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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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...

Seeking Ambassadors of Performance and Results

March 24, 2015 Over the past two decades, the performance movement has made steady progress. It has resulted in a focus on results via strategic and annual operating plans, a supply of performance information to track progress of these plans, a demand for performance information through quarterly reviews of progress on priority goals...

What Does It Really Take to Get Things Done?

March 13, 2015 A recent survey of 400 global company CEOs found that executing their firm’s strategy heads their list of challenges. Related studies show two-thirds to three-quarters of large organizations struggle to implement their strategies. What these studies found sounds very familiar to what seems to occur in government, as well. I’ve...

Buried in the Budget: Ways to Rev Up Performance

March 5, 2015 The administration’s fiscal 2016 budget proposal shows that it is committed to creating capacity and sustainability for performance-and-results based government. Beyond the dollars in the president’s budget, there are some details buried in congressional justifications that are worth examining. There are three sets of initiatives—which for the most part do...

Developing Managers Versus Leaders

February 18, 2015 The distinction between management and leadership is important because they serve different roles in an organization—and they require different approaches in how they are developed. The Government Accountability Office has released its updated list of high risk areas across the federal government. It flags for attention the mission-critical skills gap...

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