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FCW : June 15, 2016
This is actually a weird one for me. I’m now going and talking to lot of these innovative tech companies in the private sec- tor, and I’m telling them, “You should do what the federal government does.” The research is really clear. There’s definitely an uncom- fortableness in U.S. culture with talking about salary, but what hiding that data creates is dramatically more uncomfort- able than letting people know your salary. When you share that information, morale actually improves, a sense of collabora- tion improves, and — I think most important, society-wise — things like gender wage gaps and discrimination hap- pen a lot less. I think this is actually an opportunity for federal govern- ment and the tech sector to get and keep talent because you have that transparency. Finally, talk about your book’s very first suggestion, which I suspect sounds appealing but impossible to a lot of folks: outlawing email. A lot of companies are finding that for internal communica- tions, it’s not the best tool. And truthfully, we’ve never had a conversation about what is the best tool for communication needs. But some organizations now are turning to tools like Slack. Others are building their own tool and having some combination of instant messaging and discus- sion groups. And still others are saying, “Email works fine, but we have to put some limits on it.” Some companies have basically said, “OK, after 6 p.m., we shut the email server down. If you want to work and send email at 11 p.m., that’s great, but those messages will stay in your outbox until 8 a.m., and then they’ll go out.” It comes back to these ques- tions of what are our commu- nications needs, what are our communications differences? And we custom-tailor a tool for our team that works best. Do these ideas have to start at the top, or can change agents at any level in an organization push them forward? I don’t think it needs to be from the top down, but I do think that management needs to play a role in leading this conversa- tion. Where that conversation goes needs to have everyone involved, but I just don’t see it [having] the productive level it needs to unless management embraces the idea. To see a video of the complete interview, go to FCW.com/newmanagement. “The research is really clear. There’s definitely an uncomfortableness in U.S. culture with talking about salary, but what hiding that data creates is dramatically more uncomfortable than letting people know your salary.“ — DAVID BURKUS trump everything else in developing a digital government. “A growing cadre of digital innovators is as indispens- able to achieving government’s digital future as are the technologies that enable it,” Eggers writes. He argues that a commitment to technology and the built-in allure of “making a difference” through government work will attract a tech-savvy workforce, at least for a few years at a time. The technology, in other words, is simply a means to an end. Ultimately, the central theme Eggers seeks to impart is the importance of tackling new ways of think- ing and not fearing the inevitable expansion of technol- ogy. Transforming government is serious business, and “Delivering on Digital” provides a well-informed outline for ushering in the government’s digital age. June 15, 2016 FCW.COM 17 0615fcw_014-019.indd 17 5/25/16 3:26 PM
May 30, 2016
June 30, 2016