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USA
Designing the Agile Government:
Re-imagining Strategic Workforce Planning
Sydney Smith-Heimbrock, Ph.D.
Deputy Associate Director,
OPM Office of Strategic Workforce Planning
Overview
21st Century requires
new paradigm of
governance
What is workforce
agility?
Where do we start?
US Office of Personnel Management
We can no
longer rely on
20th Century
institutions,
behaviors
and
processes to
solve 21st
century
problems
US Office of Personnel Management
How might we meet the needs of 21st
Century Governance?
Attract the best talent
Develop the next
generation of leaders
Build a more diverse
workforce
Communicate across
divergent communities
Become more agile
US Office of Personnel Management
We must start by redefining Strategic
Workforce Planning
Identify Mission Success
Within complex
networks of resources
Transform the workforce
and the nature of work
-When/How/Where
Reshape Organizations
and Interactions to
leverage networks
towards common goals
US Office of Personnel Management
Its all about our people
US Office of Personnel Management
Ability to attract top talent and meet
21st Century Challenges requires an
Agile Workforce …
But …
…what does that Look
Like in an organization?
US Office of Personnel Management
Greater Openness
Transparency
Free flow of ideas
Boundary-less
Leveraging Partnerships
Sharing resources and
best practices
Promoting Feedback
“We need to give each other the space to
grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our
diversity. We need to give each other space so
that we may both give and receive such
beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity,
joy, healing, and inclusion.”
~Max de Pree
US Office of Personnel Management
Flatter Organizations
“Every layer is a bad layer. First of all, in a world
where faster is not just better but necessary,
layers slow everything down. Take decisionmaking. The more layers, the more people who
have to thump their rubber stamp.”
~Jack Welch
Reduce layers of
management
Empowering Employees
Making decisions closer
to the problem
Access to executives
Decentralized
US Office of Personnel Management
Flexibility
Reduced Red Tape
Customer focused
Lower dependency on
capital resources
Organizational design as
a strategy
Align skills to mission
Respond to changes in
the marketplace
“The boldness of asking deep questions may
require unforeseen flexibility if we are to
accept the answers.”
~Brian Greene
US Office of Personnel Management
Project-oriented work structures
“When you are inspired by some purpose, a project,
all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind
transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in
every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great,
and wonderful world.”
~Patanjali
Individual development
Team oriented
Portfolio Driven
Fosters integration,
collaboration and
networking
Reduces “silo-ing”
Builds momentum
Promotes focus,
accountability and
exceptionalism
US Office of Personnel Management
Able to work in distributed space
“Work is not where you go, it’s what you do.”
~Anonymous
Telework
Virtual
Results Oriented
Leverage technology
Trusting
Global
Autonomy
Environmentally Friendly
Work-Life
Manage the whole
person
Focus on what matters
Alignment with values
US Office of Personnel Management
Able to move fast
“In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Opportunity focused
Bench strength
Trust
Aligned resources
Bandwidth
Anticipates change
Innovative
Avoid unnecessary
complexity
US Office of Personnel Management
Able to overcome resistance
Confidence
Proven performance
Strong relationships
Mutual consideration
Able to make compelling
case
Willing to share credit
Buy in from constituency
“Success is achieved by developing our strengths,
not by eliminating our weaknesses.”
~Marilyn Vos Savant
US Office of Personnel Management
Coordinated
Shared purpose
Aligned resources
Minimal overlap
Complimentary
Orchestrated
Anticipation of each
other’s movement
Cooperation
“The racing driver's mind has to have
the ability to have amazing
anticipation, coordination, and reflex.
Because of the speed the car goes.”
~Emerson Fittipaldi
US Office of Personnel Management
People possess 21st Century
Strong Communicator
Competencies
Adaptable
Knowledgeable of Policy
and Initiatives
Problem Solver
Self Aware
Team Player
Results Oriented
Flexible
Strategic Thinker
Creative
Customer Focused
IT and Social Media
Savvy
US Office of Personnel Management
High performing individuals are aligned into
high performing teams
Creators:
Generate Ideas
Advancers:
Communicate Ideas
Refiners:
Challenge Ideas
Executors:
Implement Ideas
Flexors:
Step in to fill gaps
US Office of Personnel Management
where do we start?
US Office of Personnel Management
Leadership: Executives, Managers, and
Supervisors know how to:
Create Smart Agile,
Networked
Organizations
Hire, Develop and
Empower Employees to
Solve Problems
Exercise Influence Across
Cultures and
Organizations
Scan the Environment
for Opportunities to
Drive Change Through
Levers of Influence
US Office of Personnel Management
Collaboration
“The secret is to gang up on the
problem, rather than each other.”
~ Thomas Stallkamp
Sharing Best Practices
Aligning resources
around mutual
objectives
Building trust across
organizations
Embracing common
standards
Celebrating each other’s
success
Defining new metrics
US Office of Personnel Management
Innovation
Improving something you
already do
Applying solutions within
new contexts
Creating something
entirely new
Technologically possible
Desirable to users
Viable in the marketplace
“Creativity consists largely of rearranging
what we know in order to find out what
we don’t know. Hence, to think creatively,
we must be able to look afresh at what
we normally take for granted.”
~ George Kneller
US Office of Personnel Management
Human Centered Design
The discipline of creating
solutions intended to
cause improvement that
are driven by the needs,
desires, and context of the
people for whom we
design.
Looking
Understanding
Making
US Office of Personnel Management
US OPM Is Piloting a NEW Approach to
Strategic Workforce Planning
Skills
definitions
Traditional
work
processes
Organizational
Identity and
Culture
Recruitment. Development.
Retention. Performance
Management.
US Office of Personnel Management
Desired Culture Shaped
through Human
Dimensions

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