Not one of us is as smart as all of us.High performing teams execute better and faster than traditional hierarchies.  People with collaboration concerns are focused on coordination and cooperation with others. They want to get everyone on board because they are convinced the change is making a difference.  Questions that arise with these concerns are: Who else should be involved?  How can we work with others to get them involved in what we are doing?  How do we spread the word?

In order to promote highly effective teams, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is concentrating on goals that call for collaboration of multiple agencies and programs.  These efforts can also promote key practices that can enhance and sustain collaboration.  The U.S Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a testimony on strategies to improve collaboration in the Federal Government.  A few of the strategies include:

  • Establishing common strategies
  • Leveraging resources
  • Agreeing on roles and responsibilities
  • Developing compatible policies and procedures

How can you leverage other agencies to become a more effective team?  To find out how, click here to read a whitepaper on the role of teams.

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Change is A’Coming to Rocket City

An article in Government Executive magazine announced that Huntsville, Alabama is becoming the next stomping grounds for several government agencies.  This transition kicked-off with the expansion of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) in 2005 when the Missile Defense Agency learned that they would be relocating their agency from a Washington suburb to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville.  Since that announcement, several agencies have followed in the MDA’s footsteps. A few of the MDA’s neighbors now include:

  • 1700 positions from the AMC and USASAC
  • 180 positions from SDMC
  • 400 positions from the Aviation Technical List Center & Rotary Wing Platform
  • 113 positions from  the 2nd Recruiting Brigade

When the BRAC transitions are completed in September 2011, approximately 4700 positions will be relocated to Redstone.

Organizational change is a fact of life in the workplace.

All of this change has led to increased stress levels on the organizations and people involved.  The transition has required employees to wear multiple hats while leaders have been implementing several training efforts to get others up to speed. 

Leading people through change is an ongoing challenge in any agency.  So how do BRAC or other leaders maximize high levels of productivity and morale and ensure a successful transition?

A U.S. Department of Education project originally conducted by Gene Hall and his colleagues at the University of Texas suggests that people are faced with change express 6 predictable and sequential concerns.

  1. Information concerns
  2. Personal concerns
  3. Implementation concerns
  4. Impact concerns
  5. Collaboration concerns
  6. Refinement concerns

Resolving concerns throughout the change process builds trust in the leadership team, puts challenges on the table, gives people an opportunity to influence the changes process, and allows people to refocus their energy on the change.

At the Ken Blanchard Companies, new work by Pat Zigarmi, Judd Hoekstra, and Ken Blanchard on the Situational Leadership II and Leading People Through Change programs provides guidance for diagnosing concerns and then using the appropriate change leadership strategy to address those concerns.

Watch this video of Ken Blanchard discussing the reality of change.

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