voices

The Benefits of Listening More

I was young and relatively new to the professional work world, with an abundance of motivation and drive. The executive I was reporting to inherited me and the work I was doing in a reorganization. When I would meet with him, he didn’t ask about me or my work, what I wanted or what I thought ... Read & React

Government’s technology problems are as complex and difficult to address as any in the world. Agencies need to be able to hire the best. Howard Risher

Should I be Honest In My Performance Review?

Performance reviews present a great opportunity to celebrate successes, learn from mistakes, and determine areas for personal and professional growth. It is important to be upfront and truthful. ... Read & React

A New Approach to Developing the Whole Leader

I want, you want, we all want leaders and managers who can think strategically, help others navigate complexity, create inclusivity, and genuinely provide an environment where individuals and teams are intrinsically motivated to excel. Add in the ability to assist their organizations in ... Read & React

Being a Federal Employee, Simplified

For years I have read articles, listened to the pundits and politicians, and overheard many water cooler conversations about the lack of performance and accountability in federal agencies, the poor quality of managers and leaders, and so on. Having worked to help the government be more effective ... Read & React

Three Critical Priorities In the President’s Reform Plan

by Matt Erskine

The recently released federal reform and reorganization plan—Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century—generated headlines around its proposal to merge the Labor and Education departments. But there are a number of other, less controversial elements that deserve attention. As federal ... Read & React

Key Questions for Regulators in an Era of Fast Technological Change

If government regulators feel overwhelmed these days, you can hardly blame them. Advances such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, big data analytics, distributed ledger technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are forcing regulators to re-examine the very foundations of their ... Read & React

A Focus On Goals Rather Than Behavior Is Creating Workplace Monsters

Rather than putting the time and effort into promoting self-control, many organizations continue to favour focusing on goals, irrespective of how they are achieved. The general obsession by some organizations with outputs, reports, and metrics, signals to employees that performance is paramount, ... Read & React

10 Essential Behaviors for Emerging Leaders

My favorite work involves sharing ideas with emerging leaders on the realities and challenges of leading in an environment of volatility and ambiguity. In a recent setting with a diverse group of early-career and first-time managers, we worked together to create a manifesto for leading today. ... Read & React

It’s Time To Give Managers Basic Training In Mental Health

Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the US experience mental health challenges every year. More than half of individuals in middle‐ and high‐income countries will experience at least one psychological disorder in their lives. And depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Unfortunately, ... Read & React

Smart Use of Incentives Would Support Government Reform

by Howard Risher Workforce Management Consultant

Incentives are omnipresent in our society. Educators use them to promote learning, banks use them to promote online bill-paying, employers use them to promote wellness (and lower health insurance costs). The list is long. Rewarding good performance—or at least the kind of performance you’re ... Read & React

Program Management Is Much More Complex Than Many Leaders Understand

by John Kamensky Senior Fellow, IBM Center for the Business of Government

The Government Accountability Office has long bemoaned the dearth of effective program management across government. Its list of high-risk programs, which encompass such disparate management areas as the national flood insurance program, the 2020 Census, Defense contract management and the ... Read & React