Friday, August 27, 2010

State Dept Seeks A-100 Team Building Contractor

FSI has put out a solicitation for the development and presentation of a two-day experiential education-based teambuilding and leadership offsite for new Foreign Service Officers taking part in their new employee orientation program at the Foreign Service Institute. The two-day program is held at a facility outside the immediate Washington, D.C. area. Below is an excerpt from the published solicitation at FedBiz:

SFSIAQ10R0024_ A-100 Team Building
Solicitation Number: SFSIAQ10R0024
Agency: U.S. Department of State
Office: Foreign Service Institute
Location: Office of Acquisitions, M/FSI/EX/GSACQ

Foreign Service Officer (FSO) Orientation is a five-week program. The course is devoted to helping new FSOs better understand the overall organization in which they work, the terms of their employment, and the competencies needed for success in the organization. Class members will be assigned to U.S. embassies and consulates around the world shortly after completing training; they will not work together as a team beyond
orientation. However, all will work in highly team-focused environments during their Foreign Service careers. All FSOs, regardless of their position, must work effectively with colleagues at all levels of the organization to succeed as individuals and contribute to group accomplishment. The leadership and teambuilding program helps participants assess skills and develop strategies to work most effectively within diverse groups, both as leaders and team members. The program normally takes place during the third week of Orientation.

The contractor is required among other things to:

  • Develop a two-day teambuilding program using experiential education techniques and exercises requiring elementary levels of physical ability but with increasing levels of cognitive difficulty, that address the Foreign Service Core Precepts of leadership, communication, interpersonal and management skills as defined in the attached document (see Fedbiz for attachments).
  • Facilitate a general opening session and a closing wrap-up session with all participants (on average the total number of participants for each session is between 80-89 students). At other times during the program, students will be divided into small groups of approximately 12- 17 people, with each team having one facilitator. Team size and number of teams may vary depending on overall class size.
  • Utilize various teambuilding theories and tools as appropriate to discuss exercises and how group members can apply what they have learned to the workplace in order to better model the Foreign Service Core Precepts listed above. These theories and tools should include one or more of the following: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Three-Circle leadership model, Tuckman's stages of team development, Situational Leadership, and other tools identified by FSI staff.

Folks waiting for the call may want to know that this solicitation says FSI anticipate eight (8) orientation courses for FY11 (October 1, 2010-September 30, 2011). That's between 640-712 new employees in the next fiscal year.

Click here to read more.

Be sure to also check out the Foreign Service Core Precepts (in Word Doc),  the guidelines by which Selection Boards determine the tenure and promotability of U.S. Foreign Service employees.  These Precepts will be in effect for the 2008-2009, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 rating cycles. The Precepts define the specific skills to be considered and the level of accomplishment expected at different grades.  They distinguish between apprentice, journeyman and master level – the junior, mid-level and senior ranks.

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