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Tillerson asks State employees to describe their mission in six words

In an effort to understand how the wheels turn at the State Department, and how they can spin more smoothly, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is surveying its 75,000 employees worldwide with an online questionnaire

The questionnaire focuses on how to streamline internal processes and get the employees the tools they need so that the department can best fulfill its mission. It requests six words from every employee to help them "build a word cloud" to describe that mission. 

It also asks if employees feel that their daily work is contributing to the department's mission and how it should evolve over the next 20 years.

There are also questions about the responsibilities of the department and what work they should be giving to other agencies. It asks how often internal duplications and inter-agency duplications arise. This focus is critical as the department prepares to slim down. The White House blueprint budget proposed a 31 percent cut to the State Department's budget.

It asks what works well, what is frustrating, and how often the department is looking to re-work processes. In some aspects, there is a corporate tone to the review.

"In the past 12 months, have you made a change to a process or approach that has positively impacted a client/customer's experience, or increase the value they received from working with your unit?" it asks.

This survey is part of a department-wide review conducted by an outside consulting group that will cost over $1 million. As part of the review, State Department officials are traveling in person to some missions abroad. The international post visits include, but are not limited to, Haiti, Bogota, Manila, Kigali and Bangkok.

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