"Kitty’s first chapter is a must read – foundational, challenging and insightful.  I learned from reading about others’ journeys and the videos filled other pieces of the puzzle – I especially enjoyed the conversation with Lora Allen."  —Mark Dronfield, 32 years in government service

"You aptly defined the critical difference between boundary spanning and networking. Brava.
When I was learning how to be a USAF Officer, it was tattooed on my psyche that yes, I was expected to follow orders, but that unless I used my judgment, discretion, and personal initiative in doing so, then I wasn’t earning my pay. While I was still a 2nd Lieutenant, it became obvious that the USAF expected of me far less than I had to offer, so that it was entirely up to me to figure out when, where and how to do my best."  —Carol Willett, Sculptor and retired Chief Learning Officer, GAO

I just got a chance to read Permission to Practice - it's great because of the concrete examples. SO many people need to hear the message.
One of the biggest limitations to careers is self-imposed; people think that they aren't good enough, senior enough, or whatever to take initiative.  Rachel Happe, Founder of Engaged Organizations and The Community Roundtable.

All videos on this page illustrate boundary spanning activity that actually occurred.

How to use these examples:

  • Put yourself in the frame as a seeker. How might you plan and conduct an intentional conversation with someone new, and what would you do similarly or differently to put yourself and the other at ease? Does this give you ideas about pursuing mission objectives by partnering with others across silos? Doing it perfectly is never a requirement. As Arthur Ashe, a tennis great who practiced his way to three Grand Slam singles titles, once said, "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."
  • If you are a supervisor, which conversations, if any, concern you? Do some present minor risks you could mitigate by agreeing on guardrails with your direct reports, and would you like to work with us to draft such guardrails? Are there incipient connections between your unit and another that have the potential to spark better results and innovative thinking? Don't ignore your own needs for support and psychological safety. How might you adapt an example shown here to accomplish mission objectives, or even to pursue your own professional development?

    Please let Kitty Wooley know if you want to refine or extend your practice of public service boundary spanning in collegial mastermind conversations with us during 2022. We expect that these free experimental sessions will be tailored to two groups:

    1) Current government employees
    2) Students and young professionals who wish to jumpstart careers in public administration

    The bios within our downloadable ebook include contact information for each of us.  Questions and thoughtful feedback are welcome.

Roleplay: Local gov employee seeks potential member for new coalition

Roleplay: Fed asks CIO colleague to assist regional office employee

Roleplay: Fed does information interview with OMB official

Roleplay: Information interview with community college VP morphs into job interview!

Report: A Presidential Management Fellow reskills herself into a new field

Roleplay: Fed requests meeting with exec at other agency to explore detail

Roleplay: Fed invites exec at own agency to share leadership lessons

Interview: Connie Berhane tells John Sporing how she landed new career growth

Interview: How Lora Allen took ED's PMF Program from terrible to top 5 in a year and a half

Interview: Patricia Eng, P.E., explains her $57M+ success in government knowledge management

This is the third co-created ebook project in a series on boundary spanning which has been produced using simple collaborative techniques.  This multimedia effort was published in October 2021 by nine colleagues (including the brilliant graphic designer who created the cover), working from Austin, Texas ~ Colorado Springs, Colorado ~ Columbus, Ohio ~ Providence, Rhode Island ~ and the Washington DC Metro Area.  All are members of the Senior Fellows and Friends network.  Our bios and contact information are included in the ebook.  We hope you'll connect with us individually by email, or on LinkedIn, or via kittywooley5 [at] gmail [dot] com.  

Ebook #1 was published in September 2017 by four members of the Senior Fellows and Friends network working in Colorado Springs, Colorado ~ Dallas, Texas ~ and the Washington DC Metro Area.  Go HERE to download it. 

Ebook #2 was published in September 2019 by nine members of the Senior Fellows and Friends network working in Austin, Texas ~ Baltimore, Maryland ~ Brighton, UK ~ Colorado Springs, CO ~ Outer Banks, North Carolina ~ and the Washington DC Metro Area.  Go HERE to download it.

The 2021 ebook and videos are licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. We ask that you link back to this page and attribute the content to us if you want to reuse any of it. Go to https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/legalcode to understand your rights and responsibilities.