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FCW : June 30, 2016
was spent on federal IT operations and maintenance in fiscal 2015 $61.2 billion June 30, 2016 FCW.COM 9 The agency CIO job has always seen relatively high turnover, but next year’s hand-off to a new administration will kick that churn into high gear. Politi- cal appointees will be out, and even some career CIOs might well decide to retire before another transition, so it’s already past time to be thinking about succession plans. Former NASA CIO Linda Cureton said the transition was part of her calculus when she left government in 2013. She knew she didn’t want to go through another presidential election and wanted give her successor some running room as well. Yet as Cureton, current NASA CIO Renee Wynn, acting Office of Person- nel Management CIO Lisa Schlosser and former General Services Administration CIO Sonny Hashmi all stressed during a recent panel discussion, incumbent CIOs should be focused on factors other than handpicking their replacements. “My obligation as a CIO is to set up the organization so that you have the right skill sets, the right executives, the right managers,” said Schlosser, the deputy federal CIO who is currently detailed to OPM. If that operational structure is sound, she added, talented individuals can advance and whomever the top agency executives choose will have a better chance of success. Current CIOs are well positioned to know what their agencies need, how- ever, and can make sure their bosses know what the trade-offs might be. “Organizations go through their life cycles in their own ways,” said Hashmi, who is now managing director for glob- al government at Box. An agency might spend a few years pushing organiza- tional change then settle into a period of steady-state operations. A change agent is critical for the first phase but would chafe in the second, he added. “As agencies go through these cycles, there needs to be matchmaking to find the right CIO at the right time,” he said. “If there’s a mismatch...that’s when bad things happen.” Cureton, who now runs her own consulting firm called Muse Technolo- gies, agreed. “You have to pick the right leader for the right time.” Schlosser, however, said the right CIO can thrive throughout that life cycle if she or he has three core skill sets: general leadership, a solid grasp of budget and finance for the agency, and “the ability to continuously learn.” The federal CIO community should seek to identify rising executives with that potential and help them reach it, she added. “The job of a leader is to build other leaders,” Schlosser said. — Troy K. Schneider Succession planning for CIOs When an agency or company hires a top executive, that gets plenty of press. Ditto for when those senior officials steer a key project to suc- cess, change roles, get their team out of trouble or decide to tackle a major problem. Far less covered, how- ever, is the next gen- eration of leaders in the federal IT community — those who are coming up through the ranks, doing the great work that doesn’t come with a turn at the podium. FCW’s Rising Star awards are an opportunity to address that inequity and recognize individuals who are early in their careers and who bring amazing energy and ideas to the table. Nominees can come from government, the private sector, academia or the nonprofit world. The only restrictions are that they be actively involved in the commu- nity and in the first 10 years of their federal IT careers. We’re looking for people whose leadership, innova- tion and all-around extra effort are having a power- ful and positive impact on federal IT. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind: • Winners go above and beyond, whatever their level or rank. A fancy job title is not required, and doing one’s job well is not enough. • Impact matters. The judges need to know not only what a nominee did but also what all that work accomplished. • The award is for work done in the past year. • You can make multiple nomina- tions. Do so early and often. And the deadline has just been extended! So gather your infor- mation and supporting nomi- nators, and get those nomina- tions in by July 15. Go to FCW. com/2016risingstars to learn more, then let us know where to find the leaders of tomorrow — and the ris- ing stars of today. — Troy K. Schneider firstname.lastname@example.org @troyschneider EDITOR’S NOTE Last call for Rising Star nominations KEENUSA.ORG 0630fcw_003-009.indd 9 6/7/16 9:31 AM
June 15, 2016
July 15, 2016