A Look at STEM Education: A Cross-Agency Priority Goal

Since the late 1950s, after the Russians launched Sputnik to the surprise of America, the federal government has promoted the development of a national workforce skilled in the sciences as a national security priority.  But the government also invests in developing similar skills for the federal workforce, given the hundreds of thousands of scientists, engineers, computer specialists, and doctors its employs.

Predicting Famine Through Analytics

The Famine Early Warning System is an interagency network among federal agencies and the United Nations that began in 1985, using scientific data to target about $1.5 billion in food aid from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to those who need it most.  Participating federal agencies include the U.S.

Making Strategic Decisions

Dr. Rosenzweig says in his article this is not because executives don’t want to make good decisions, but rather the research has focused predominantly on one type of decision – and this type is not the one most challenging for leaders to make.

Trend 4: Mission

Twenty-five years ago, federal agencies typically did not have key executives leading mission support functions. These functions were largely seen as administrative transaction services. However, ineffective mission support operations can be quite costly. For example in 2010, there were $641 million in grievance settlements at the Postal Service because of poor management training and inadequate labor-management relations.

Trickle-Down Performance Management

In complex intergovernmental programs, can effective performance management systems be developed and work?

Unpacking the "Black Box" of Incident Reporting

While data can be used externally for accountability, it can also be used internally to predict and prevent these kinds of incidents.

Required Reading: Agency Strategic Plans

Many agencies have been quietly posting their draft strategic plans on-line for public comments, such as the draft plan for the Department of Veterans Affairs.  But the full set of finalized agency plans will soon be available, along with their FY 2015 annual performance plans. These should be a treasure-trove of useful information if you are interested in understanding federal priorities and how cross-agency collaboration could be improved in coming years.

What Is the Public's Role in Government?

So, who are we?  Customers?  Taxpayers? Citizens?  Or something else?  And how should government managers respond, given the differences implied by these various roles?  A recent academic article by Georgia State University professor John Clayton Thomas provides some useful context, as well as practical guidelines for public managers. He starts by saying it is not an “either/or” distinction, but rather “all of the above,” depending on context.

Does Management Matter?

Gadi Ben-Yehuda

Slow reading, deep thinking.

I'm sharing only two links today.  The first is to a trend piece from Fast CoDesign on trends for 2014.  Some of the more salient ones:

Creating a Culture of Helping

Collaboration is key to effective organizations.  But how can leaders encourage helping behaviors among employees?  A recent Harvard Business Review article by Teresa Amabile, Colin Fisher, and Julianna Pillemer examines how the CEO of a cutting-edge design firm, IDEO, did just that.  Can the lessons from this company be applied in your organization?

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Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government
600 14th Street, NW Second Floor
Washington, DC 20005
United States
202-551-9341

Mr. Kamensky is a Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government and an Associate Partner with IBM's Global Business Services.

During 24 years of public service, he had a significant role in helping pioneer the federal government's performance and results orientation. Mr. Kamensky is passionate about helping transform government to be more results-oriented, performance-based, customer-driven, and collaborative in nature.

Prior to joining the IBM Center, he served for eight years as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government. Before that, he worked at the Government Accountability Office where he played a key role in the development and passage of the Government Performance and Results Act.

Since joining the IBM Center, he has co-edited six books and writes and speaks extensively on performance management and government reform.  Current areas of emphasis include transparency, collaboration, and citizen engagement.  He also blogs about management challenges in government.

Mr. Kamensky is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, in Austin, Texas. He can be reached at: john.kamensky@us.ibm.com

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