Dan Cohen AUTHOR The proposal by House Armed Services Chair Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) to trim spending on the Pentagon’s fourth estate by 25 percent is unlikely to generate the promised savings as most of the department’s management functions reside within the military services, Gordon Adams, a White House budget official for national security programs during the Clinton administration, writes in an op-ed in Defense One. “The services would love to divide up some of these larger functions among themselves, rolling back consolidation, regaining funds they once controlled — and recreating the management inefficiencies that led to centralization in the first place,” Adams states.The Defense Business Board previously found that 70 percent of overhead spending occurs within the services, not in the cross-defense activities which Thornberry’s proposal targets. Significant savings could be achieved, Adams argues, by carefully scrutinizing overhead budgets. “It is not clear Thornberry and his colleagues want to take on that real management challenge,” he concludes.
June 25, 2014 3 min read Listen Now Net neutrality and a ban on Internet “fast lanes’’ won the backing of the US Conference of Mayors, which unanimously endorsed a resolution Monday urging the Federal Communication Commission forbid “blocking of lawful websites” and “unreasonable discrimination of lawful network traffic.’’“Net neutrality is critical for an innovation economy to thrive, because if the broadband companies could choose what web pages you can access, the Internet would lose its power as the most powerful communication tool we’ve ever known,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who led the push for the resolution passed at the annual conference of mayors in Dallas.Related: The Latest FCC Net Neutrality Rules Should Be OpposedThe resolution is timed for the ongoing public comment period for the FCC’s revised Open Internet Rule to replace a 2010 rule tossed out, in part, in January by a federal court. The 63-page opinion hardly reads like a ringing victory for internet service providers (ISP), such as Verizon, which brought the suit.The court majority, which ordered the FCC to prepare a new rule proposal, found “broadband providers represent a threat to Internet openness’’ and “nothing in the record gives us any reason to doubt the Commission’s determination that broadband providers may be motivated to discriminate against and among edge providers.’’“Edge providers’’ are entities, ranging from Amazon and Hulu to web sites hawking T-shirts, that rely on the Internet for marketing and sale of goods and services.Internet “fast lanes’’ boiled into controversy with a public spat between Netflix and Verizon. Netflix publicly blamed Verizon for slow service. Verizon responded with a stern cease-and-desist letter. The dispute spotlighted a deal between Netflix and Verizon to provide faster, more reliable service that to many sounded like a “fast lane.’’ The deal was announced in February, following the federal court decision that presciently anticipated such arrangements.Related: Net Neutrality, Explained“Broadband providers also have powerful incentives to accept fees from edge providers, either in return for excluding their competitors or for granting them prioritized access to end users,’’ wrote the court majority. “Indeed, at oral argument Verizon’s counsel announced that “but for [the Open Internet Order] rules we would be exploring those commercial arrangements.”The nation’s mayors made clear they view high speed Internet access as an economic development cornerstone.“We stand for transparency and believe that all data on the Internet should be treated equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment or mode of communication,’’ wrote Lee and Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle in an opinion piece published last week. “We feel that innovation relies on a free and open Internet, one that does not allow for individual arrangements for priority treatment, also known as paid prioritization.’’Related: U.S. Court of Appeals Overturns Net Neutrality Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger.
October 15, 2015 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 5 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Avoiding a generational divide in the workplace requires a systemic approach to collaboration, one that values inputs from all, appreciates and respects the contributions of everyone, is seamless to the business and is easy to use.The processes needed to build out a more collaborative office don’t necessarily change from what you have experienced in the past, but the tools and technology that enable collaboration certainly have. Related: When Overcommunicating Can Do More Harm Than GoodMake use of new — and old — interfaces.The advent of new technologies has opened the office up to collaboration that extends beyond a simple phone call or email. New interfaces allow for instant video chat. Twitter feeds and hash tags can be built in support of new projects or products. Interactive and cloud-based guides can allow planners to adjust in the moment and send out instantaneous updates to all affected parties.As technologies continue to advance, so does the opportunity to collaborate more effectively in the workplace. That said, there’s still nothing better than true, face-to-face communication. The new technologies shouldn’t be seen as tools that subvert traditional communication patterns, but rather as ways to complement them. You don’t have to be a tech wizard.Less technical employees need not to worry. Technologies available to us that can help extend collaboration efforts are fairly intuitive. The idea of the millennial as a technical wizard, in most cases, is really less about them being highly technical and more about the technologies being highly intuitive. The interfaces have become simple. It’s just a matter of practice. Hand a 3-year-old an iPad and watch with amazement how easily they can navigate the device.The new collaboration tools in the market make using their technology simple. Take the new start-up, High Five. They promise to simplify the way we interact with one another at work. Still in beta-testing, High Five promises to disrupt the existing collaboration tool set in our workplace. Imagine emails, instant messaging and video conferencing all in one easy-to-use interface that requires little more than knowing a URL and having an understanding of how to plug in a USB cord. Related: Slack 101: How and Why to Create a Community on This PlatformThis type of technology is simple and easy to use. It’s a way to bring collaboration to the forefront of all that you do in the workplace, and it’s critical to how we can collaborate across generations, in a seamless, easy-to-use way. Technology continues to change our landscape, but it’s not enough to just implement the tools and walk away. Establish protocol to embed new technology.Building a collaborative work environment requires the right processes and the right people. It’s easy to make assumptions about technology as the saving grace and in many cases it can be, but it’s not simply enough to put technology in place and walk away from the structural support needed to embed the technology into the culture of the organization. Establishing clear processes and protocol for how interactions happen and encouraging employees to set ground rules for one another about how they prefer to collaborate is a first step. As you certainly know, not everyone chooses to collaborate in the same manner. Some people prefer face-to-face meetings to discuss any relevant issues, and others would prefer to be left alone and handle all communications through email and / or text messaging. Evaluate performance expectations and rewards.Looking at your policies in regards to performance expectations and rewards can also help foster collaboration across generations. There’s a lot of wisdom and knowledge embedded in organizations, only most of it is hidden from view. Most of it becomes tribal knowledge, learned by doing, failing, and doing again.When the boomer generation walks out the door for retirement, how much of their tribal knowledge has been passed down to the younger generations? Are you actively working to collect what they know, are you encouraging them to share it? There are tools that can help you do this. Collaboration is key to working across generations, and new intuitive technologies can simplify how we collaborate with one another, but they’re only effective if you have the policies, processes and people in place to make them work. Buying new technology in the hopes of making your workplace more collaborative without appropriate structural support is like flushing money down a toilet.Put the right support in place and watch the collaboration grow. It’s not rocket science, but it certainly takes time and effort to make it happen. Related: 4 Business Meetings You Should Never Take Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »