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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Thought Leader Profile - Paul Brinkley

"Changing the business practices at the U.S. Department of Defense means more than saving money. DOD leaders believe it's a matter of life and death. And they think Paul Brinkley is just the man for the job.

YOU WOULDN'T GUESS IT FROM THE NAME, but the Department of Defense's business management modernization project isn't just another initiative to update business processes, rein in runaway costs or replace a tangle of legacy computer systems with an integrated network more suited to the 21st century. In fact, to hear Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld tell it, it's not about business practices or financial accountability at all. In 2001, just prior to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Rumsfeld said, 'It is not, in the end, about business practices, nor is it the goal to improve figures on the bottom line. It's about the security of the United States of America. And let there be no mistake, it is a matter of life and death. Our job is defending America, and if we cannot change the way we do business, then we cannot do our job well, and we must.'

Leading the transformation is an enor mous job with enormous responsibility. Rumsfeld has handed that responsibility to Paul Brinkley. As deputy under secretary of Defense for business transformation, he is overseeing the Defense Department's business management modernization program. Brinkley also heads the Business Transformation Agency (BTA), a new organization accountable for streamlining the thousands of systems that support logistics, acquisition, finance and personnel activity across the Department of Defense (DOD). But as Brinkley is quick to point out, the program's overall objective is not to cut the number of systems in use across the various branches of the military; it's something much more results-oriented: improving support for the country's warfighters.

The very existence of his organization within the DOD reflects the increasing complexity of our nation's security challenges. Just as our fighting"

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