Standing Above the Rest

where he has left a lasting mark.

I’ve worked with Jonathan directly or indirectly over the past 30 years.  His retirement is a good inflection point from which to look back at what he has contributed during the course of his career of public service as well as his role as executive director of the IBM Center for The Business of Government.

How an "Open Project" Approach Can Change the World

IBM Center author David Witzel examines the evolution of the Internet over the past four decades in a new report, looking for lessons in the use of open project design that could be applied in other policy domains.  He explores how a wide range of autonomous, overlapping, and interconnected open projects ini­tiated by government staff, techies, entrepreneurs, and students around the world resulted in one of the most profound changes in society across the globe since the

Lessons in Designing Collaborative Networks

Professors Jane Fedorowicz and Steve Sawyer have authored a new report, “Designing Collaborative Networks:  Lessons Learned from Public Safety,” for the IBM Center.  Their report sums up a multi-year, multi-university research effort sponsored by the National Science Foundation and others.  The broader research effort examines the evolution of public safety networks in communities across the country.  These ground-level networks link police, emergency

Managing Risk the Smart Way

In their HBR article, “Managing Risks:  A New Framework,” Kaplan and Mikes say: “risk management is too often treated as a compliance issue that can be solved by drawing up lots of rules and making sure that all employees follow them.” 

Recovering from the Recovery Act: Part 4

What happened?

While there are debates as to whether the Recovery Act saved the economy or not, the one thing that has not been in the headlines was the way federal agency leaders implemented more than 200 programs that were used to distribute the money. 

Reorganizing Management Functions: A Manager's Checklist

Sometimes GAO does terrific work but couches it in ways that its value may not be immediately obvious to busy readers.  Here’s a very practical report that looks at eight recent consolidation efforts undertaken by federal agencies and identifies five sets of questions that managers should be able to answer if they find themselves in charge of an initiative to consolidate infrastructure or management functions.  Since these kinds of reorganization efforts will likely be more common in coming years as agencies look for strategies to cut c

Using Evidence and Evaluation to Govern

The Office of Management and Budget issued new guidance to agencies encouraging them to use program evaluation and evidence-based decisions when developing their budgets for FY 2014.  This commitment continues a trend begun in 2009 when President Obama took office.  But in similar memos in the past, the commitment was demonstrated by offering agencies more money if they undertook evaluations.  For example, in 2010

Customer Service Bill Is Resurrected

Following the customer service initiatives launched by Gore’s reinventing government team in the 1990s, the federal government has waxed and waned on the importance of customer service in the course of serving the public.  Now that citizen satisfaction with government services is under 20 percent, a new law may turbo charge the emphasis if it is passed, since it would tie customer service to employees’ performance ratings.

Background

Collaborating in a Hierarchical World

Drs. Rosemary O’Leary and Nidhi Vij presented a paper at the recent annual conference of the American Society for Public Administration, “Collaborative Public Management:  Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?”  They surveyed the literature (so you wouldn’t have to) to find the most important issues facing the field, at least from the perspective of academia.  They identified ten that kept surfacing in the literature:

Should Government Reorganize Itself? (Part VI)

Typically, the cultural, administrative, and legal barriers to working together collaboratively inside the federal government are too high and they discourage efforts to collaborate (more on this in a future post).  The Obama Administration has taken some steps, such as the president’s directive last year that encourages administrative flexibility by federal agencies when working with state and local governments.

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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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