Spinning the thread that binds us together.

AuthorDiggs, Rick A.

Over time, I have found that one of my most important motivators towards efficiency, effectiveness or even just timely completion of a task is my understanding the benefit of what I am doing. Put simply, answering the question "Why?" can lead to an enlightened perspective that makes me want to perform better.

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I believe there are many in our career field who may share those sentiments. As resource managers we sometimes find ourselves deep in the details of a project to the detriment of the overall purpose of our analysis. We tend to define our job's purpose in terms of how we conduct business or what outputs we produce. As a financial management educator for a number of years, I have come to believe that no matter what title one has or which individual tasks he or she performs, each financial manager contributes to the singular purpose of providing sound, informed advice to decision makers. Much as fibers are spun into thread, which is woven into fabric and then sewn into useable products, so are the tools, techniques, and methodologies for managing resources combined to add valuable information to the decision making process. That said, it is critical that decision support education remains on the forefront of our continuum of professional development experiences.

The 2015 American Society of Military Comptrollers National Professional Development Institute in New Orleans, LA, provided an excellent venue to explore many perspectives along that continuum. From keynote speeches discussing the importance of appropriately resourcing the war-fighter and the requirement to be audit ready, to workshops on Critical Thinking and Resolving Wicked Problems, the decision support theme prevailed. Over half of the 19 FM certification mini-courses were directly mapped to the Decision Support Competency. Speaking to the General

Session, the Honorable Doctor Jamie Morin, Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, stated the "professional ethos of the Financial Management Community is to bring unbiased information to the decision maker, even when the information is uncomfortable. We must be transparent and visible." Trust is paramount to adding value to the process.

In keeping with that integral theme, the PDI sessions provided the foundation for adding value, through myriad mini-courses and workshops. Educators, practitioners and technical experts came together to provide ideas on how to approach an issue, what questions to...

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