The dramatic culture shift that needs to happen for government agencies to embrace change kept coming up at the SOLUTIONS conference like the refrain of a popular song: agencies must move from an emphasis on risk avoidance to a focus on risk management. Without that shift, the quest to achieve 100 percent risk avoidance is quixotic at best; more realistically, it hampers agencies' ability to share information.
Addressing "Best Practices and Case Studies: The Framework for Allied/Coalition Information Sharing," panelists at yesterday afternoon's second track session weren't able to come up with best practices in action so much as they made recommendations for what needs to happen to facilitate best practices. Among those points:
One of the biggest barriers of all, the panelists agreed, was the lethargic attitude toward the changes that need to happen. "We are hearing the cry for better answers technologically and procedurally, but it's a painful and long process," said Stempfley.
"Operators come to us with a good idea. Vendors come to us with good solutions. But we always run into the policy barrier that slows us down," Jones added. "It's always a six to 12 to 24 month process. If [the agency] was truly embracing information sharing, that policy would have been changed."
Ultimately, they decided to weigh in with the biggest challenge in information sharing that is making little to no progress. Simply put, "Cultural changes and policy changes," said Jones. "Embrace these changes to provide a common network for the warfighter so he can get the information he needs, when he needs it, to achive the mission."