AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Brian Friel

Brian Friel is founder of One Nation Analytics, an independent research, analytics and consulting firm for the federal market.
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Leading Questions

January 21, 2009 Nearly every presidential administration begins with a review of the current shape of government -- which agencies are doing what work, at what cost and to what end. The Obama administration is no exception, with the new president promising a top-to-bottom review of federal operations. Each president has entered office...

Stop Wasting Time

January 7, 2009 Federal employees often complain about how much of their time is wasted-by their bosses. It's a sweet irony of many workers' 9-to-5 routines that the people responsible for making sure they get their jobs done are the ones most responsible for making sure their jobs don't get done. By dint...

Stop Wasting Time

January 1, 2009 Don't make it harder for employees to do their jobs. Federal employees often complain about how much of their time is wasted-by their bosses. It's a sweet irony of many workers' 9-to-5 routines that the people responsible for making sure they get their jobs done are the ones most responsible...

Say No to Yes Men

December 17, 2008 Everyone does stupid things -- some more stupid than others and some more frequently than most. People make mistakes, bad decisions and poor judgment calls. Managers and leaders are not immune to this human condition. So it behooves good leaders to surround themselves with people who are willing and able...

Over Your Shoulder

December 3, 2008 In 1916, a bit of public administration history was made. The Bureau of Efficiency was born. It was the first of many efforts by presidents and Congress to perfect the bumbling bureaucracy-most recently President Clinton's National Partnership for Reinventing Government and the Bush administration's President's Management Agenda. A century ago,...

Over Your Shoulder

December 1, 2008 Oversight is a necessary evil, but only when it helps managers do their jobs better. In 1916, a bit of public administration history was made. The Bureau of Efficiency was born. It was the first of many efforts by presidents and Congress to perfect the bumbling bureaucracy-most recently President Clinton's...

Easy Target

November 19, 2008 President Clinton, a Democrat, did it. So did President Bush, a Republican. Now President-elect Barack Obama has done it. What did all three do? They gave middle managers the rhetorical ax. Either during his campaign or in office, each promised to slash the bureaucracy's middle ranks. Clinton vowed to halve...

The Business Model

November 5, 2008 If nothing else, the travails on Wall Street show the limits of the mantra of running government like a business. During the past decade, financial firms pushed products such as adjustable-rate mortgages, derivatives and mortgage-backed securities that proved too risky for the market to bear. The 1990s mantra that the...

The Business Model

November 1, 2008 Everything is connected and one event has many effects. If nothing else, the travails on Wall Street show the limits of the mantra of running government like a business. During the past decade, financial firms pushed products such as adjustable-rate mortgages, derivatives and mortgage-backed securities that proved too risky for...

Me, Me, Me

October 29, 2008 As you toil under the rules and regulations that govern federal managers, you occasionally may long for the supposed freedom enjoyed by bosses outside the civil service. You imagine you could hire anybody you want, reward your best performers easily and fire the deadwood. You're a fair arbiter of performance....