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GCN : January and February 2017
because giving talented, committed individuals a goal and a place to col- laborate could result in better deci- sions. Specifically, she recommended that agencies look for potential em- ployees who can advocate for users and understand the government’s technological vision and limitations. Then she suggested putting them on a real task with real barriers to see how they perform. Leaders should also be involved throughout the process, helping digi- tal teams overcome barriers by work- ing with the existing law, policy and regulation. “Creative solutions can come when leaders are there at the table saying, ‘Let’s figure out how we can do this,’” she said. Pahlka described the recent hire of Rob Cook, a senior executive from Pixar, to run the General Services Ad- ministration’s Technology Transfor- mation Service as a step in the right direction. “This is a great time to invest and support this organization with amaz- ing leadership,” she said. “USDS also has an enormous amount of talent, and I’m quite confident that it’s going to end up with very strong leadership moving forward.” Pahlka said she believes what or- ganizations like 18F and USDS have been doing is working, if you consider their work as early steps in a longer journey. Change will not happen because of one person, but because a community of people share their points of views, values and skills, she said. “We’re go- ing to be just putting more focus on all of those people in this current en- vironment,” she added. • “ This is a great time to invest and support [the General Services Administration] with amazing leadership. USDS also has an enormous amount of talent, and I’m quite confident that it’s going to end up with very strong leadership moving forward.” – JENNIFER PAHLKA, CODE FOR AMERICA FLICKR.COM/NACTO GCN JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 • GCN.COM 31 0217gcn_030-031.indd 31 1/31/17 1:48 PM
October and November 2016