voices

The Reality New Managers Can’t Avoid

One of the common reactions to the content I present in my online workshops “Succeeding as a First-Time Manager,” is: “This is hard work.” I agree. Kind of. In a recent article, “Leadership is Common Sense in Action,” I make the case that we over complicate it a great deal. I stand behind this ... Read & React

Government’s technology problems are as complex and difficult to address as any in the world. Agencies need to be able to hire the best. Howard Risher

How to Improve Government Customer Experience

by Kathy Conrad and Eric Keller

The private sector sets a high bar for customer experience as companies continue to innovate and exceed expectations in many realms, leaving federal organizations in catch-up mode. According to ... Read & React

The Benefits of Small Talk Outweigh Your Fear of Being Awkward

by Rina Diane Caballar

At an early age, you’re taught not to talk to strangers. Originally meant to protect us from childhood harm, this rule follows most of us into adulthood. We keep to ourselves in public places. We avert our eyes on public transport. We stand frozen in the corners of cocktail parties and extended ... Read & React

The Most Important Productivity App Is The One That Stitches Them All Together

by Khe Hy

There are two main approaches people take when they want to increase their productivity, and they’re both ineffective. One is to squeeze water out of a stone, using shortcuts, finding hacks, and reducing keystrokes. The other demands that you tap into Herculean stores of willpower, perhaps by ... Read & React

'Ask For What You Want and Then Zip It:' Advice For Women Returning To Work After a Career Break

by Jenny Anderson

More than 200 people gathered in London this week to talk about strategies for getting back to work after a career break. “You have so much to offer,” Julianne Miles, co-founder of Women Returners, told the crowd. Her UK-based group is dedicated to helping employers structure “returnships,” or ... Read & React

Snarky Coworkers Can Ruin Morale, Even When The Boss Is Supportive

At their most harmless, snarky coworkers are merely annoying. At worst, they bully or harass, producing a toxic environment. As employers have focused on formal management structures and the kind of workplace they result in — friendly and productive vs. unkind and dysfunctional — less attention ... Read & React

Make #GivingTuesday a Day to Remember

by Vince Micone

It’s that time of year again—the holidays are upon us and the Combined Federal Campaign is in full swing. Last year, #GivingTuesday—celebrated the Tuesday following Thanksgiving—was the biggest donation day of the campaign. In the Washington area, it raised approximately $1.8 million in a single ... Read & React

The EEOC Just Made It a Lot Easier To File a Sexual Harassment Complaint

by Oliver Staley

The U.S. government rarely moves quickly, and seldom responds to cultural currents. But either by design or coincidence, the Department of Labor perfectly timed the release of a new website making it easier to file sexual-harassment complaints. On Nov. 1, amidst nationwide soul-searching over ... Read & React

Joe Biden’s New Memoir Shows a Person Coping With Work Under Extreme Emotional Stress

“Uncle Joe” Biden is no joke. In a poignant new memoir, the much-memed former US vice president is a man bursting with grief as he tries to help run the country. Promise Me, Dad is out this week (Nov. 14) from Flatiron Books, an imprint of Macmillan. In it, Biden recounts the trying months in ... Read & React

The Potential Payoff for Applying Metrics and Analytics to Government Is Significant

Our recent column on metrics and analytics triggered several stimulating exchanges. One thread running through the reaction to these proven practices, which have been widely used in business for decades, is that they have not gained broad support in government. Corporate managers are inundated ... Read & React

Five Annoying Questions to Ask Your Grandparents at Thanksgiving

by Donald F. Kettl Professor, University of Maryland School of Public Policy

Thanksgiving is almost upon us. We love the turkey and sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and stuffing. But many of us dread of the inevitable political battles that will pop up over dessert. The drumstick stakes are YUGE. A November 2017 poll by the Cato Institute shows that 6 of every 10 ... Read & React