Gregory Giddens, former Chief Acquisition Officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs and partner at Potomac Ridge Consulting, discusses the fallout of David Shulkin’s dismissal from VA.
With David Shulkin out at the Department of Veterans Affairs, employees at VA are wondering how operations will be impacted by this shake-up. Three of the top four positions at the agency are now filled by acting personnel, but according to Gregory Giddens, former Chief Acquisition Officer at VA and partner at Potomac Ridge Consulting, that might not be as big an issue as it seems. “I think for the day-to-day operations there’s not a huge impact. The VA was focused on improving the experience of veterans, providing service and delivery, and while certainly for vision-casting… the leadership plays a huge factor, but when you get beyond the Beltway, the leadership jockeying around in DC plays less and less of a factor,” Giddens said. Giddens thinks the best advice for workers at VA would be to keep their heads down and continue with their work. “Leadership plays a role in organizations, but really the relationship that’s most important is that first or second line supervisor with their employee,” Giddens told Government Matters. “Study after study says that’s where the benefit comes, that’s where the trust is built… In that context, it’s really important for those employees and those first line leaders to keep the mission in focus, and how to deliver that for veterans.”