voices

Take 5: How Power Dynamics Shape Our Behavior

Power—or the lack of it—impacts everything from snack choices to economic growth. Power can be intoxicating or sit heavily on one’s shoulders. But it is without doubt a significant force in society, at work, and in government. Which makes it a ripe topic for study. Several Kellogg professors ... 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

Managers Are Missing Out On The Most Important Part Of Personality Tests

by Leah Fessler

At Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, every new employee takes the Myers-Briggs personality test, among others. The results are shared with everyone else at the firm, on a ... Read & React

To Give Better Feedback, You Must Fully Understand the Agony of Receiving It

by Leah Fessler

Smart people love talking about how to give feedback. But not many talk about how to receive it. No matter how profoundly we might embrace concepts like radical transparency, hearing “Your presentation missed the mark,” or worse, is never a comfortable moment. As animals wired for self-defense, ... Read & React

When It Comes To Making Good Decisions, Bad Options Can Help

by Jennifer Riel Adjunct professor, Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto

Think of the worst idea ever for a new business venture, one that is guaranteed to fail. Or try to imagine a truly terrible, good-for-nobody new government policy. Or even, as a class of grade school kids I know recently did, the worst idea for a birthday party. (For the record, some of those ... Read & React

The Government’s Big Real Estate Opportunity

by Norman Dong

Last year, the U.S. General Services Administration selected the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to redevelop the Volpe Transportation Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The development community had shown significant interest in the Volpe site, a sprawling campus of aging Federal ... Read & React

It’s Time to Erase ‘Seniority’ From the Management Lexicon

by Howard Risher Workforce Management Consultant

If there is one word that has outlived its usefulness in government management, it’s the word ‘seniority.’  Somehow it sends the message that performance is not important. In the administration of the General Schedule, seniority is the basis for step increases and plays a far too important role ... Read & React

Our Obsession With Mindfulness Is Based On Limited Scientific Evidence

by Ephrat Livni

Mindfulness practices are promoted at major corporations like Google, offered as psychotherapy via the National Health Service in the UK, taught to about 6,000 school children in London, and widely studied across sub-disciplines of psychological science. And yet there’s still not even a ... Read & React

The Cult of Productivity Has a Counterproductive Flaw

by Ben Waber

“I was productive.” Everyone has heard those words before, and everyone knows what they mean: “Today I answered a lot of emails, I wrote some reports, and I didn’t get interrupted by meetings or inane banter from my coworkers.” This is the cult of individual productivity. It’s appealing in its ... Read & React

Is Your Agency Ready for New Evidence-Based Policy Tools?

The Commission on Evidence Based Policymaking, launched last year by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., recently released its recommendations. They include a call for federal departments to 1) establish chief evaluation officers to help coordinate and ... Read & React

How to Beat Burnout at Work

by Melody Wilding

If you want to understand just how bad burnout can get, consider the story of Melissa Sinclair, an employee at Time Out New York. Melissa rose to internet fame in recent weeks after Time Out New York inadvertently posted an employment listing on the job-search site Indeed that detailed her ... Read & React

Five Ways to Create Space to Think

by Scott Eblin Executive Coach

A lot of thinking is really just reacting. On any given day, there’s so much coming at us that we just react or reflexively respond to the input. That’s not all bad. A lot of stuff gets done that way. But whose stuff is getting done – yours or someone else’s? To get your own most important stuff ... Read & React