While there are numerous professional development opportunities for government employees, most are specialized, focusing on single issues such as Cyber, Customer Experience, Records/Information Management, Data Management, Cloud, IT Modernization etc. The unfortunate trend the past decade, many Government professionals are only authorized to attend events within their discipline or “swim lane” (e.g., Records professionals can attend EDRM events; IT Security professionals can attend Cyber, etc.). Over the years, many Digital Government Institute Education Advisory Committee members remarked: “if only we could get all stakeholders in the room to discuss the issue and its potential impact on the Agency/respective Departments, we would be better off.”
Collaboration and Leadership are required to solve complex problems. Successful entities form interdisciplinary teams from the ground up, focusing on a specific problem, and then will use all the available assets of the organization to attack it. When knowledge is kept within disciplinary compartments, solving complex problems that require more than one area of expertise are difficult to resolve.
In my humble opinion, if the public sector is to effectively modernize to meet citizen needs/confront national security threats, it needs to restructure human capital policies and procedures. Federal CIO Suzette Kent recently laid out what she sees as the requirements for the modern CIO: “accountability, authority, and an expanded skill set not seen in the past.” Her vision is to align more closely with the business side of federal agencies: “CIOs are expected not only to have technology skills, but they have to be leaders, and they have a broad set of management capabilities.”
Organizations providing learning opportunities for the public sector can help. The number of events providing the opportunity for government attendees to network/learn from multiple communities of interest are limited. In decades past large government trade shows covered all important issues of the day allowing attendees to map out an education program to broaden their respective skill sets. For decades, Government espoused how important it is to train and develop a workforce capable of meeting the challenges of the future, but when it comes to filling the training gap, it has come up short.
Six years ago, Digital Government Institute created 930gov – a conference and tradeshow with five concurrent conferences with a unified exhibit floor allowing attendees to mix and match sessions to align networking, educational and professional interests. Few other opportunities in DC provide such a broad array of educational offerings, all in one day, free for all government professionals to attend. Plan to register and attend on Tuesday, August 28 at the Washington Convention Center – we hope to see you there – www.930gov.com