ECQ Example Leading Change

This Leading Change ECQ has been modified and is only a partial story. Each SES candidate has a different story to tell with diverse competencies explaining their individual executive leadership characteristics.

I create and lead organizational change with a clear sense of direction and a strong sense of purpose, as I truly value the long-lasting effects of positive changes and improvements within the corporate federal community. As Director, Financial Management (GS-0301-15) at the U.S. Department of Commerce, I have specific expertise leading major organizational change at the executive level. In February 2010, I accepted a reassignment from Deputy Director to Acting Director at a time when the Chairman of the agency was looking for someone to create a much stronger financial and administrative management function within the agency; I was that person.

ECQ Example Leading ChangeThe department consisted of a headquarters (HQ) division and eight regional offices. When I took the position, I quickly realized that the budget-planning process was essentially non-existent and senior executives were only marginally involved in the overall budget formulation or planning process. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had recently implemented new rules/requirements designed to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse, and the senior executives and the budget officer were still adjusting course in response to these new rules.

My multifaceted challenge was to develop an agency-wide budget-planning process that could be implemented to better align efforts with strategic objectives. Further, the budget officer left the agency with two weeks’ notice, the agency was tasked by Members of Congress to provide three years of budget and staffing data within 48 hours, and the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget call and mid-year budget allocations were due. Despite the absence of a budget officer, pending internal requirements, and major pressure from Congress on a short timeframe, I maintained a confident, positive outlook and focus. The Chairman had entrusted me to change the way my organization conducted critical budget planning, and I began immediately to take action toward that end.

First, I studied the new budget rules, observed existing budget processes and internal controls, and examined budget programs in a number of other agencies. I solicited training needs assessments from senior executives and their administrative officers and distributed budget-planning documents to assist them in developing a viable budget allocation for the coming year. I soon realized that there was limited prior budget planning or exposure for executives in either strategic planning or the budget formulation process. I set out to educate and convince senior executives that the organization would be much more successful if it took on a stronger role in the budget process (and that it was critical in meeting the Chairman’s vision for the agency).

I led a team of budget and management specialists in developing senior executive training on budget planning and allocation, specifically tailored to address the looming FY 2012 budget call…

This Leading Change ECQ example goes on to describe how this executive created cultural change within the agency and how he implemented a fully automated budget solution.  The solutions implemented resulted in improved employee morale and additional training resulting in the staff becoming a cohesive team.  Under his executive’s leadership, actions that took months were reduced to 20 days and overall errors were reduced by 55%


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