DOC Talks About Importance and Diversity of Mission


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Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker recognizes the men and women who work tirelessly on behalf of America’s businesses, communities and workers
Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker recognizes the men and women who work tirelessly on behalf of America’s businesses, communities and workers

Guest blog by Dawn Marie Bailey, Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, National Institute of Standards and Technology


How many of these Department of Commerce (DOC) acronyms can you spell out?  Better yet, for how many of these agencies can you proudly talk about the value they add and the work they accomplish? And better still, for how many of these agencies, can you tell a story about a person, a company, a community that will live a better, more productive life because a DOC agency was there to provide support, guidance, and resources?

Las t month, twenty-two speakers representing nine agencies and twelve regional offices across Commerce joined together to tell their stories for the first-ever DOC Talks event. Over the course of the day, more than 800 Commerce employees in locations around the world viewed the broadcast online while a live audience watched from the Herbert Hoover Auditorium.  These powerful 12-minute stories, now available on the Commerce Department YouTube channel, put a uniquely DOC spin on the storytelling style of the popular TED Talks.

Stories illustrate the diversity of DOC agencies’ missions: flight into hurricanes; the removal of ocean debris; collection and dissemination of data; nuclear science; improved internet search engines; help for communities after natural disasters; help for inventors seeking patents without legal representation; the opening of new markets; and a framework to ensure effective and efficient use of resources.  Chosen from nearly 150 submissions, these success stories explain in employees’ own words how trade promotion, technology, data, patents, sustainable fisheries, monitoring the environment, and performance excellence support Commerce’s Open for Business Agenda.

To mark Public Service Recognition Week, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker recognized the men and women who work tirelessly on behalf of America’s businesses, communities and workers. In particular, she thanked all Commerce employees for advancing the “Open for Business Agenda” and for the commitment to building a culture of excellence and responsiveness.  ​Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews  also recognized Commerce employees stating, “Few people understand how far reaching and how expansive the Department of Commerce is and what a great impact our employees have on the lives of people and citizens around the country and around the world every single day. And even fewer people understand the unique role that our different bureaus play. . . DOC Talks aims to change that. This is an opportunity to share your stories. Celebrate your successes, and shine more light on the incredible work that you do each and every day here at the Department of Commerce. I cannot think of a better way to take part in public service recognition week then to hear great stories about the fabulous work being done around this department.”

The DOC Performance Team planned and orchestrated the event and, with staff from the Federal Performance Improvement Council (PIC), provided training in “storytelling.” In addition, each presenter or presenting duo was supported in various ways by their colleagues and agency leadership.  In many cases presenters engaged their entire office or team in the preparation, rehearsal and refinement of their Talks over the months leading up to last month's event.

PIC Executive Director, Kate Josephs, said, “We believe that effective communication of an organization’s mission, vision, impact, lessons, and insights is very important to achieving really amazing results for the American people. We strongly advocate using storytelling to explain programs and provide the inspiration needed to get results to the next level. . . . We don’t hear nearly enough about the inspiring work that our federal employees do every single day, but that’s changing today.” Chris Heflin, the Director of the DOC Performance Team offered “the stories are engaging and important; they make you proud to be part of the Department of Commerce.”

Feedback for the 2016 DOC presenters, as well as suggestions and comments for future DOC Talks, can be sent to [email protected].


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Last updated: 2016-06-06 11:40

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