During a keynote presentation at the FOSE Conference, Adm. Eric Olson, former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, projected an image of a painting showing prehistoric people gathered around a campfire. The painting was “The Storyteller,” by Martin Pate.
“It reminds me that no man should tell another man’s stories,” he said. “Jimmy Buffett says, don’t try to describe a KISS concert if you’ve never seen one.”
It may seem incongruous for a decorated four-star admiral to talk about the garish rock band and the laconic folk/rock singer, but he’s right. The sentiment about the need to experience KISS before talking about it is drawn from the lyrics to Jimmy Buffett’s song “Mañana.”
Olson also projected a slide showing five military personnel dressed in various kinds of combat gear -- fatigues, a flight suit, camouflage.
“This looks like a scene from the Wizard of Oz,” he said in leading up the point the slide makes. “Or a Village People concert.”
Posted by Michael Hardy on Apr 05, 2012 at 12:56 PM0 comments
Former Sen. George Mitchell told an audience at the FOSE trade show that his ascent to the Senate was not necessarily auspicious.
Mitchell, who delivered the morning keynote address April 4, was serving as a federal judge in Maine when Sen. Edmund Muskie resigned to become President Jimmy Carter's secretary of state in 1980. Maine Gov. Joseph Brennan appointed Mitchell to the vacant seat, offering him some time to think it over.
Mitchell told the crowd that he consulted with his two brothers, with whom he had always been competitive. Both tried to discourage him, he said. One told him, "We don't know how you got to be a judge, let alone a senator," at least according to Mitchell's possibly embellished humorous retelling.
Mitchell accepted the offer and met then-Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd on the floor of the Senate for a quick swearing-in during the normal course of Senate business. It happened so quickly that "Nobody knew what had gone on, not even senators who were standing a few feet away," he said.
Right after the swearing-in, the bill that was under debate came up for vote. Mitchell told the audience that he now holds the Senate record for the shortest time between swearing-in and first vote: two minutes.
The day ended, he said, with an invitation to deliver a keynote speech to 3,000 certified public accountants. After his new assistant disillusioned him of the notion that the convention had held the spot open for him -- they'd actually had several speakers cancel -- he fretted that he knew nothing about their requested topic, the tax code.
His assistant set him straight on that score too, he said, saying: "You are now a U.S. Senator. You will regularly be called on to speak on subjects you know nothing about."
Posted by Michael Hardy on Apr 05, 2012 at 12:56 PM2 comments
Scott Cameron, senior vice president at R3 Government Solutions, advised an audience at FOSE to create "lines of sight" in organizations so that all employees understand how their work contributes to the organization's mission.
To illustrate the point, he told a story about President John F. Kennedy visiting a NASA facility after the race to reach the moon had begun. Encountering a janitor, Kennedy asked what his job was.
"I'm here to put a man on the moon," the janitor said.
"Now that's a line of sight," Cameron said. "He's there to put a man on the moon, not to sweep the floor."
It's an old story, one that's been incorporated into business speeches time and again to illustrate principles of self-worth and inspired employees. It may be apocryphal. But it is a good one.
Posted on Apr 04, 2012 at 12:56 PM1 comments
Jim Ghiloni is the new head of the General Services Administration’s Integrations, a new professional services contract.
Steve Kempf, FAS commissioner, said Ghiloni has the experience to oversee the contract. He has been both program manager for the Alliant governmentwide IT acquisition contract and director of business operations for the Assisted Acquisition Service.
“Having both built the premier GWAC and been its number-one customer, makes Jim uniquely well qualified to lead tomorrow’s premier professional services vehicle for GSA,” Kempf said..
Ghiloni will take over for Lisa Maguire, who has been the program manager since the launch of Integrations. She has been developing the ideas behind the contract, often blogging about her ideas.
Maguire will still be at GSA, but working in another capacity, an agency spokeswoman said.
Officials are still in the early stages of the acquisition process for Integrations, but it will be a multiple-agency indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for commercial and non-commercial services. It will include program management and consulting services, among others.
More importantly, GSA is designing the contract vehicle to address needs for professional services that span several types of services that are often difficult to specify or quantify before making an award.
Posted by FCW Staff on Mar 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM0 comments
What do Obama’s chief people person and a lion at the National Zoo have in common?
They carry the same name, by design: In 2010 the zoo named one of its seven tiger cubs after John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, who also happens to be the former head of the zoo.
Patricia Niehaus, national president of the Federal Managers Association, brought the connection to light at FMA’s 74th National Convention & Management Training Seminar in Arlington, Va., on March 13.
“If you’ve been [at the zoo] and seen John the lion, this is whom he was named after,” Niehaus said in introducing Berry, inciting delight and laughter from the audience. “I don’t know many who have a lion named after them.”
Berry served as director of the zoo from 2005 to 2009, and was in charge of more than 800 employees and 2,000 animals. According to a video on OPM’s website, he “apparently had deep, meaningful conversations” with the cubs’ mother, Lusaka, before she died in 2010 at the ripe age of 18..
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Mar 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM3 comments
A nonprofit trade association has launched a new initiative in hopes of expanding IT career opportunities for women and igniting their interest for jobs in the industry.
The Advancing Women in IT Community aims to empower women with knowledge and skills to help them pursue successful IT careers and inspire them to choose IT as their profession, CompTIA said in a release Feb. 29.
The group will serve as information resource and provide mentorship and networking opportunities. It will also develop member-driven initiatives and programs, and actively work with issues related to legislation involving women and careers.
Although women have seen many breakthroughs in the workplace, “the truth is our progress has stalled in IT," said Nancy Hammervik, CompTIA’s senior vice president of industry relations.
Research by the National Center for Women & Information Technology shows that women composed 36 percent of IT professionals in 1991, but the number of technology jobs held by women has declined since, Hammervik said, citing unconscious bias, gender pay gaps and lack of role models as contributing factors.
The community, which launches with members in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and South Africa, is led by chair Sandy Ashworth, global director of channel relations and warranty for Unisys Corporation, and vice chair Jean Mork Bredenson, president of SERVICE 800, Inc.
The CompTIA Advancing Women in IT Community is hosting a webinar titled "Insights from a Leader and Her Path to Success," featuring Marci Meaux, vice president if sales enablement project and ACT at Cisco Systems, Inc. The free webinar is slated for 1 p.m., March 14.
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Feb 29, 2012 at 12:56 PM1 comments