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Executive Spotlight: Kim Lynch, Executive Vice President at Booz Allen

Executive Spotlight: Kim Lynch, Executive Vice President at Booz Allen - top government contractors - best government contracting event

Kim Lynch, executive vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz regarding the company’s strong culture and core values as its leadership addresses the complex challenges of retaining and growing its workforce in the federal landscape.

In addition, Lynch also discussed the company’s strategic growth goals for 2022 and the impact that artificial intelligence and machine learning on decision making challenges in our industry during the latest Executive Spotlight interview.

“Booz Allen will continue to evolve and keep our customers ahead of the challenges that lie in front of them. To do this, we are reimagining our innovation agenda, working shoulder-to-shoulder with our mission experts and other technologists, to drive mission-technology integrations that deliver outcomes for our clients.”

You can read the full Executive Spotlight interview with Kim Lynch below:

ExecutiveBiz: What are your strategic goals for the coming year? What do you hope to accomplish and any new markets that you’re keeping an eye on in the federal sector?

Kim Lynch: “Booz Allen has been heavily focused and engaged in how the pace of transformation is changing in the power competition between not only the United States, but all of our adversaries.

Today’s rapid pace of technology modernization is truly reshaping the national security landscape. As a result, our strategic goals continue to be aligned to our clients, to give them decision-based and strategic advantages through applying emerging technology.

For Booz Allen, our role is to help clients accelerate their adoption of new technologies. Our entire firm is focused on leveraging our deep mission insights to bring differentiated technologies to the heart of our clients’ missions.

For me, personally, I’m in a leadership role within our National Security Sector helping to drive our technology solutions investments focused on cybersecurity, AI, quantum computing, 5G and how they can help accelerate how we process data.

Today, there is such a vast wealth of data available, and it is critical to bring our clients future solutions into play to gain insights from that data instead of past production methodologies. We’re really looking at that modernization and how we work across client areas to create solutions.

There’s so much happening in terms of full-spectrum cyber operations and how we bring those capabilities to bear across our entire portfolio. Ultimately, our work is all about helping our clients propel their missions forward. As a result, our ability to search across different client areas as needed has been really powerful in the market.

We can bring the greatest kind of innovation, capabilities, and delivery teams from other parts of our business into our National Security Sector as needed and vice versa. Our collaboration across the firm, in turn, helps our Intelligence Community clients to bring the best solutions and practices to the mission.

One of the other capabilities our clients are heavily investing in is the cloud, including how to utilize the cloud for processing information. We’re spending a lot of time with our clients to create new technology and tools to collect and process data to deliver outcomes.

While developing these new tools, we’re also heavily invested in showcasing the operational value and the benefits of those tools for user adoption purposes.

There’s a real sense of purpose for us to work closely with our clients to drive their missions. Some of it is also about leveraging Booz Allen’s commercial partnerships to create new technologies. We see it across all of our clients who have prioritized not only technology innovation, but partnerships with industry as well.

We’ve been really focused on partnering with some of the innovative tech firms to help navigate the government space and be able to tailor the technology our clients bring to the table to actually be applicable to what our clients need.”

ExecutiveBiz: With artificial intelligence and machine learning impacting most industries and the U.S. military dramatically as we move forward, what has impressed you the most about the technology’s capabilities to improve decision making across the federal sector and all areas? In addition, how can AI be used to address some of the biggest challenges you see in your industry?

Kim Lynch: “Artificial intelligence and machine learning is an evolution that has been so interesting to study. I was previously a counter terrorism (CT) analyst, working post-9/11 issues on client programs, and I can acknowledge that, years ago, the role required a significant amount of innovative analysis tracked in manual processes.

Later in my career, I started running data science teams and what used to take me weeks, they could accomplish in a fraction of the time. Now, I’m working with our AI teams to create new artificial intelligence algorithms and the power of being able to complete tasks is remarkable.

One of the things that’s most exciting about how the Intelligence Community has evolved and embraced AI is it lets the analysts do what they’re best suited for, which is the higher end analysis about how the data has already been structured.

You have a much bigger viewpoint. You can look at all of the different pieces of collected data, or at least the majority of it, and then you can critically think about the information you have in front of you.

At some point in time, the ability for the analysts to spend their time critically thinking and having a much bigger picture not only helps with the analytic assurance, but it ensures we’re seeing valid information that is sharable.

The power of AI, in terms of super analysts, is something that we’re seeing and the ability to increase confidence in assessments and analytic products has just been exponential.”

ExecutiveBiz: What are the core values that are important to your company’s culture? How has your team developed its workflow and ability to drive success in such a competitive market?

Kim Lynch: “Booz Allen will continue to evolve and keep our customers ahead of the challenges that lie in front of them. To do this, we are reimagining our innovation agenda, working shoulder-to-shoulder with our mission experts and other technologists, to drive mission-technology integrations that deliver outcomes for our clients.

For our intel clients, that means helping them to fulfil the national intelligence policy directive to be more integrated, agile, resilient, and innovative. As our adversaries continue to morph, we continue to accelerate our technical and innovative approaches. We’re passionate about our clients’ missions and provide hands-on expertise to help protect our nation.

As a firm, we believe our purpose is to empower people to change the world. That is what we aspire to do, and those are the guardrails for our workforce to ensure that all the nearly 30,000 Booz Allen employees have a collective understanding and value around our spirit of competition, innovation, taking calculated risks and focusing on our clients.

Our goal is to bring the best of Booz Allen to any client challenge, that could be on my team, in the National Security Sector, or across the firm – we are one team, driven by collective ingenuity.

How do we bring the collective wisdom and experience of Booz Allen to each client challenge that we have? It starts by putting our clients first – really taking the time to understand their mission and how we can move it forward. That has been a significant part of our culture for the 23 years that I’ve been with this company.

That is the most important method by which we continue to succeed and grow our business. We operate at the intersection of mission and technology. Our primary focus is helping our clients, always doing the right thing for them in support of their missions while holding each other accountable to the highest standards.

With my team, I’ve specifically focused on a client-centric approach to our business over the last year or so. We need to be the trusted partners working with them because our company wants to bring a differentiated set of solutions to their problems, and not only technology solutions.

We want to bring in the technology that’s going to solve the problem they’re working on, but also be the ones that can help them with user adoption as well as all of the services they might need to be successful.”

ExecutiveBiz: How does your company ensure long term success for your workforce to drive value for your employees as you continue to face the uphill challenge to recruit and retain the best talent in the federal marketplace?

Kim Lynch: “As challenging and difficult as the pandemic has been, it enabled Booz Allen to empower our teams at every level to create even more innovative approaches. I think whenever you go through a catastrophic event, it creates a new paradigm and drives change. Obviously, we’re seeing that across the entire country in terms of workforce and how people are working.

We’re also seeing it in our sector regarding how to pivot to hybrid work, where it’s appropriate, and how to apply lessons learned during the pandemic to leverage advantages of hybrid work.

We’ve had some of our agile developers on programs that are working remotely increase their productivity by 15 to 20 percent. Once they were able to focus and lock in, we saw their productivity really increase. We want to maintain those benefits while also keeping our flexibility for our employees.

We’re really trying to segment our work with our clients to understand what can be done at the unclassified level, what should be done in a classified facility, and how we segment the work, so our people have the flexibility to work in different environments.

Our teams really appreciate that flexibility because they know that when you serve the national security mission, you’re generally working in classified environments. Providing our workforce with flexibility in order for them to help our clients with their greatest needs is crucial to our success.”

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Written by William McCormick

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