Innovation in Defense | Policy Enablers | Transformation Journey



Welcome to the latest episode of Fed Gov Today with Francis Rose, recorded at the ACT-IAC Emerging Tech and Innovation Conference in Cambridge, MD. In this episode, Francis Rose speaks with three key figures in government innovation and transformation: Lt. Col. David Brewer from the Air Force Futures Center, Jim Cook from ACT-IAC’s Institute for Innovation, and Joe Gioeli from the Bureau of the Fiscal Service. They discuss the nuanced definitions and applications of innovation, the policy enablers that can drive government transformation, and the comprehensive transformation journey of the Bureau of the Fiscal Service. Tune in above for insights on how these leaders are navigating and shaping the future of federal innovation.

Redefining Innovation: A Methodological Approach in the Air Force

 1626289006861Lt. Col. David Brewer, Total Force Integration Liaison in the Disruptive Technology Division at the Air Force Futures Center, shared his insights on redefining innovation at the ACT-IAC Emerging Tech and Innovation Conference. Brewer emphasizes that innovation is not a noun but a methodological approach to problem-solving. He advocates for a foundational vernacular and a structured framework to drive cross-collaboration within the Department of Defense.

Brewer discusses the challenges of defining and measuring innovation, highlighting the need for a common language and collaborative efforts to reduce redundancies and inefficiencies. He also addresses the risk-averse culture within the military and suggests fostering an environment where failure is acceptable to encourage genuine innovation. His views provide a roadmap for organizational change aimed at enhancing adaptive and innovative capabilities in defense.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Innovation should be viewed as a methodology rather than a static term.
  2. Establishing a common language and framework is crucial for effective cross-collaboration.
  3. Encouraging a culture that accepts failure can significantly enhance innovative efforts.

 Empowering Government Innovation through Policy and Tools

Jim Cook (3)Jim Cook, Chair of ACT-IAC’s Institute for Innovation, discussed the institute's expanded focus on enabling innovation through policy, tools, and research at the Emerging Tech and Innovation Conference. Cook outlined the institute’s new initiatives, including a policy agenda to remove barriers to innovation, the creation of practical tools like guides and checklists, and a forum to bridge the gap between early research and government adoption.

Cook highlighted the importance of joint efforts between government and industry, using the successful creation of the Periodic Table of Acquisition Innovations as a model. He stressed the need for actionable outcomes and continuous engagement with government stakeholders to ensure the adoption and evolution of innovative practices. The institute aims to foster an environment where innovation can thrive through clear guidance and practical tools.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Policy can be a significant enabler or barrier to innovation, necessitating careful consideration and adjustment.
  2. Practical tools and guides are essential for bridging the gap between innovators and government adopters.
  3. Continuous measurement and evolution of innovative practices are crucial for sustained success.

The Bureau of the Fiscal Service's Comprehensive Transformation Journey

joseph-gioeliJoe Gioeli, Deputy Commissioner of Transformation and Modernization at the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, shared insights into the bureau’s transformation journey, which began with a future readiness assessment. At the Emerging Tech and Innovation Conference, Gioeli explained how the bureau is leveraging its transformation and modernization office to drive enterprise-level changes across people, process, technology, and data.

Gioeli emphasized the importance of data as a standalone pillar, crucial for decision-making and technological advancement. The bureau's strategy focuses on breaking down business silos, improving customer experience, and fostering a continuous improvement culture. He highlighted initiatives such as the IT Upskilling Academy and the Workforce Transformation Program, which aim to equip employees with the necessary skills to support the bureau’s strategic direction.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Data is a critical component for driving informed decision-making and technological progress.
  2. A holistic approach to transformation involves breaking down silos and improving customer experience.
  3. Continuous upskilling and workforce development are essential for sustaining transformational efforts.

These interviews provide valuable perspectives on the multifaceted approaches to fostering innovation and transformation within the federal government. Tune in to gain deeper insights from these leaders shaping the future of public sector innovation.


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