Government serves the public by creating and administering law. Unfortunately, this has created a culture in which the status quo has become a synonymous with the tedium of government administration. There exists today a soul-crushing atmosphere amongst government employees, contractors, and support personnel – a culture where doing just enough to get by is rewarded and encouraged. This is the current Gov 1.0 culture we all recognize as being restrictive and hostile to innovation and creativity.
This culture is harmful to us. It keeps us from growing creatively. It inhibits our inherent desires to improve our performance. It keeps us from being AWESOME.
The good news is that there ARE cases of AWESOME culture within our creaky Gov 1.0 landscape. The Gov 2.0 movement demonstrates that there are LOTS of us working in the federal space who YEARN for better, cooler, and more badass ways of doing things. All of us
This presentation will examine a case study of AWESOME in government, specifically the Technology Evaluation & Integration Team stood up by the Army (and later Joint) IED Defeat Task Force. From 2004 to 2006, “the Tech Team” identified, evaluated, acquired, and deployed technology to combat improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that threatened American forces deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. This multidisciplinary team organized in a non-traditional manner and used unorthodox techniques and partnerships to leap beyond the slow, antiquated acquisition process and rapidly equip American troops with lifesaving counter-IED solutions. In addition to working long hours, fighting an incumbent bureaucracy, and hunting for increasingly scarce resources, the Tech Team formed a strong bond between its members… one that many still regard as one of the most AWESOME experiences of their lives.
This presentation will:
While this presentation is submitted for a 50-minute time limit, it is my intent to complete the initial presentation in 30 minutes to allow time for questions and answers. As a former member of the Tech Team, my own perceptions of these experiences will serve to help hone in on specific details that audience members care about.
This presentation is intended for any change agents who want to find ways to change their respective government cultures. Anyone from entry level analysts to general officers will find the results of this analysis useful. I intend to provide rock hard observations that people can take home and adapt to their individual organizations and agencies in hopes of creating a more AWESOME Gov 2.0 culture.
Christopher Dufour is a former founding member of the IED Task Force Tech Team. He has worked for multiple defense and intelligence contractors on a variety of interagency irregular warfare, strategic communication, influence operations, and public diplomacy projects. He attained his MA in Government & Communications from Johns Hopkins University where his thesis, “Strategic Service: Reforming the U.S. National Security Apparatus for the 21st Century,” was accepted with highest honors.
Since then, “Du4” has sought to bring creativity and innovation to every partner and client with whom he has worked. He currently writes a blog – Must.Be.AWESOME!!! – that investigates the roots and wherefores of all things AWESOME. A musician, performer, and born entertainer by nature, Du4 also acts as a creative force for a number of federal and non-governmental clients. You can connect with him on Twitter via his handle, “@Du4.”
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