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03.07.2012 DorobekINSIDER: Leading the Recovery Board; our information diet; and bosses trading places

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Today on GovLoop INsights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • There is a new chief watchdog at the Recovery, Accountability and Transparency Board. It’s a visible job. She takes over from Earl Devaney. And she has a tough task leading an organization that could sunset is a little over a year. We’ll introduce you to Kathleen Tighe later in the program.
  • You watch what you eat, but do you watch what you read? and watch? and listen to, for that matter? and click on? We’ll talk about OUR role in defining the meadia culture out there… we’re going to talk to Clay Johnson, author of the book The Information Diet.
  • And have you seen the TV show Undercover Boss? We’ll talk to a professor about the advantages of walking in somebody else’s shoes.

After the break… the stories that impact your life for Wednesday March 7th, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

  • Another government shutdown could be looming…this time at the Transportation Department. Congress has failed to end debate  on a new bill by eight votes. If the current law expires on March 31, the federal collection of Highway Trust Fund taxes would stop, and so would money flowing to state and local transportation projects. Federal News Radio says, Congress could pass another continuing resolution, which it has already done eight times since 2009, when transportation authorization first expired.
  • Is your boss snooping around in your personal email? That’s the questions a couple of senior lawmakers are trying to figure out. Government Executive says, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) had their interest piqued when six former Food and Drug Administration workers sued the agency, claiming it was looking at whistleblowing emails. The lawmakers have asked the Office of Management and Budget to for a government wide review of  policies for monitoring federal employees’ personal email accounts.
  • The United States took a step backwards in the rankings of an international survey of e-government capability. Federal Computer Week says the U.S. now ranks fifth in the United Nations’ Global E-gov index. Topping off the list was South Korea, followed by the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Denmark and then the United States. The rankings are based on public sector capacity for using government websites and public information tools to serve citizens. Find the full report here.
  • Feds aren’t the only public servants who are feeling the pay and benefits pinch. A new Government Accountability Office report shows the roughly 27 million state and local government employees are also feeling the potentially bigger cuts. Government Executive says in the last four years half the states have shifted a larger share of pension costs to employees by increasing member contributions. And 35 states have also reduced pension benefits for future employees.
  • More transparency. Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel tweeted that the Obama administration launched an updated version of the IT Dashboard.  You can find it at ITDashboard.gov. And he said in a OMB blog post, the site is more accessible… and includes more data, including data for fiscal year 2013.
  • And yes, it was Super Tuesday yesterday. Here is what you need to know. Slate’s John Dickerson merely tweeted: To be continued. The long and short of it: The GOP nomination probably isn’t over yet. Mitt Romney squeaked out a 1 percent victory over Rick Santorum in the key state of Ohio, and Romney, Santorum and Newt Gingrich all took something away last night… Politico says they all probably take enough away to keep going. And the November election is 244 days away.
  • And over on GovLoop, were prepping for the 3rd annual Next Generation of Government Leaders conference. And it is GovLoop, so we are looking for your thoughts. How can we help you do your job better? What sessions would you most benefit from? Who would you like to hear from? What kind of training do you need to be a better public servant? Any other comments or suggestions on how to make NextGen 2012 awesome? Send your ideas our way.

* The new chairwoman of the Recovery, Accountability and Transparency Board

Kathleen Tighe

There is a new chief watchdog on duty at the Recovery, Accountability and Transparency Board — yes, the RAT Board. Kathleen Tighe is taking over as the chairwoman of the Recovery Board. She takes over for Earl Devaney, who retired a few months ago. (Hear the DorobekINSIDER exit interview with Devaney.)GovLoop seeking your insights: How do you manage a department that might not be around in a year?

Tighe Recovery.gov blog post: Watching Over Your Tax Dollars

* Your information diet

The Information DietClay Johnson is author of the new book, “The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption.” He the former director of Sunlight Labs at the Sunlight Foundation.

David Eaves has posted his review of the book on GovLoop.

GovLoop seeks your insights: How you decide what to read… or watch… or listen to… or click… How do you ensure you have a healthy information diet?

* Undercover Boss – a how to

Todd Thomas, Professor of Leadership at the DeVos Graduate School of Management at Northwood University.

GovLoop seeks your insights: Corner Office Disconnect: My Boss Doesn’t Get My Job At All

* Closing items

Before we close… a few closing items…

It’s GovLoop, so we believe in the community. And there has been a good conversation about the nature of leadership following our discussion with Linda Cureton, the author of The Leadership Muse. Linda is also the CIO at NASA. And you may remember that she said “Leadership is getting people to do something they don’t want to do and making them feel good about doing it.” That’s generated some discussion.

GovLoop member Nena Moss said that she looks for a leader who thinks twice about conflict. A leader should dig into a large box of creative thinking skills and evaluate alternatives. Can resolution be found without discouraging the staff? If not, then proceed in the manner that is best for the organization.

Let’s be honest — we’re all leaders in our own way. How do you define leadership? And how do you demonstrate leadership? What works? and what does? We’d love to get your thoughts.

A few other items we wanted to call to your attention.

We all know they do cool things at DARPA. But if you want to see something really cool, come over to DorobekINSIDER.com. DARPA has just released a video demonstrating the “Cheetah” robot galloping at speeds of up to 18 miles per hour. Yes, that sets a land speed record for legged robots. I didn’t know there was such a thing, but… it was 13.1 miles per hour set in 1989. Check out the video. It is pretty amazing.

This video shows a demonstration of the “Cheetah” robot galloping at speeds of up to 18 miles per hour (mph), setting a new land speed record for legged robots. The previous record was 13.1 mph, set in 1989.

The robot’s movements are patterned after those of fast-running animals in nature. The robot increases its stride and running speed by flexing and un-flexing its back on each step, much as an actual cheetah does.

The current version of the Cheetah robot runs on a laboratory treadmill where it is powered by an off-board hydraulic pump, and uses a boom-like device to keep it running in the center of the treadmill. Testing of a free-running prototype is planned for later this year.

And remember Watson — that IBM computer that was able to beat Jeopardy champions a year ago. Well, Watson will soon be advising Wall Street… about risk. Bloomberg says that Citigroup has just hired Watson… to make sense of big data. And you may have seen the story in the New York Times over the weekend where IBM is using that computing power to build smarter cities.

Tomorrow, we’re going to talk about big data.  Specifically, we’re going to talk to a the police in Santa Cruz, California about how they are using big data to do their jobs better. It is one of those stories that will really get you to think differently. I hope you’ll join us.

That does it for us today.

Thanks for being here. Go out and do good work.

And we’ll see you online…

Written by cdorobek

March 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM

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