AUTHOR ARCHIVES

John Kamensky

Senior Fellow, IBM Center for the Business of Government John M. Kamensky is a Senior Research Fellow for the IBM Center for the Business of Government. He previously served as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government, a special assistant at the Office of Management and Budget, and as an assistant director at the Government Accountability Office. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
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Five Tips from Federal Innovation Entrepreneurs

July 21, 2015 Using “lightning round” presentations, nearly a dozen presenters shared their stories. Andy Feldman from the Department of Education, who coordinated the event, noted that the goal wasn’t innovation for innovation’s sake, but rather to use innovation as a tool to tackle mission-related performance challenges: “We’re here to focus innovation on...

What Kind of Leader Are You?

July 14, 2015 There are three types of leaders. Each is successful in a different context, says Michael Maccoby, a renowned business adviser who is an organizational psychologist and anthropologist. And you need all three on your organization’s top management team. Drawing on nearly five decades of research and experience in both government...

Connecting the Talent Dots

July 1, 2015 A manager might need temporary talent on a project and doesn’t have it on his/her team. Energetic employees in other parts of the agency may have those skills and would like to share them as a way of broadening their professional experience. How can they connect? GovConnect is an initiative...

Can We Focus on What Works?

June 17, 2015 Can we shift the conversation in Washington from “waste, fraud, and abuse” to “what works and let’s fund it” instead? I attended a recent Senate hearing on wasteful spending in the federal government, and some of the witnesses pointed to examples such as the legislative requirement that the Defense Department...

The Key to Employee Engagement? These Managers Had It Wrong

June 2, 2015 What is one thing managers can do to increase creativity, productivity, and commitment by their employees? A recent study by two psychologists, Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, concludes: “If you focus on supporting the daily progress of people working in your organization, you will not only foster the success of...

What If Government Operated More Like Disney?

May 20, 2015 Should the federal government be more like Walt Disney World when shaping its customer service experiences? Greg Godbout, the chief technology officer at the Environmental Protection Agency, suggested as much when he keynoted an AFCEA roundtable in Bethesda a couple weeks ago. According to Federal Times, Godbout told the audience...

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

May 13, 2015 What could possibly go wrong? Do self-confident, optimistic leaders ask this question often enough, at the right time? Risk experts Doug Webster and Tom Stanton think not. In a new report for the IBM Center for the Business of Government, they observe: “The front pages of national newspapers constantly report...

Can IGs Successfully Walk the Tightrope?

April 28, 2015 By law, inspectors general are given a great deal of independence from pressures from both their agencies and Congress. But to be effective, they need to develop positive relationships with both. Some are more effective than others. What makes the difference? In January 2015, Michael Horowitz, chair of the cross-agency...

The Lowdown on Agency Strategic Reviews

April 16, 2015 The director of the Office of Management and Budget, Shaun Donovan, put agencies on notice last week that the administration is doubling down on the implementation of its priorities and tracking progress more closely. This memo indirectly adds some urgency to the relatively new annual strategic reviews which are underway...

CEOs Need Mentors Too

April 8, 2015 Top executives need advice about their leadership styles and operating environs—in government as well as in the private sector. How do they get it? Suzanne de Janasz and Maury Peiperl interviewed dozens of corporate executives over the past two years to understand how “new CEOs in large organizations gain access...