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Leidos’ Arthur Mabbett, 2 Circle’s John Kovach: Cultural Reform Needed in Gov’t Acquisition

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Arthur Mabbett, vice president and deputy director of Leidos' Innovation Center, and John Kovach, consultant at 2 Circle Consulting, have said that leadership, vision and incentives are key to driving cultural change in government acquisition.

Mabbett and Kovach wrote in an opinion piece published Tuesday on National Defense Magazine that agencies should consider establishing an “incubator“ to help identify potential resources for technology development.

They noted that agencies must implement new approaches similar to the U.S. Air Force's Vanguard initiative and execute “deliberate planning“ to establish incubator programs while addressing bureaucracy challenges in transitioning research into fielding.

According to Mabbet and Kovach, agencies should have consistent leadership, a risk-accepting culture and program incentives that align with mission goals.

Organizations should also “select individuals that can think creatively and apply their requisite experiences“ to improve project procedures, they added.

“The department and industry partners should consider creating incubators that are staffed with the “˜right' people, incentivized and chartered to solve urgent needs for our warfighters,“ said Mabbett and Kovach.

“Through the shared successes and failures, a culture will emerge with the ability to harness the tools Congress has provided, leading to the acquisition change desired as individuals return to the broader defense acquisition community.“

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