Podcasts for Acquisition & Contracting

“This is my favorite work podcast. There are many like it, but this one is mine…” - anonymous w/ AirPods on

Podcast recommendations are like… but these are the best of the best that all acquisition and contracting professionals should listen to! Leave a podcast recommendation and share why people should listen to it! You never know, your podcast recommendation might be the spark that leads to the next innovative idea in our career field!

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We are tasked with being mission focused business leaders and I have found WorkLife with Adam Grant to be one of the best podcasts to help me embrace the mindset that’s required. The podcast runs about 45 minutes long per episode so it’s a great listen when you’re on the run.

Some of my favorite episodes are:

The Butler Bulldogs have a habit of shocking college basketball fans by beating top teams with far more talent. How do they do it? Adam Grant joins the team to talk about why stars are overrated, role players are underrated, and humility can go hand in hand with confidence. Also featuring “Moneyball” author Michael Lewis and Brad Stevens, coach of the Boston Celtics. This episode is brought to you by JPMorgan Chase & Co, Accenture, Bonobos and Warby Parker. (from apple podcasts)

Group brainstorming is usually where creativity goes to die. But at The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, they have it down to a science. Adam takes us behind the scenes in the writers’ room to show how creative collaboration really works, and reveals what inspires people to share their best – and worst – ideas. This episode is brought to you by Warby Parker, Accenture, Bonobos and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (from apple podcasts)

and My favorite:

Harness the power of frustrated people to shake up the status quo — just like Pixar did. This episode is made possible with the support of Bonobos, Accenture, Hilton, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (from apple podcasts)

You can learn more about the podcast here:

Hopefully this helps you with your transformation wherever you may be.


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A great new podcast from AF Space Command to help connect our mission areas. It’s well produced and should become an awesome pod moving forward.

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Startups are viewed as innovative utopias, filled with a dedicated workforce of entrepreneurs. So can big companies behave like startups and capture their culture? To find out, we sat down with Steve Blank, a key player in the lean startup movement. This episode also features insights from Lyft COO Jon McNeill and Innovation Leader’s Kelsey Alpaio.

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Kessel Run has a new podcast out:

First episode:

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A diverse group of technologists is trying to make the government work the way it’s supposed to. Jared Cunha of the US Digital Service fights paper-clogged bureaucracy with human-centered design.

He worked on a project to redesign the 8A registration site for SBA. One change he provided as an example:


  1. “Does someone receive greater compensation than the highest officer and individual upon whom eligibility is made?”


  1. “Are you the highest paid employee at your firm?”

In Govt, it’s all too common to take the exact verbiage from the law or policy and insert it directly into the form or question.

If you are interested in human-centered design or user experience (UX) design, a good starting point is

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I wish they would broaden the applicability of the Plain Writing Act.

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I meant to link the website and forgot. It is both ridiculous and awesome!

The Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) is a group of federal employees from different agencies and specialties who support the use of clear communication in government writing. Originally called the Plain English Network, PLAIN has been meeting informally since the mid 1990s.

PLAIN offers a free 1/2 day training:

Also, some great before/after examples:

I actually think providing writing training is a missing piece of our education/training program.



The Contracting Officer Podcast:
Here is another podcast related to contracting that may give more in terms of industry perspective:



What’s a good episode for someone to try first?

I enjoyed What is a Wrap Rate: https://www.contractingofficerpodcast.com/podcasts/236-what-is-a-wrap-rate/

But that’s very specific. Perhaps Who are You: https://www.contractingofficerpodcast.com/podcasts/234-who-are-you/

Keep in mind I appreciate the second one b/c it speaks to contractors and I’m really interested in how they think and what they face in contrast to the USG.

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Here’s another podcast to get a view from contractors’ perspective.

Including a cross interview with one of the hosts of The Contracting Officer Podcast.


A post was split to a new topic: Blog Post: What I Think About When I Edit

Listen to this:

Read this:


Let’s play mental tennis and ping pong some ideas …

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The “Against the Rules” podcast by Michael Lewis is extremely relevant for contracting professionals (and modern life as a bonus too)! It’s about the current disdain many show for those who act as referees which is a role contracting officers have to play from time to time. I think Michael Lewis does a great job presenting his arguments in an entertaining way.

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Nice! I started with “The Alex Kogan Experience - Everyone hates grammar and ethics cops. Until they need one.“ So far entertaining and educational…thanks for the recommendation!