Improving connections with Congress
Become a trusted and insightful influencer to communicate more directly and clearly
We’re in an age of information and change, bombarded by so much input that focusing on what’s most important can be a debilitating struggle. There’s a genuine desire for a means to make sense of it all, and that’s led to the appearance of influencers—people who have captured attention and gathered a following, enabling them to break through all the noise.
The rise of the influencer culture points to a prime opportunity for the DoD financial management community. By offering a cadre of knowledgeable voices able to speak with authority on complex issues, engagement with key government stakeholders can become far more productive, effective and efficient in their stewardship role.
Who would make a good influencer?
Helping members of the U.S. Congress and other authorities in government make sense out of DoD budgets and expenditures requires the unique relationships, skills, and knowledge to be found in the DoD domain. Individuals who have developed all three elements are well positioned to become “brand ambassadors” for DoD financial management, promoting new ideas, successes, and the efficient and effective use of U.S. taxpayer funds.
It’s not necessary for an individual such as this to be a political appointee. Effectiveness as an influencer comes from knowledge, credibility, and a talent for connecting with people. The ideal influencer could be a federal employee or a contractor—the role does have relevance but the key is the individual’s skill in communicating effectively by articulating key challenges and concepts in a clear and consistent way.
Helping members of the U.S. Congress and other authorities in government make sense out of DoD budgets and expenditures requires the unique relationships, skills, and knowledge to be found in the DoD domain.
Working within the chain of command
Every organization has a hierarchy or chain of command that must be respected. That’s not going to change (nor should it), but we believe there are opportunities to enhance communication and collaboration—to rethink the way business is done between the Legislative branch and the country’s largest agency from a financial management perspective.
Influencers can add value and perspective in using their relationships to facilitate conversations within the chain of command and with Congress. Influencer culture is a product of pervasive connectivity, and the same tools that give all of us instant access to one another—emails, blogs, and group chats, for example—can be leveraged to help the DoD financial management community speak with a unified voice.
By enabling better collaboration through more effective communication on matters of financial management, the potential exists to facilitate better decision making and faster responses to queries from the U.S. Congress. Communication among key stakeholders up and down the chain of command becomes more immediate, which can help build stronger relationships within the financial community and its support team as well as with Congressional counterparts.
The bottom line: It’s all about the outcome
Improving connections with Congress is, ultimately, a means to an end: better and more timely results. This is the essential guiding principle for any communications initiative: First, determine and articulate the desired outcome, then open a dialogue about ways to achieve it, and finally take decisive, fact-based action.
This is something that existing structures and relationships are not always able to accomplish consistently… and it’s where tapping into the way we interact with one another in today’s world can, in our view, be of great benefit. By connecting with people and articulating the case for better financial management, it becomes possible to uncover new opportunities and find the right answers more effectively than ever before.