The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Chief Officer Awards were announced March 25, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place live, in-person May 11 at the The Ritz-Carlton in McLean, Virginia.
Next is CEO (Private Company, Annual Revenue >$1B) finalist Mike Canning, who’s principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, chief executive and industry leader, Government and Public Services. Here, he talks key recent achievements, career turning points, primary focus areas going forward and more.
What key achievements did you have in 2021/2022?
We were able to impact our clients’ most important mission challenges. Key focus areas for us included all stages of vaccine development and rollout, health equity, pandemic assistance benefits and national security. Within these focus areas, our business and headcount have experienced double-digit growth despite the challenges we’ve faced since the beginning of the pandemic.
What has made you successful in your current role?
I believe that being an authentic and trusted leader are two of the most important attributes for success, and I bring a strategic lens to how I operate and interface with our teams and clients across the industry.
What was a turning point or inflection point in your career?
Looking back, a major turning point for me was when I fully realized the importance of “learn to learn.” Regardless of your past experiences or preparation, you are never fully ready for what various jobs or roles call for, and to be successful you must be committed to learning, surrounding yourself with an effective team and treating everybody with “RAR” (Recognition, Appreciation and Respect).
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
I’m most proud the resiliency of our people. In 2021, our organization played a crucial role in helping the government transition from the crisis-response mindset at the beginning of the pandemic to looking forward and seizing opportunities to innovate and dramatically shift the way the government serves its citizens.
We delivered impactful support and solutions to our clients, all while continuing to work on a largely remote basis and dealing with the fatigue we all felt as the pandemic stretched in to its second year. Regardless, we supported massive go-lives with our clients, and our quality and focus on details actually improved from pre-pandemic levels.
That was incredible for a business with our scope and size, and speaks to the amazing resiliency of our people, something which I am supremely proud of.
What are your primary focus areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
We have four strategic areas we are focused on:
Environmental, Social and Governance: How to better help our clients meet the president’s climate commitments.
Health Equity and Health Security: How to bring care to all; how to identify and address inequities in the current health landscape; and how to prepare for and better manage future pandemics.
Modernization of Government: How we can assist with technology modernization, digital solutions, AI applied for anticipatory government and cybersecurity to protect the services and individuals being served.
Crisis Response, Rebuild and Reset: Support the needs of our clients affected by the conflict in Ukraine; how we can support humanitarian issues caused by the war and other conflicts around the globe; and how we can support our clients and nations in their recovery from the pandemic.
How do you help shape the next generation of government leaders/industry leaders?
One thing that I’ve continually advocated for in our organization is to build a robust library of thought leadership. Some of our most impactful reports from 2021 range from our annual Government Trends report to specific points of view on the future of public health, infrastructure and hybrid work. I’m proud of the ways we’ve been able to give our clients the information they need to make effective and forward-thinking decisions.
Looking back at your career, what are you most proud of?
Early on in my career, I supported the White House with the implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act, which I do believe fundamentally improved the well-being of our country. It allowed me to see the possibilities, and frustrations, of government, and how best to overcome those to make a big impact in communities across the country.