Friday, January 07, 2011
Dan Callahan

As readers have noticed, change can mean opportunity, when selling to the IC.  But, if you and I don’t take a few moments, every quarter, we’ll miss the significance of the changes and the chance to leverage them into our own benefit.  Here are some examples that strike me as possibly useful.


More openness in the IC:  I noticed some NRO RFPs that hit the street very recently, meaning ‘open source access points’ that do not require a clearance to review them.  This is a positive sign and continues to silence the complainer that “too much is placed behind the veil of secrecy.”   


Personnel Changes at several agencies:  this produces opportunity for a new approach, a new champion, a new agenda.  As a services firm, with folks providing day-to-day contributions down in the agency, you should be asking your teammates, “who’s new in the zoo?” and as a business executive, setting up meetings with the new managers.  Ask the new managers what they hope to accomplish during their tenure and see if you can help.   


New Leadership installed over the last several months:  the IC CIO, the DoD CIO, the NRO CIO, the NGA’s CIO, are all new!  They tend to bring new staff with them as well.  I am also deeply impressed with the NSA and their new approach (in IAD specifically) towards product development. I don’t like to dwell on past mistakes and previous regimes because it’s too much like Monday morning quarterbacking… Debora Plunkett is on target and has my support!


New facilities are being constructed and occupied.  Sales professionals always enjoy seeing new construction projects.  This means new cubicles, new networks, new desktops, new points of access… the whole works!  Is your target agency building any new buildings?


AFRICOM is gaining altitude: I will be exploring this in the coming months, but Africa is a BIG continent.   The diversity of its political spectrum and citizen woes are exceeded only by the geography of the land   mass.   Naturally, there is a security component and intelligence challenge to the combatant command’s list of priorities.  If you’re not convinced of this, just ponder the language challenges when trying to penetrate a new continent.  It’s mind boggling.  I never thought I would say this, but Africa may be the land of opportunity if you have the ability to support the IC and DoD internationally.  Stay tuned.


What have I missed?  Do any of you see opportunity on the horizon?