What it is like to run the largest enterprise in the world, the U.S. Department of Defense? What are some of the challenges facing a Secretary of Defense? What leadership lessons can be learned from Ash Carter? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions with Ash Carter, former Secretary of Defense and author of Inside the five-sided box: lessons from a lifetime of leadership in the Pentagon.

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Why does U.S. Department of Defense lack of an auditable financial statement? What has DoD done to get to auditability? What challenges are faced in getting audited financial statement and how can DoD do better? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Peter K. Levine of the Institute for Defense Analyses.

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What is the U.S. Department of Defense’s “Better Buying Power” initiative? How is DoD promoting competition, providing incentives, reducing bureaucracy, and improving services acquisition? What can federal agencies learn from DoD’s Better Buying Power initiatives? Join us as we explore these questions and more with David Van Slyke & Zach Huitink authors of Beyond Business as Usual: Improving Defense Acquisition through Better Buying Power.

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In the case of Robert Gates, the report focuses on his efforts to transform weapons procurement at DOD. Upon returning to government in 2006 as secretary of defense, Gates concluded that he had an opportunity to rein in the cost of defense weapons procurements and halt the production of unneeded weapons.

In the case of Francis Collins, the report focuses on his efforts to transform NIH by creating a new institute, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, which Collins believed would serve as a catalyst to change the culture of NIH. Collins sought to enhance NIH’s capability to translate its knowledge in addressing what the public needs from drugs and treatment.

Professor Lambright found many similarities in the challenges faced by Gates and Collins, as well as their effective responses to these challenges. Lambright concludes that experience and leadership skills really do matter, and that both leaders set clear goals and offered clarity as to means. The report also describes how both overcame opposition to their transformation initiatives.

As noted above, this report builds upon prior research by the IBM Center for The Business of Government on the crucial topics of leadership and transformation. In 2011, the IBM Center published A Leader’s Guide to Transformation: Developing a Playbook for Successful Change Initiatives by Robert A. F. Reisner.

Forging Governmental Change is the sixth report prepared by Professor Lambright for the IBM Center. In 2002, Professor Lambright chronicled the experience of Francis Collins, then director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, in his report Managing “Big Science:” A Case Study of the Human Genome Project. Lambright’s research for the IBM Center also includes leadership case studies of three recent administrators of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Dan Goldin (2001), Sean O’Keefe (2005), and Michael Griffin (2009).

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The mission of the National Guard Bureau Joint Process Improvement Office is to create a culture of continuous improvement by deploying tools, training, and mentoring soldiers and airmen throughout the National Guard.  Colonel Donald Delllinger is the Deployment Director of CPI, National Guard Bureau, Department of Defense.

Mr. David M. Wennergren serves as the Assistant Deputy Chief Management Officer at the U.S. Department of Defense. Prior to his current role, Mr. Wennergren was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Information Management, Integration and Technology / Deputy Chief Information Officer, providing top-level advocacy in creating a unified information management and technology vision for the Department and ensuring the delivery of the capabilities required to achieve the Department’s transformation to net centric operations. In addition to his duties as Deputy CIO, Mr. Wennergren was the Vice Chair of the U.S. Government’s Federal CIO Council. He also served as the Chair of the Department of Defense Identity Protection and Management Senior Coordinating Group.

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Rear Adm. Hunter discusses the Tricare program for the military health system.

Rear Adm. Hunter tells us about the different benefit packages available under Tricare

Rear Adm. Hunter discusses the shift toward preventive care and the patient center medical home model.