Now more than ever before, government leaders face difficult challenges in managing the federal workforce. Constantly being asked to do more with less, government workers and those who manage them need to use the most cutting-edge methods and tools to achieve their full potential and accomplish the critical missions of their agencies. At the ATD 2017 International Conference & Exposition, the sessions in the Government Track will dive into these topics and attendees will learn the emerging best practices for managing talent most effectively.

Case in point: Boosting engagement is on everyone’s priority list. During Sunday’s discussion, Richard Moore, the Inspector General for the Tennessee Valley Authority, you’ll learn about the change management model that helped the TVA rank #1 on OPM’s 2015 Federal Employee Viewpoint survey on employee engagement. Moore will present the five most common mistakes that agencies make in implementing engagement programs. Additionally, Moore will offer proven strategies that get results based on “Me First” leadership principles. (ATD Members can read a preview blog here.)

Also on Sunday, James McPherson, deputy associate director of OPM HR Solutions will lead the session, Raising the Bar: Expertise & Insights in Managing your Human Capital Priorities. During this session, McPherson will discuss how to best approach the challenges agencies face during times of transition. Attendees will learn how to align talent with strategy to achieve results, and how to reshape a workforce to reach agency goals.

Mentoring is another topic increasing in popularity in the federal workforce. On Monday, Lester Wright, HRDS for NASA/Goddard Space and Flight Center, will discuss how his organization has incorporated innovative ways to use mentorship programs to improve developmental and technical proficiencies. In this session, How to Leverage Modern Mentoring With Your Organization’s Developmental and Technical Programs,Lester will discuss this hybrid approach to modern mentoring, in which participants choose what they want to learn, from whom they want to learn it, and how this learning will take place. (Check out a preview blog here.)

Also speaking on Monday is Bruno Rouffaer, a professor at the Centrum Business School of PUCP. In the session, Governmental Leadership - The 11 Revolutionary Factors of Success, he will explain how The Ministry of Social Affairs in Belgium, the second largest government institution in the country, changed their vision over the past five years. The ministry sought to downplay top-down leadership, and individual self-control and team collaboration has become the norm. By eliminating personal offices and having employees telework four days a week, the Ministry was able to decrease in burnout, stress, and sick days taken. This is a phenomenon, known as the Copernicus Revolution, is quickly becoming a model to follow—not only for government, but also for private companies.

On Tuesday, Dana Sims, training lead at the Office of the Chief Information Officer in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will discuss why soft skills matter in IT, and will offer practical strategies agencies can use to ensure both technical and leadership skills are being developed in the workplace. Attendees to the session, Techies Need Leaders Too: Building Soft Skills Into IT Training Budgets, will have the opportunity to discuss best practices and hear about the challenges and strategies other agencies have employed to meet their needs.

Speaking at the same time are Judith Katz, executive vice president and client brand at The Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group, and Julie O’Mara, president of O’Mara and Associates. These diversity and inclusion experts will help conference attendees make important connections about what D&I experts know helps talent management executives deliver meaningful results, beyond simply making it a numbers game. The speakers will discuss the comprehensive, systemic changes needed to achieve inclusion in the workplace, and how to reap the benefits of a diverse workforce in the session: More Than a Numbers Game: Integrating Diversity, Inclusion, and Talent Development.

Tuesday afternoon’s session, Secrets to Increasing Leader Effectiveness: Moving Beyond Behavioral Competencies, with associate director at the Federal Consulting Group of the U.S. Department of Interior Steve Frieman will discuss innovative approaches to increasing the potential of leadership. Rather than focus on teaching behavioral skills or competencies, Frieman will help leaders find the best perspectives in dealing with difficult challenges. The premise, Frieman says, is that perspective controls choice, choice controls action, and action leads to results. Learn the process by which leaders can shift their perspectives—particularly during stressful situations—to achieve the best possible results.

After Frieman, well-known author Robin Hunt, will discuss how agencies can foster innovation in order to achieve mission-critical goals during Fostering Innovation to Achieve Mission Critical Goals. Technology has undeniably changed the way government operates, and smart agencies are taking advantage of new tools to improve efficiencies, and new solutions for old problems. It’s important that agencies create an environment where employees are empowered bring forth these new solutions, but what does it innovation look like in the government space? Hunt will explore the obstacles that stand in the way of governmental innovation, and present solutions to help teams nurture creativity.

On Wednesday, Elaine Newton, CEO and senior consultant at Newton LLC/eNewton and Company will explain how presidential transitions provide agencies unique opportunities to showcase the value talent development brings to them. While the current administration’s full impact on talent development programs has yet to be seen, agencies can start now in their efforts to make talent development champions out of their new political appointees. During Presidential Transition: And the Winner Is . . . Talent Development!, Newton will discuss the impact of the new administration to date, educate the audience on the development opportunities available during the transition process, and help develop an action plan for sustaining these talent development efforts for years to come. (Check out a preview blog here.)

Finally, James Nelson, chief at the ARNG RC Accreditation Division of TRADOC Quality Assurance and Amanda Self, TRADOC’s plans and operations officer, will discuss the techniques used to evaluate and accredit diverse learning institutions worldwide. Their session, Practical Applications of Data Triangulation in Evaluation of Learning Institutions,will focus on the practical applications of data triangulation used during accreditation visits to assess training effectiveness and student learning outcomes. Learn new and innovative approaches to data triangulation of information drawn from document review, surveys and assessments, focus groups and interviews and classroom observations.

To learn more about the conference and all of the sessions offered, visit the ATD 2017 conference website. See you soon!

ATD 2017