Elvis is leaving the building
- By Mark Amtower
- Mar 21, 2016
In eight short months there will be a presidential election.
Between now and January, 2017, appointees will be vacating the premises. Some
of this migration has already begun. Among these will be many CIOs and other
senior IT appointees.
The new crew arrives in early 2017.
For those who don’t remember, when the ship landed in January
2009 there were some surprises for the contracting community, not all of which
were enjoyable. This is not a political value judgement, this is a verifiable
fact. Just go back and read the trade press, blogs and other information
sources from the period.
What we will have is possibly a whole new game. Regardless
of who wins, a fresh crew comes in to either re-direct programs or continue the
current policies. But you can be certain that disruption will occur.
How do you make your
transition period more seamless and painless?
In all likelihood you’ve already done part of this, but you
need to build relationships deeper down into the agencies you serve. You also
need to support these people during the transition.
CIOs and appointees are great for photo ops, but having
deeper relationships in the agencies with the key staffers who will be there
regardless of who inhabits the White House is a major key for keeping your
Don’t get me wrong. When the new CIOs come in, you will need
to meet them and develop relationships as well, but they won’t be the ones in
the trenches. Each will be learning from their staff what they need to know and
what direction they have been going. What you need is relationships with those
on the front lines.
If you don’t already have relationships with the key staff,
one simply way to find them is to leverage LinkedIn.
When you look up a key player on LinkedIn, an agency CIO, chief
technology officer, chief information security officer, program manager or
someone similar, on the right side of their profile is “People Also
Viewed”. What you normally find here are
peers and direct reports, other CIOs or people who are reporting directly to
this CIO. As you look carefully at each profile, you will identify many of the
agency influencers you will need to know to maintain relationships with that
For many larger companies your business development staff
and program managers already know these people. For mid-size and small
companies, perhaps not.
When you are browsing FCW
and you’re reading an article about how an agency is using a particular
technology, look up the agency personnel quoted in the article on LinkedIn. If
this is a technology you sell, you need to look at the “People Also Viewed” and
start determining the players in that agency who might influence the direction
of how that technology is used.
In a recent presentation to a group of small business
executives at AFCEA I pointed this and a few other things out. After the
presentation, several came up to say they would now start to use LinkedIn in a
more tactical way.
We all need to do this, leverage the tools available to our
Before Elvis leaves the building, beef up your networks with
key connections in the agencies where you currently do work.
Mark Amtower’s LinkedIn for GovCon workshop will be in
Tyson’s Corner March 23 and in Columbia
MD April 7. Details at http://blog.federaldirect.net/
Mark Amtower advises government contractors on all facets of business-to-government (B2G) marketing and leveraging LinkedIn. Find Mark on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/markamtower.