Decade After 911 – National Security

If the experiences of DHS and ODNI are any guide, the success or failure of reorganization may depend on dynamics and relationships that transcend the immediate borders of the new department or agency.

A new government enterprise does not exist in a vacuum, but must operate within a super system of sister departments, White House councils and czars, and congressional oversight
committees. While these institutional actors are rarely taken into account by those who design a new agency, they can have a profound impact on those charged with building and running the organization. Keep reading →

While in the throes of merging multiple agencies and thousands of employees nearly a decade ago, DHS and ODNI leaders became so focused on the mission — keeping Americans safe — that key management functions often fell through the proverbial cracks and ultimately weakened capabilities.

Management, it appears, is central to mission. That’s Lesson Three in a report released this week by the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton detailing four lessons from the creation of and subsequent problems within the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Keep reading →

The experience of DHS and ODNI suggest leaders must imbed the vision and values in the new organization for it to gain traction and succeed, but that doing so might rank among the most challenging tasks.

Intangible elements, or the “soft stuff,” such as communicating a new culture and identity while remaining sensitive to tradition, are often the toughest to tackle. Keep reading →

An in-depth analysis of flaws in DHS and ODNI reorganization efforts shows both would have benefited from strong leadership to articulate the mission and the reasons for change, guide the transformation, and meld together disparate entities and management approaches.

Essentially, chain of command is necessary, but not sufficient. Keep reading →

Along with the obvious turmoil and political strife caused by the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the historic tragedy set in motion the most significant government reorganizations in decades in the homeland defense and intelligence communities.

The effects of the reorganizations continue to reverberate today. For that reason, the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton released a report Tuesday detailing lessons from those efforts that may guide the Obama Administration in government reform and reorganization efforts currently under way. Keep reading →

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