We pride ourselves on a team of experts who stay ahead of the curve, allowing us to bring the most innovative business process improvements to our partners across the nation.
We’re celebrating this innovation by highlighting team members who are guiding growth in the industries we serve. Each month our Industry Innovators will share their experiences and insights about IT, healthcare, the public sector, and more.
The series will commence with the incomparable Chad Kudym, a Senior Customer Relationship Manager in the public sector.
We asked 10 questions to highlight Chad’s background, passion, and knowledge. Let’s jump in.
- What is something you have recently learned from a client/partner about the industry?
- Some of my best customers are CIOs or other government executives who are change agents. They are not willing to accept the “we’ve always done it that way” answer. They were hired because they are willing to challenge the status quo to improve customer service to other government employees, businesses, and the public.
- Tell us about a recent project that you are proud of.
- I have been involved with the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy for about ten years. We are working with them to improve access to forms to accomplish their mission of 100% online access to agency permits, licenses, and other forms. We put a framework in place with basic forms and to get started and we add more capability to it each year to help them achieve their goal and improve customer service to Nebraska businesses and individuals.
- What do you do to stay on top of industry trends?
- I use multiple sources. I start my day by looking through my Twitter and LinkedIn feeds of government and technology accounts. I use Feedly.com to find articles related to industry trends and current events. I also have some favorite sites such as Fast Company, Inc, Entrepreneur, and WIRED magazine. I also listen to webinars and attend events to learn more about technology and continuous improvement techniques.
- Discuss a recent news headline pertinent to the public sector industry – what is your take on it?
- NASCIO published results from its annual survey of state CIOs that showed customer relationship management as a key objective. I completely agree with this. I regularly work with central IT organizations and one of their biggest obstacles is working through relationships with other agencies/departments that have evolved over decades of interaction. They provide a wide range of services that need to be coordinated and evaluated holistically.
- What book are you currently reading?
- Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. I appreciate Brene’s approach to challenging people to be vulnerable. She talks about a presentation with US Special Forces where she asked if there is a single act of courage that does not involve vulnerability. The group agreed that you have to embrace vulnerability to be courageous. Her book talks about ways to use this concept to motivate teams to work better together.
- If you could change one thing about the Public Sector, what would it be and why?
- The procurement process is often driven by rules associated with purchasing commodities. This process does not work well in the technology sector because so much of the value of the vendor is in their staff. If an agency selects the lowest cost vendor or a vendor the promises the world but can’t deliver then the agency loses valuable time and money. I’m excited about the process some cities such as the City of Carlsbad, CA are using to work with potential vendors to see how they approach issues and solve them.
- What led you down your career path?
- A single presentation by a gentleman from the National Academy of Sciences change the course of my career. The speaker presented on renewable energy and how technology such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to help site wind farms. I was hooked, I had to find out what college had classes in the technology because GIS brought together my interests in computer science, graphic design, planning, problem-solving, and environmental issues. From there my career evolved into using technology as a decision support system.
- What is a common misconception about the public sector?
- Every day we see government employees spending long hours and going above and beyond their call of duty to provide services to constituents. This isn’t always the perception you hear. Our role is to help empower them to accomplish even more with the time they are investing in public service. Our role is to help empower them to accomplish even more with the time they are investing in public service.
- What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their career in the public sector?
- Look for a mentor who wants to help you succeed. Developing relationships with senior staff help you understand why they are in their role and how that translates into what they do. When I worked at a public sector agency my boss would often attend meetings that had almost nothing to do with the services we were providing to local government agencies. Through time I began to understand that he was developing relationships that were key to his success. He was establishing trust by attending meetings and events that he didn’t need to participate in. That trust carried over into the services we provided which meant he would be the first person they would turn to when they really needed help.
- In your opinion, what makes DataBank different?
- We have employees who want to make a difference for our customers. We are studying industry trends to evaluate where we can provide the best consulting services, technology is only part of the equation. The human element of process improvement is very important, and we are focused on helping guide users through the stages of development.