M Powered Strategies Celebrates the Holidays & the Spirit of Giving

Posted in Corporate Events on December 20, 2011

2011 Holiday Party

In keeping with tradition, M Powered Strategies fed more than just our extended family at the annual Holiday Party. For each plate that was served, $30.00 was donated to Feeding America, whose mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks.

This year’s party was held in the mirrored banquet hall of the Sea Catch Restaurant & Raw Bar in Georgetown. In attendance were current and past M Powered Strategies staff members, Applied Management Professionals, friends, colleagues and corporate partners. Guests enjoyed an evening of great food, fellowship, and Brazilian jazz provided by our very own office manager’s band, Rio Garage.

Special thanks to Selena Hunn and Alessandra Colia for organizing this year’s highly successful extravaganza!

Save the Date: All Hands Meeting

Posted in Corporate Events on December 13, 2011

The All Hands Meeting has been tentatively scheduled for February 12, 2012, in the Grange Conference Room at headquarters. Keep an eye out for the official schedule.

M Powered Strategies to Accelerate the Pace of Professional Development

Posted in PACE Program / Professional Development on December 13, 2011

M Powered Strategies expands on the ethos of the AMP Program to young professionals interested in consulting. The Professional Apprenticeship for Consulting Excellence (PACE) Program aims to accelerate the pace of young professionals’ development by giving them the access and training needed to be successful in management consulting and federal government practice. Through this program, we will expand the M Powered Strategies brand into new universities, build new relationships with prime consulting firms, and elevate the level of talent working in the public sector consulting space by training the next generation of federal practice consultants. The PACE Program looks to further help meet the government’s critical needs by continuing the public service mission of M Powered Strategies.

Please contact Erin Bankey, the PACE Program Coordinator at Erin.Bankey@mpoweredstrategies.com to learn more about how you can be involved!

Visit our PACE Program web page and like us on Facebook!

Kudos from Prime Contractors

Posted in Facilitation on December 13, 2011

ApplauseOver the past three months the Facilitation Service Line has received rave reviews from clients and prime contractors for facilitations in the Department of Veteran Affairs. M Powered Strategies facilitations are known not just for quality delivery on the day(s) of the meeting but also in the thorough preparation leading up to the facilitation itself. Clients are pleasantly surprised to see the robust level of effort that we provide to prepare for facilitations. Our attention to prepare for meetings makes our facilitations more effective for both the client and the prime contractor. The quality of work and success of meetings we facilitate are constant evidence to our prime contractor that we are experts in facilitation and driven to move the client’s agenda forward.

The Facilitation Service Line is continuing to work on various contracts to bring more value to clients through preparation and enhance organizational performance during the facilitation. For more information about the Facilitation Service line, click here.

One VA EA Business Reference Model

Posted in Department of Veterans Affairs / Facilitation on December 13, 2011

M Powered Strategies has played a role in the creation and development of The One VA EA Business Reference Model, or BRM, by providing meeting management and logistical support, as well as providing meeting documentation. With a common set of process definitions to make the complex integration between business processes transparent, the BRM will supports architectural analysis and is a resourceful tool for enabling innovation and transformation. Specifically, the BRM helps the VA to:

  • Improve citizen services by highlighting opportunities to integrate operations and IT investment along common lines of business.
  • Guide VA administrations in the development and submission of business cases, improving the quality of service and lowering costs.
  • Provide IT vendors with a better understanding of the work done by VA administrations to allow them to provide products, and services that are more citizen-focused outcomes along functional lines.

The One VA EA BRM is the first ever-interactive Business Reference Model throughout the entire Federal Government. M Powered Strategies is proud to have played a role in this great accomplishment by the VA!

“Ruthless” Meeting Management

Posted in Department of Veterans Affairs / Facilitation on December 13, 2011

Since the end of May, Brian St.Sauveur has been supporting the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Information and Technology’s Ruthless Reduction Task Force (RRTF). With a goal of identifying upwards of $130,000,000 in IT cost reduction for FY 2012, meetings take place Monday through Thursday, 7:30am-10:30am until the term of the Task Force expires on September 30.

The RRTF is chaired by Dr. Paul Tibbits, the Deputy CIO for Architecture, Strategy, and Design. Task Force members include employees from all VA staff offices and administrations, from technical specialists and engineers to multiple SES-level OIT leaders. Brian provides the full suite of M Powered Strategies meeting management support to Dr. Tibbits and the Task Force, including documenting notes, capturing action items, and eliciting stakeholder communication. In addition, Brian assists in the creation of RRTF briefings for a variety of audiences, which ranges from Mr. Roger Baker, who is the CIO of the VA, OIT SES executives, and other external stakeholders.

