In the summer of 2020, most MITRE employees opted to give up their permanent office with the intent of eventually working in the hybrid model – a few days per week onsite, and the remainder working remotely. As the pandemic showed signs of subsiding in the summer of 2021, many MITRE employees started to come back to the office a few days each week. For those without permanent offices, they relied on a new reservation system to book reservable offices for a day or even a partial day.
In their new book, The Government Leader’s Guide to Organizational Agility, authors Sarah Miller and Dr. Shelley Kirkpatrick consolidated their combined 42 years of knowledge, tools, anecdotes, tips, and tricks into one resource for government agency leaders at all levels. Leaders are urged to consult the book as a reference when using agility to make organizational changes.
The pace of change accelerated across organizations over the past year, perhaps even more so across the government, given the previously limited telework capacity and available resources for robust virtual collaboration. This post focuses on lessons learned while taking a high-engagement, in-person, transformational change method into the virtual world to support the Census Bureau’s effort to design a 21st-century organization.
When you launch a project team, what are your go-to methods for kicking off, building cohesion, establishing goals, and delivering value together? If you’ve been thinking about refreshing your toolkit, would you consider a customizable process—with or without steamed milk—to ensure that everyone knows why they are on the project and why it is going to be the best one ever?
It’s no secret that change can be difficult and slow, especially when it comes to changes at work. Just this week, I heard an executive say, “Anyone who tells you that change is easy hasn’t done it before.”
Yet this year, many of us have quickly embraced virtual collaboration tools. We’ve all experienced numerous other changes, especially as we untethered from the “40 hour+ work on-site” culture. Why have we been so quick to adopt Zoom, Slack, and Office 365? What can we learn from this recent experience so that we can support our colleagues through future change?
It’s an understatement to say that we’ve all experienced a lot of change during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the challenges, some positives have come out of this situation, especially when it comes to how federal agencies and other organizations have quickly adapted to keep the government running and work moving. Organizational agility has been a goal for many years now, with numerous agency mission statements highlighting the need for it.
Every year, MITRE’s independent research and development program receives over 1000 research project ideas from across the organization and selects approximately 200 for funding. When Dr. Shelley Kirkpatrick received funding from the MITRE Innovation Program (MIP) in 2017 to research the principles of organizational agility, little did she know that three years later her work would be a big hit in Las Vegas.
“Field of Dreams” is a delightful movie. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and curl up on a do-nothing night and watch it. But even if you haven’t seen “Field of Dreams”, I’m sure you’ve heard the most famous line from it, “if you build it, he will come.” But since language is more fluid than the ocean, and changes to suit the context du jour, you more than likely have heard it as, “if you build it, they will come.”