Inside the Circle but Not at the Table

21 June 2009
Inside the Circle but Not at the Table

The challenges of managing Government Cleared work

Power hides in many places throughout an organization. In the April edition, the power of personal bias in regulatory experts was explored along with the associated risk to the business. Power also hides with the people who invoke the phrase “this is government cleared work” as a way to avoid management oversight. These people are “inside the circle of trust” for government cleared work, but have separated themselves from the management of the business. The processes that have been established over the years to administer government cleared work become ritualized and staffed and off-limits because “this is what we MUST do to maintain our government programs.”

As a government cleared person who also specializes in business effectiveness, I am starting to hear a different story behind the veil of secrecy. I hear security personnel say they want to be included at the management table. They know that new budget realities will require change and that the processes for administering government cleared work must be examined. They are also very aware that security personnel can become entrenched through years of hard-earned audit close-outs. Change of this sort requires a special appreciation of the security world and the unique nature of each business. “Improvements can be made,” as one security manager recently testified to me. It came because he had a vision, a willingness to apply the tools of continuous improvement, an openness to challenge the status quo, the strength to deal with tough personnel issues, the will to navigate political waters, good financial savvy and perseverance. In these economic times, status quo is a high risk strategy. Get in the game, get on the improvement journey and come to the table.

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Alden B. 1-860-748-3780

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