Defense Innovation Board Members: New Career Paths Could Help DoD Address Talent Mgmt Challenges

Members of the Defense Innovation Board have called on the Defense Department to consider developing new career options to help address department-wide personnel management issues, DoD Buzz reported Tuesday.

Eight DIB members met Tuesday to discuss DoD’s talent management challenges and potential ways to overcome them.

Jennifer Pahlka, DIB member and founder of Code for America, said DoD’s “up or out” personnel system poses a talent management challenge because it can be “very limiting.”

The system gives DoD personnel two years to develop ideas then move to another position, which compels employees to abandon their ideas instead of pursuing them, Pahlka noted.

DIB members believe a parallel career track will help keep talented individuals from being stuck in the up-or-out system, the report stated.

Marne Levine, chief operating officer of Instagram, said DoD should also look into a new career field that is focused on innovation; rapid capability development and acquisition; and science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills.

Levine added that DoD faces recruitment and retention challenges due to the lack of a specialized STEM career field.

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