Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.
ARCHIVES

It’s Time to Improve Government’s Use of Metrics and Analytics

The final report by the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking promises to refocus attention on the use of performance data. This is not new of course; the use of metrics has evolved over more than two decades across all levels of government. Even with extensive experience, the Commission was created by Congress in early 2016 to “fulfill the promise of evidence-based decision making” “to facilitate program evaluation, continuous improvement, policy-relevant research and cost-benefit analyses.”

The value of metrics and more recently analytics has been proven repeatedly. When used effectively in managing performance, the gains can be impressive. In 2011, the Partnership for Public Service worked with the IBM Center for the Business of Government to develop three excellent reports highlighting success stories, “From Data to Decisions.” Everyone interested in this subject should read the reports.

John Kamensky highlighted a key reason why the commission was needed in a recent column, “Proponents of Evidence-Based Policy Face a Critical Challenge.” He commended the Commission for taking an important step to create “a better supply of data for researchers and policymakers.” That’s clearly important, but it’s only the first step. As he argues, “the next step is huge—getting people to use...

Going Into The Office Will Help Your Career

In certain professions (I’m looking at you, developers and designers) the ability to work from home is a perk regarded above all others, save a paycheck.

Employees, however, should consider their professional goals before gleefully signing on to a commute that ends at their own kitchen table or home office.

The reason is a long-known effect of social psychology called the Proximity Principle, which simply states that we’re more likely to make connections with those who live or work closely to us. While studies tend to contradict one another on whether remote workers are more or less productive, the connections you make in the office are key to your success in two other important areas: your network and your ability to innovate.

First, consider your network. Think about all the ways your professional life is shaped by the people you know. Who would you call for help finding a new job: The guy you’ve called from your living room six times or the person who sat in a cubicle next to yours for a few years and who you ate lunch with on the regular? How about making a good impression on your supervisor for a big...

Seven Drivers of Government Transformation

The forces affecting governments in the United States and around the world continue to increase in complexity, impact, and speed. Agency leaders must continually adapt to this ever changing landscape, but how? What are the key drivers that determine how government can transform? How can government’s partners help the public sector harness these drivers?

These were the questions that framed a discussion earlier this year hosted by the IBM Center for the Business of Government, which brought together government, academic, industry, and nonprofit leaders to explore the key challenges and opportunities facing the public sector.  

Participants agreed that government will continue to focus on controlling costs while improving operational performance. The group underscored the importance of transforming the people, processes, and cultures to drive results in an environment of constrained resources. They concluded that driving meaningful and sustained change requires innovative, effective and efficient decision-making.  

At the end of the roundtable, participants finalized a set of priorities, which we used to create a new report, Seven Drivers Transforming Government. This special report provides a resource from which government can draw practical, actionable recommendations on how best to address government’s Magic 8-Ball questions.

These seven drivers include:

  1. Insight – Using...

Eight Questions to Ask Yourself to Know If You’re In The Right Job

This question originally appeared on QuoraHow do you determine if you are in the right job or not? Answer by Tami Rosen, VP of People at Quora.

A mentor once told me that a quick way to know if you are in the right job is to count the number of good and bad days that you have at your current job. If the good days outweigh the bad days by a long shot, they you are probably in the right place.

While I like that as a quick test, it does not get at the heart of the matter. “Is this the right job for me now and in the future?” I think it takes time, introspection, and willingness to ask yourself difficult questions to know if you are in the right job. Some people fall into the job that they are in by chance and some people intend to do what we are doing. Either way, you may or may not be in the right job for you.

Here are a few suggested questions that you can ask yourself to help evaluate your current job and if it is right for you. Be honest with your answers...

The Hiring Bias Toward Attractive People Is Way More Complicated Than We Thought

A growing body of research suggests that conventionally attractive-looking people have it all: They go on more dates, are more likely to be elected to office, make more money, and are perceived as more likable and trustworthy.

Perhaps most infuriating to the mere mortals in their offices, past studies suggest that attractive people are also more likely to be hired and promoted at work.

But a new study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests there’s an aspect of hiring in which being good-looking can work against you.

As it turns out, attractive people are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to landing relatively less-desirable jobs. According to the new research, people don’t just hire attractive people because they consciously or unconsciously prefer them—rather, when hiring, people actively consider what roles the physically attractive candidates would themselves prefer, and then base the hiring decision on that perceived preference.

This finding is novel in that it suggests we don’t just selfishly prefer to be around attractive people, we also actively work to put attractive people in better positions because we think they will be more satisfied in such roles.

Researchers at the London Business...