Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Silent Rex Tillerson spoke to staff and families of the U.S. Missions in Brussels today, which I guess must mean that the packout from his Washington residence has been delayed yet again, because I've been reading for months now about how every day is his last.

Anyway, while he is still on the clock he made some further remarks about the redesign effort. One new tidbit: he says it is now beginning the implementation phase, which means they'll be some announcements in the next couple of weeks and townhall meetings before the end of the year.

Here are the complete remarks:
I want to say just a couple of words about the State Department. The redesign, which everyone seems to be an expert on – (laughter) – we’re actually going to be doing some town halls here before the end of the year, because the teams, your teams – and this is an employee-led effort – all the teams are led by your colleagues at the State Department. We’ve had multiple teams working on the redesign. We’ve been through phase one, now we’ve just completed phase two, and we’re going to transition to phase three, which is now execution.

And so now we’re in a position to really talk about some concrete things. And there’s two kind of broad elements of this, if I could have you think about it this way: There’s a huge leadership element where we see we need to do some things with a lot of the systems and developing people, servicing their needs, and a lot of leadership areas that we’re going to address. And then there’s what I call the modernization of the State Department. And modernization is anything from having an IT system that’s in the cloud and lets you work efficiently, to modernizing a lot of our practices and policies and principles to recognize today’s working families. The workforce has changed, and over the last 20 years State Department policies haven’t necessarily changed with it. So we have a lot of modernization to do from a policy standpoint.

We have some modernization to do with how we get things done efficiently and effectively – again, using today’s approaches. So again, your colleagues have really led this effort. They’ve met with a lot of great ideas out, and now we’re ready to begin to execute against those. So we’ve got some programmatic areas and we’ve got some projects to undertake. We’re going to talk some more about that in the coming days and share with you the specifics.

We’ve got what we call some quick wins. I think you’re going to be happy with some of the quick wins that we’re going to announce here in the next couple of weeks because I think they get right to some of the issues that we’ve heard from you in the listening exercise. And for those of you that participated back when we did the survey, 35,000 of you responded. That’s where all these ideas came from. Over 300 face-to-face interviews. And we’ve kept the portals open so you can continue to put things into the process, and I can tell you that people look at every idea that comes in and it gets incorporated into the work that others are doing.

So we’ll have more to say about that to you in the next couple of weeks, before the end of the year. We’ll share some things with everyone so you know where this is going. It really has one objective in mind, and that’s to allow you to be more effective at what your talents already allow you to do, and also to prepare you to do more and allow you to have a much more rewarding career and do it in a way that isn’t so frustrating sometimes because some of the processes you have to interface with are frustrating. So we’re going to be addressing a lot of that, and hopefully when it’s all said and done you’re going to have a much more satisfying work environment, a great career ahead of you, and we’re going to be much more effective and much more efficient in how we do it. That’s really the objective of the whole exercise. There’s nothing more to it than that.

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