Mocking Public Service

Thursday, April 29th, 2010 - 22:10

Passionate About Collaboration

Friday, April 23rd, 2010 - 21:07
Collaboration is one of the key elements of President Obama’s signature Open Government Initiative.  However, federal agencies’ Open Government Plans don’t seem to address it very well.   But collaboration expert Russ Linden says “collaboration is vital, difficult, and learnable.”  And he’s written a book that makes all three of these points.

A High Performance Government

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 - 3:15
While Jonathan Breul is attending the IRMCO Conference in Cambridge, Maryland, I’m attending the annual conference of the American Society for Public Administration in San Jose, California.  I understand it’s sunny in Cambridge. . . it’s rainy in San Jose!

IRMCO 2010

Monday, April 12th, 2010 - 16:31
This week the General Services Administration (GSA) is hosting its 49th annual Interagency Resources Management Conference.    An estimated 300 Chief Acquisition Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Human Capital Officers, Inspectors General, program managers and other senior executive leaders are attending.

Australian Management Reform

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 - 16:06
I got a GovLoop tweet alerting me to a new report, optimistically titled: “Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for the Reform of the Australian Government Administration.” Australia has long served as a source of innovation and inspiration in government reforms, so I eagerly downloaded and read it.

Middle Managers in a Web 2.0 World

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 - 21:49
Eliminating middle managers was the vogue in 1990s-style reforms.  Flatten the organization!  After all, it was the middle managers who “sucked the life out of an organization” by filtering information, gatekeeping decisions, and smothering innovation. But today, we’re beginning to hear praise for middle managers as being the connecting glue and the nodes of cross-organizational networks. What’s going on here??

Harnessing Informal Networks

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 - 17:52
Another Harvard Business Review article in the March 2010 issue is worth highlighting.  A piece by Richard McDermott and Douglas Archibald examines informal and formal networks in companies, such as Fluor and ConocoPhillips, but their insights are relevant to public agencies as well.  And they may be helpful to the Obama Administration’s efforts to create its proposed set of “problem solving networ

Topic 3: Federal Contracting and Acquisition

Thursday, February 25th, 2010 - 19:14
Over the past two decades, a series of trends have resulted in a chorus of voices in Congress, the media and the public concluding that the current federal contracting system is broken.  Between 1989 and 2000, Congress mandated deep cuts in the Defense acquisition workforce.  During the 1990s, the federal government shifted its contracting approach from one focused on buying supplies to one buying services, using new flexible contracting vehicles.  Beginning in 2000, federal contracting increased from $220 billion to o

Managing Guerrilla Employees

Friday, February 12th, 2010 - 23:13
Do you have “guerilla employees” in your organization who work around (or against) their leadership?  How do you deal with them? This is the focus of a provocative article in the current issue of the Public Administration Review by Maxwell School professor Rosemary O’Leary, “Guerilla Employees:  Should Managers Nurture, Tolerate, or Terminate Them?”

Making Sense of Open Gov Dialogues

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 - 18:24
Two dozen federal agencies are running on-line dialogues between now and March 19th to gather insights on what citizens would like to seen them include in their OMB-required Open Government Plans.  These first-ever open dialogues are an important symbolic step toward better engaging citizens in their government.  But in the end, how will agencies make