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Archive for November 5th, 2008

Happy birthday to… Palm’s Ryan McGrath

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ryan-mcgrath1Happy birthday to Palm‘s Ryan McGrath.

He also celebrates with singer Art Garfunkel (67), playwright Sam Shepard (65), rock singer Bryan Adams (49), actress Tatum O’Neal (45), and Kevin Jonas, one part of the group The Jonas Brothers, who turns 21. (Here is the test for Ryan — does he know who the Jonas Brothers are?)

And it was on this date in 1872, Suffragist Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in a presidential election…. and in 1895 that George B. Selden of Rochester, N.Y., received the first U.S. patent for an automobile.

Happy birthday Ryan.

Written by cdorobek

November 5, 2008 at 9:55 AM

Posted in birthdays, Circuit

The Federal News Radio Book Club: The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey

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speed-of-trustJust before I left Federal Computer Week, I came up with an idea of creating a book club for feds. Now that I’m over at Federal News Radio, we’re working with FCW on the book club. But the great thing is that we get to talk to the author of these books.

Before I go through history of it, I want to let everybody know the book that we have selected. The first book club book is The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey. (I have the Kindle e-book version, of course.)

On Nov. 19, Covey will join us on Federal News Radio’s In Depth with Francis Rose for an hour. Joining Rose and Covey and me will be Dave Wennergren, the Defense Department deputy chief information officer and one of the wisest people that I know… and one of the most avid readers.

This idea is actually borrowed from Wennergren — and Oprah Winfrey, of course. Oprah has been having her book clubs for a few years. As an avid reader, particularly of business books, I think there are lessons that we can share. Wennergren — an avid reader. I often just follow him around writing down titles of books — but he has long used books as a way to build teams. FCW is working on a story about Wennergren as the government IT’s Oprah. Earlier, when he was the CIO at the Department of the Navy, FCW did a story about his leadership style — and we referred to his book clubs, which he refers to as Expanding Boundaries.

So when I came up with this idea, I asked Wennergren if he would be interested in participating… and if he had any good ideas for books. He is the one who suggested The Speed of Trust.

We are going to do this regularly. We’re going to try to have Wennergren involved in a few of these a year — as much as he can, is able, and his schedule allows.

I just started Covey’s book — and, to be honest, I didn’t know anything about it until Winnergren recommended it. It is essentially about how to build trust across an organization so you can accomplish your mission.

We also want to tap your thoughts. What we’re looking for are the books books that would help people in government — or who do business with government — do their jobs better.

So… the specifics…

What: The Federal News Radio Book Club… the inaugural book: The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey
When: Nov. 19 at 2p ET
Where: Federal News Radio 1500 AM and

And yes — you can participate. Go read the book… and then send us your thoughts, insights and comments. What spoke to you and how you do your job? What did Covey leave out?

There are all sorts of ways to reach us.

  • Let us know your question before the show. Just leave a message on our new comment line: 877-936-8250. You can be anonymous if that works for you. We can then ask your question or play your comment on the air.
  • E-mail me at chris at
  • E-mail Francis at frose at

This is a first. It is an experiment. We welcome your thoughts on this concept. Let us know what works — and what doesn’t. And if you want to suggest future books, you can do that too by just leaving a message here on the blog as well.

Regardless, mark your calendar for two weeks from today… Nov. 19 at 2p ET.

Written by cdorobek

November 5, 2008 at 9:33 AM

Get ready — change is coming to Washington

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Even the most cynical out there had to be touched to a certain degree by the electoral results. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with his policies, it is a remarkable moment to think that a African American has been selected to serve as the President of the United States.

I mentioned yesterday that I have received many calls from family and friends around the country who say how exciting it must be to be at the political epicenter at this point in time. But in actuality, for the past year, people have been running against Washington. But come Wednesday, Washington, D.C. is once again the epicenter — and the topic is transition. And the topic is what change will mean for Washington.

I actually think the change could be profound. I actually think that this is a unique moment in time — a confluence of events that are coming together. I have been talking about it in the context of government 2.0 — and, it will come as no shock to regular readers, I think that is a part of it. And I think there are unique opportunities ahead. That is in part because of the need — and belief — that there needs to be change. That is in part because there is a changing demographic of the government workforce — and, if Obama can tap even a portion of the enthusiasm of his campaign, he might actually succeed at making government work “cool again.” There may just be a flood of the so-called “millennials” — those that are “born digital” who may decide that public service is cool again. And then there are these tools — these easy to use tools that allow people to collaborate and come together.

Just the latest case in point — tonight, just before he gave his acceptance speech, Obama sent out the following e-mail to his supporters, which, I might note, includes my mother:

I’m about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.

We just made history.

And I don’t want you to forget how we did it.

You made history every single day during this campaign — every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it’s time for change.

I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.

We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I’ll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing…

All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,


My mother’s comment: “This is even better than the fireside chats of FDR.”

Get ready for change. (Now we have to figure out what exactly that means.)

Written by cdorobek

November 5, 2008 at 12:55 AM