Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

The New Type of Leader Government Needs Now

ARCHIVES

Listen to the story:

Download this episode | Subscribe on iTunes

Government agencies are organized around outmoded models. Silos prevail and solving interagency problems is near impossible. Two men who have broken down silos and created stronger interagency cooperation joined us on the Excellence in Government Podcast to discuss the new kind of leader they say government needs: enterprise leaders.

Thad Allen, former Admiral of the U.S. Coast Guard and Ron Sanders, formerly of the U.S. Intelligence Community, characterize enterprise leaders as those who can lead across agencies to solve “wicked” national problems.

“In general, we’re dealing with great levels of complexity in government,” said Allen, who famously led the government response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010. Solving challenges like the oil spill required “different kinds of insight and leadership,” he said.

When it comes to solving big problems in government, enterprise leaders understand that you’re dealing with a collection of organizations, not just a single agency.

“Problems are horizontal in nature,” said Sanders. “As a practical matter, there is no boss.”

While the president may be in charge of the overall government, you can’t run to the president to help coordinate a response to every problem. The government needs enterprise leaders, those who are adept at pulling together cross-functional teams from agencies across the entire federal community, to bring about lasting change to systemic problems.

“The original vision of the SES has never been realized,” said Sanders. Once conceived as a cadre of senior executives who would move from agency to agency, bringing their expertise with them, those in the SES now rarely leave the agencies they’re with.

Sanders was one such leader who moved between agencies, and he wants to encourage other senior executives to find ways to think across organizations.

“We’ve now entered an era where the original vision of the SES is essential,” he said. “This is back to the future.”

For more insight what skills are required of enterprise level leaders, listen to Sanders and Allen’s discussion on the Excellence in Government Podcast. 

Mark Micheli is Special Projects Editor for Government Executive Media Group. He's the editor of Excellence in Government Online and contributes to GovExec, NextGov and Defense One. Previously, he worked on national security and emergency management issues with the US Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He's a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and studied at Drake University.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.