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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Check Out the First Progress Reports on Agency Priority Goals

July 7, 2014 In 2009, the Obama administration directed agencies to identify a handful of priorities that they would commit to achieving in a two-year timeframe. This initiative was embedded into the 2010 GPRA Modernization Act. Agencies are required to identify priority goals and report on their progress quarterly. In late June, agency...

Innovation Is a Team Sport

June 20, 2014 Successful inventions often spring from the minds of individual inventors—we often think of Thomas Edison as the classic example. But innovation is a team sport, according to a new Harvard Business Review article by a team of researchers—Linda Hill, Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove and Kent Lineback. The researchers set out...

Can We Create a High Quality Government?

June 16, 2014 Good government observers, such Don Kettl at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, have written succinctly about some of the management challenges of the Obama administration. Kettl asks: “Why has the Obama administration struggled so much with performance management? A big part of the answer is the gulf...

Spotting Top Executive Talent

June 3, 2014 A veteran corporate executive search recruiter says experience and competencies aren’t as important as potential when hiring or promoting people to the top job. How would this approach play when picking leaders to head government agencies? Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a veteran corporate executive search recruiter, shares his approach for talent spotting...

What Happens When the Senior Scientists and Engineers Retire?

May 28, 2014 More than two-thirds of NASA employees are scientists and engineers, many of whom are nearing retirement. In fact, NASA has one of the oldest workforces in the federal government. So what’s the plan for recruiting new scientific, engineering and medical leadership talent? Gina Scott Ligon, along with her University of...

4 Ways to Embed Quality Into Your Agency's Culture

May 20, 2014 Total quality management was all the rage in the federal government in the late 1980s and early 1990s before it faded. The emphasis on quality has never really died out in private industry, however, largely because companies quantify its benefits for business. A recent study concludes: “A company with a...

How to Marshal the Experts in a Crisis

May 13, 2014 A deep knowledge of networks of science and medical researchers is invaluable when pandemics and health emergencies occur. But how do you marshal diffuse networks of expertise in a crisis? Almost 40 years ago, the Forest Service developed a command-and-control approach to battling forest fires that was successful in coordinating...

Here's Why DATA Act Implementation May Be Successful

May 6, 2014 Legislation recently passed by Congress will have far-reaching effects on federal agencies and hundreds of thousands of recipient of federal funds – grantees, contractors, universities, nonprofits, states and localities. The new law gives agencies three years to implement a set of new reporting requirements to track federal spending, but it...

Know How to Use the Power Tools of Change

April 28, 2014 What are the major levers for driving change in government agencies? Traditional tools are statutory updates, budgetary controls and executive orders. But one that seasoned government executives can use to drive change is control over delegations of authority. In a recent report detailing how several federal agencies created shared service...

How 'Monsters, Inc.' Met Priority Goals

April 16, 2014 Agency chief operating officers are required to conduct quarterly progress reviews on priority goals. Sometimes called “PerformanceStat” meetings, they can be effective problem-solving sessions or terrifying blame games. So, how do you make PerformanceStat meetings effective? OMB says they should be constructive and focus on learning. Observers such as Harry...

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