M Powered Strategies’ focus on providing all employees with the knowledge base to successfully manage meetings regardless of size or scope allowed Brian to be successful in the high-intensity, high-visibility environment of the RRTF.

Facilitation Reborn

While the Facilitation Service Line has been a core offering at M Powered Strategies for some time, four of the company’s new hires have been re-energizing its efforts and changing how M Powered Strategies defines a service line. Each member of the team brings something different to the table in terms of professional background and personality to round out the team and its entrepreneurial efforts to build a successful arm of the company. The team and Kendall have spent hours deliberating the service line’s core principles, framework, and methodology in regular FSL build meetings and there is still much work to do. All of the time and effort will ultimately pay off with a source document that clearly outlines what it means to be a part of FSL, the service delivered to FSL clients, and the strategic direction for FSL’s growth to address the needs of the market seen in recent solicitations. As FSL continues to mature, our team hopes that other service lines will turn to us if help is needed to jump-start their service lines or facilitate the build. We will continue to develop the service line with new team members, securing contracts, and strengthening our team collaboration.

The FSL staff has also been hard at work with new projects as subcontractors within HHS and VA. Nic Turrentine, Erin Bankey, and Selena Hunn are supporting different meeting management engagements at HHS within the CIO’s office, while Justin is supporting the Stakeholder Enterprise Portal at the VA within VRM initiative.

How Much Do You Know About Organizational Design?

Posted in Corporate Updates / Professional Development on December 13, 2011

Organizational Design SymposiumThe Organizational Design Symposium, led by Nic Turrentine, was designed to educate the participants about the subject and explore avenues to outline the M Powered Strategies Organizational Design Service Line. Brian St.Sauveur, Andrew Slawter, and Wes Cronkite prepared and delivered presentations based on literature they reviewed regarding the subject. Each of them gave informative and engaging presentations that delved into the specifics of Organizational Design, including various models used.

The symposium also consisted of a variety of brainstorming and discussions sessions exploring areas of Organizational Design that M Powered Strategies is currently providing and future areas to grow. These outputs will help develop the core documentation when we are designing how the Organizational Design Service Line will operate. This Symposium was exceptionally educational to all the participants and valuable to the company.

A special thanks to Brian St.Sauveur, Andrew Slawter, and Wes Cronkite for taking extra time beyond their normal work schedule to prepare materials for the symposium and to all participants for attending!

Preparing our Organizational Leaders and Facilitators to Better Serve Government Clients

Erin Bankey led a training session on group dynamics to better inform the company’s work with organizational design, project management, and facilitation. In collaboration with Dr. Sam Steen of The George Washington University, the course covered the five stages of group development and useful techniques to mitigate group problems. Examples raised during the group discussion demonstrated that an understanding of how people interact in groups is essential in client delivery and relevant for our work.

Offering internal training sessions is part of the FSL’s effort to provide professional development for M Powered Strategies employees. The slide deck and presentation notes can be found under Corporate Meetings on SharePoint.

Be looking for more upcoming training offerings from FSL, including strategic communications, interest-based problem solving, leadership development, and conflict resolution! Based on the feedback received so far, project management, process design, proposal writing, and organizational change management are also popular requests for future trainings.

Please feel free to email the FSL team with additional suggestions or requests for desired trainings. We look forward to your valuable input!

Meeting Managers Showcase & Training

Can a meeting that only gets half way through the scheduled agenda be considered successful? Absolutely!

The Meeting Managers Training in September is an excellent example. The afternoon training was a great success, despite only finishing half way, as it showcased current M Powered Strategies supported meetings by each Meeting Managers. These presentations described each meeting’s significance, benefits, and where M Powered Strategies has brought direct value. We also documented a long list of the various tools that M Powered Strategies uses to support the meeting. In total, M Powered Strategies has seven Meeting Managers (and counting) supporting 19 meetings!

Andrew Slawter brought forth his vast M Powered Strategies experience in meeting management and facilitated an informative and entertaining training session on meeting minutes, proper documentation, and procedures. Hard to believe meeting minutes could actually be fun!

Outputs captured from the meeting will help M Powered Strategies develop common standards and train future Meeting Managers. With time shortened from the original schedule, we were only able to get through half of the agenda. The second half of this training session resumed in mid-October and focused on further improving M Powered Strategies meeting management through using technological tools and writing clearer, more effective action Items. Thank you all for your participation and feedback!

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