Perseverance, Innovation, and Keeping it Simple

Posted by
on June 3, 2011

For the first time ever, GSA combined its Expo and Network Services Conference. This year’s events took place in San Diego, California, and were well attended by over 7,000 government and partner company employees.

GSA kicked Expo off a bit differently this year—Steve Wozniak spoke to us about his journey as co-founder of Apple Computers.

A couple of things really struck me in his talk:

  • First, it was obvious he was born to build the Macintosh; his passion for logic and electrons is innate.
  • Second, his perseverance is immutable. He continually sought to innovate, learn and improve every time he undertook a new project.
  • Last, it’s clear that the genius of real innovation is simplicity.

The key message for GSA is this:

Passion + Perseverance + Innovation + Simplicity = products and services that customers love.

Harnessing Passion and Perseverance for Innovation

Having been at GSA for nearly 25 years, I can honestly attest to the passion and perseverance of our employees and industry partners. We need to harness that energy to achieve simple, more innovative products and services.

In the federal IT acquisition world, that means easy-to-use and easy-to-modify acquisition processes. It means just-in-time access to the cutting-edge technology needed to keep our phones ringing, mouses clicking and our cyber borders secure. It means solutions, not just contracts, at the click of a button.

The way we get there is through better communication, collaboration and idea sharing.

My Customer and Industry Listening Tour

I’ve been on the road a lot lately, speaking at conferences and symposia on the merits and challenges of the federal IT acquisition space—this is the government’s version of wedding season. So, in San Diego, I spent a lot of time just listening to customers and industry partners talk about our current IT products and services line-up and the future of government IT.

I want to know how we can improve, where technology is heading, and how we can better work together. For both sides, the message was clear: Continue to innovate and make things simpler. That’s exactly what we are working on as we continue planning for the future.

Streamlining Customer Service

It struck me that our Expo is a natural result of President Obama’s latest Executive Order–Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service. GSA is all about customer service, but we should be—and are—following private-sector best practices, using self-service options, and reducing the need for customer inquiries. We—not only the federal government, but GSA—must streamline our customer service for more efficient public engagement.

Share your ideas with us on our BetterBuy wiki site.

Thanks again to everyone for joining us at Expo and the Network Services Conference and thanks for your continued partnership with GSA.

We hope to see you next year in San Antonio, May 15-17. In the interim, let us know how we can make the event and how we can serve you even better.

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