voices

It’s Time to Cut the Long Lines for Government Services

We hate to wait, especially for something we don't want to do, such as get a license at the Department of Motor Vehicles, navigate airport bag-and-body checks, or call the cable company for service. Any form of waiting is irritating, but we seem to reserve a special level of ire when waiting for ... Read & React

The recognition of exemplary individual performance is central to high organizational performance. And the psychological value is far more important than the money. Howard Risher

Four Ways to Boost Citizen Engagement

by John Simpson

As citizens demand ever better digital services, many government organizations struggle to deliver them, even with larger investments in customer-focused programs. Connecting with the public goes ... Read & React

How to Field Questions From the Public Like a Pro

by Dannielle Blumenthal Federal communicator and co-founder, All Things Brand

No matter where you work, you will at some point have to answer questions from the public. It might be an employee, a journalist, a customer, or even a member of Congress. Now this may sound obvious, but most of the time people have better things to do than sit down and contact you with their ... Read & React

To Make the Most of a Three-day Weekend, Be a Little Lazy Before and After

Three-day weekends are tricky—72 hours isn’t enough time to properly indulge in wanderlust, but studies have shown a short vacation can be just as good (pdf) for decompressing as a longer one, even if short means fewer than five days. By following these guidelines, you can make the most of your ... Read & React

Your Work Matters; Make Sure Others Know Why

For employees across government, the anticipation of a new administration creates considerable uncertainty. Career civil servants—who often have dedicated years of their professional lives to the development of regulations, research, and projects affecting countless Americans—confront the ... Read & React

Your Guide to a Presidential Appointment in the Next Administration

In a recent article (“Thousands of Federal Jobs Are About to Come Open, but You’re Probably Not Going to Get One”), we pointed out that the number of political appointees can be misleading. You often hear 3,000, 6,000, and even 8,000 positions on occasion. For those seeking a presidential ... Read & React

Predicting the Future May Be Easier Than You Think

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

Getting predictions wrong can be costly. It’s not just weather or loan defaults that get predicted. The intelligence community in 2002 officially concluded that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that was part of the rationale for why we went to war. They were wrong. How can similar ... Read & React

This Book Upends Everything We Thought We Knew About Where Grit Comes From and How to Get It

by Jenny Anderson

For years, researchers have shown that raw IQ or academic prowess aren’t everything. Paul Tough’s 2013 book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power if Character showed how grit—defined as perseverance and passion for achieving challenging long-term goals(pdf)—and other character ... Read & React

The Millennials Balancing Their Parents' Job Searches With Their Own

It’s a worn narrative that Millennials are a jobless generation content to live with, and off, their parents. But that’s only one side of it: Today, there are a number of employed and financially independent Millennials who are instead helping their parents find a job. This represents a ... Read & React

10 Ways to Foster Relationships in 10 Minutes or Less

I often hear from leaders that they have higher priorities on their plate than making connections with others. The truth is that things don’t get done if you don’t connect to the people who are contributing to those deadlines and bottom-lines. Why would others care about you and the organizational ... Read & React

Slow Down: You're Probably Screwing Up

by Dannielle Blumenthal Federal communicator and co-founder, All Things Brand

I did this crazy thing the other day. It was so out of character. I went to the library. They had a shelf called "great reads." I went over to it and ran my hand along the modest beat-up walnut. One book stood out. It was old, but I'd always wanted to read it. New notifications said my cellphone, ... Read & React

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