For me, the big deal is that everyone understands the need to focus on a culture of genuine customer service, not just talking about it, but really doing it. However, in any large group that kind of change is really difficult, for reasons no one really gets.

That applies to all large groups, private industry as well as gov't.

I feel that the cultural beachhead to make this happen is the internal "innovation initiative", where the rank and file of an organization get together, online, and work on what makes sense to fix things. People can vote up the good stuff. In a sense, this is a suggestion box, tied to a serious force multiplier.

What's needed is total commitment from management, including Deputy Secretaries, Secretaries, and this Barack guy. That is, employees figure out what needs to happen, from the bottom up, and then management supports it. Looks like it's starting to work at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

What I think I saw at the Forum is serious support for that.

Also, I think I volunteered for a new innovation initiative at the meeting, another Department.

More to come ...