“Excellians are Passionate About Making the Tech Community More Diverse” – Burton White.
WashingtonExec announced its finalists for the 2023 Chief Officer Awards on March 17th. Excella’s Burton White was selected as a Chief Executive Officer (COO) finalist. Leading up to the event, WashingtonExec interviews finalists to learn more about key achievements, primary focus areas going forward, and more.
What key achievements did you have in 2022/2023?
I’m especially proud of our employee engagement over the last 18 months. In an extraordinarily tight labor market and in the midst of “the great resignation,” we focused on Excellian engagement and yielded a huge increase in retention and a record-breaking year in recruiting.
We identified and focused on three value drivers in the Excellian experience that best cultivate exceptional careers: meaningful work every day, personalized growth and development, and awesome colleagues who inspire.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
I’m most proud of the programs I’ve been part of creating that create community impact across three dimensions. Each dimension reflects distinct ways we live out our philosophy to have a lasting impact on our clients, colleagues and communities.
- Communities where we live: Our community impact program, ImpaX, enables Excellians to help families experiencing homelessness to gain self-sufficiency. We have focused on this single cause over many years to optimize our impact as we learn the issues, build relationships with the organizations addressing them, and execute multi-year projects to make a difference.
- Professional communities: We engage with our tech and other professional communities to realize a vision we call “connect, share, and learn.” Executing this vision uplifts the whole community, enables Excellians to learn from and lead in the community and brings great new ideas to Excella that impact our clients. Core to our approach is leading, sponsoring and/or hosting dozens of meet-ups. We started this in the DC area and are now growing it in other communities where Excellians live.
- Equity in the tech community: Excellians are passionate about making the tech community more diverse, inclusive, and equitable so that technology can reach its full potential to serve humankind. Excellians do this starting inside and working out into the community. We have made inclusivity and engaging diversity part of our strategy and an expectation of every Excellian, especially leaders. We support this through shared learning, self-exploration, and setting standards for inclusivity.
What are your primary focus areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
An exciting focus for Excella and me is our new approach to helping clients create high performing technology and teams. We’ve adopted a set of practices and capabilities proven through extensive research to drive high performance in technology, indicated by high resilience, flexibility, stability and frequent software updates. These same practices and capabilities are also proven to drive performance and high engagement, enablement, and job satisfaction for the teams working on that technology.
This is especially exciting for Excella because these practices and capabilities simultaneously enable both aspects of our purpose “to cultivate exceptional careers for Excellians by creating meaningful solutions for our clients.” This is important work for Excellians, our clients, and the nation because it leads to better technology to support citizens and the important missions of our federal agencies.
Read the full interview on WashingtonExec.