voices

We Need A Plan for Federal Communications

As a government communicator I have always had a heightened sensitivity to the gap between what the public wants to hear and what the government wants to say. I've also understood that the government tends to play catch-up with the communication tools used by the private sector. (It took us ... 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

To Better Focus on a New Task, Try This Plan

When you have to switch tasks at work, making a plan to return to and finish the task you’re leaving can help you better focus on the new, interrupting work, according to new research. Taking a ... Read & React

The Most Important Trait Government Leaders Need Right Now

A few years ago, I wrote a post on why I was thankful for those who had taught me what it means to display grit. The article is mostly autobiographical. I’ve had some great role models to observe as they’ve navigated adversity in their lives. If you aren’t clear on the term grit, consider it ... Read & React

Beat Insomnia and Boost Your Productivity With This 5-Minute Ritual

by Lila MacLellan

We have a conflicted relationship with to-do lists. Though inanimate, they nonetheless come to life as micro-managers in some part of the mind, and living by them can feel like training your brain to think small (and dull) instead of expansively—to remember your grocery list instead of that ... Read & React

How A Chief Customer Experience Officer Could Transform Government

by Martha Dorris

Twenty years ago, a Chief Customer Experience Officer was rare, unheard-of and easily dismissed. Now the position is indispensable. With breakthroughs in technology and increasing digitalization of services, a CCXO has become a key component in organizations interested in successfully managing ... Read & React

If You Want Engaged Employees, You Need Engaged Leaders

by John Kamensky Senior Fellow, IBM Center for the Business of Government

In a 2016 review of more than 82,000 work units across 230 organizations covering nearly 2 million employees, the Gallup Organization found that “the relationship between engagement and performance at the business/work unit level is substantial and highly generalizable across organizations.” ... Read & React

Don’t Try to Work Through the Flu of 2018

by Lila MacLellan

"No one wants me here.” This cry for reassurance was moaned by a colleague the other day, and I wish I could say I responded generously. I could have said, “It’s not you, it’s whatever illness is behind those thunderous coughs.” I could have urged him to look after himself, not to worry about ... Read & React

How to Build Credibility as a Manager

Building credibility is much like your fitness program—focus on the right activities at the right time and with the right frequency, and you grow stronger, faster, and more resilient. Here are 16 behaviors to help build credibility as a manager: Respect is never optional. Dispense it in every ... Read & React

Government Would Function Better if IGs and Congress Worked Together

by Mallory Barg Bulman and Carlos Otal

Since fiscal 2015, the federal government’s 73 inspectors general have identified $87 billion in potential savings that could be realized if agencies eliminated questionable expenditures and made more efficient use of federal funds. While agencies have adopted many of these findings and ... Read & React

Why You Should Stop Interrupting People and Become a Generative Listener

There is a kind of non-listening that goes on in our society and organizations that is distracted and disjointed, and often marked by interruptions. This non-listening doesn’t focus on the person speaking. Rather, the listeners try their hardest to get their ideas into the conversation. If ... Read & React

Misery Loves Bureaucracy: Why Technology Hasn’t Saved Government

by Alexis Wichowski

In an era when technology offers countless ways to improve all kinds of processes, that’s not always the case in government. More often than not, new technologies don’t solve the problems government officials want to fix. The reason for this is simple, but hard to resolve: Information-sharing ... Read & React