his month, a landmark conference in Washington will bring together the two movements that have defined efforts to improve federal management in the 1990s: Total Quality Management and reinventing government.
Government Executive is proud to present the new conference, Excellence in Government '99: Leading at all Levels, in conjunction with Vice President Al Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government and the Office of Personnel Management. Featured speakers at the conference will include not only Gore and Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., but top officials from several agencies and experts in theories of organizational improvement and change management. (For complete information about Excellence in Government '99, see www.excelgov.com.)
In keeping with the goals of the conference, this special report focuses on key elements of the TQM and reinvention movements.
First, C. Wayne Peal, a 35-year veteran of service at the Central Intelligence Agency, writes about how TQM engendered a federal effort-the President's Quality Award Program-that provides managers with a road map through the tangle of management reforms in the 1990s. In an accompanying article, we detail the accomplishments of the nine high-performing organizations honored by the PQA program this year. These organizations will be recognized at a special ceremony at the conference on July 14.
Next, James R. Thompson, a scholar of the reinvention movement at the University of Illinois-Chicago, takes on the subject of "laboratories of reinvention," a creation of the Vice President's reinvention effort. Several of the labs have made stunning improvements, he notes, but their record in engendering widespread change in agencies is mixed.
The stories in this special report share a common theme: In the end it is the change agents within government-the leaders at all levels-who will determine the future of efforts to improve the federal government and the service it provides to the taxpayers.
Strategies for Success
Follow the President's Quality Award program criteria to make your way through the tangle of 1990s management reforms.
Tops in Quality
The President's Quality Award Program honors nine high-performing organizations.
Experiments in Excellence
The ambitious Clinton administration effort to create "laboratories of reinvention" across government has met with mixed success.