Gregg Mossburg of CGI Federal: Business development through thought leadership

Gregg Mossburg is head of CGI Federal Solution and Business Development. Here's his take on today's business development environment for government contractors:

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ExecutiveBiz: What's the objective of your thought leadership efforts?

Gregg Mossburg: The objective of our thought leadership program is to engage with federal customers and executives in topics of importance to them. We work with George Mason and a couple other universities to bring thought leaders from academia as well as our company to address some of the tougher issues they wrestle with on the ground “¦ things like transparency as a management tool, recovery act acquisition. This is all about our efforts to help agencies better navigate some of the harder issues they're facing.

ExecutiveBiz: What results have you seen from your thought leadership forums?

Gregg Mossburg: The forums help agencies better understand the commercial perspective, and they helps us better understand the federal perspective. Further down the stream, during business development activities, the forums help us to better plan ahead. The extent that we can engage with our federal customers ahead of time allows both parties to get ahead of the game. Those agencies that do the upfront planning have a better idea of how to engage with industry, whether in terms of being sensitive to OCI or working within the fixed-price contracting model.

ExecutiveBiz: OCI and fixed price contracts are certainly not new words. What's different about today's conversation from a contractor's perspective?

Gregg Mossburg: I think what's different in today's world is to offer and work with government agencies to provide line of sight into where their money is going. All agencies are under increased demands to report out, demonstrate value, and have clarity about what they're getting for the taxpayer dollars they're spending. It's incumbent upon all of us in the contracting community “” whether it be under a fixed price or some other procurement type contact “” to provide that as part of our solutions.

ExecutiveBiz: How can business development executives most effectively provide line of sight into projects?

Gregg Mossburg: First, you've got to build it in from the beginning. Second, you've got to report on it with greater frequency than we've grown accustomed to. Third, you've got to focus on the government program's ability to make course-correcting moves within a fiscal year, not at the end of it. Even increasing frequency to as often as a month gives executives an ability to look at how things are going and make course corrections.

ExecutiveBiz: What tactics help you establish a network of allies?

Gregg Mossburg:
We typically work with federal agencies that have laid out a detailed plan prior to the official procurement process that has built in time with industry. Agencies that do that end up with a far more sound, compelling, and actionable program plan than those who try to cram it into a 30, 60, or 90-day window. That's where we've seen the most success in the market and that's what we look for.

ExecutiveBiz: What's the best way you've found to stay on top of trends?

Gregg Mossburg: It's easy to get caught up in hype. The best way to stay abreast of trends is to continue to be engaged with your customers. You can do that through forums that aren't specifically targeted at closing a sale or talking about day-to-day activities but that allow you to take a step back and listen to customer challenges. We don't want to be talking to our customers about the next great thing that isn't.  We want to be talking to our customers about solutions that will make an impact on their ability to achieve their mission.

ExecutiveBiz: What remains the most fulfilling part of your work?

Gregg Mossburg: The creativity and innovation that comes with helping agencies navigate the economy, certainly the budget constraints and the aspirations of this administration. Each presents complex situations that our customers are going through. I personally thrive on working through those kinds of issues, and that attitude is shared by my compatriots here at CGI.

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