voices

How the Government Could Successfully Leverage Its Buying Power

Ridding the federal government’s procurement system of unproductive red tape, streamlining purchases, and getting the best price has been a decades-long endeavor.   One path to address this imperative involves a buying reform widely used in the commercial world and other countries – notably the ... 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

You Don’t Need Leadership Training to Lead

In November 2018, retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal published his third book, Leaders: Myth and Reality (with Jeff Eggers and Jason Mangone). The retired four-star general, a legendary Special ... Read & React

Don’t Assume the Worst

by Scott Eblin Executive Coach

When I asked communications expert, Dr. Nick Morgan, for his one best piece of advice for anyone who wants to be a more effective virtual communicator, his answer was quick, simple and powerful, “Don’t assume the worst.” Here’s the backstory on why Nick offered that advice and how you can apply ... Read & React

Winning and Losing the HR Game

by Howard Risher Workforce Management Consultant

My recent column, “Employees Should Be Managed as Valued Assets,” prompted a reader to suggest government should adopt the business practice and require agencies to disclose information related to their human capital management practices. She suggested creating Human Resources scoreboards where ... Read & React

Shining a Brighter Light on the Work of Federal Watchdogs

by Peter Tyler

In 2018, the 73 federal agency inspectors general made more than 7,000 recommendations to eliminate billions of dollars in potential waste and fraud, address possible missteps and wrongdoing by government officials, and mitigate risks to the health, safety, and rights of the public. But do ... Read & React

Paving a Bipartisan Path on Health Care Reform

by Richard P. Nathan

Many polls during the 2018 midterm elections showed fast-rising health care costs to be the number one concern of voters. But President Trump gave health care short shrift in his State of the Union address, notably proclaiming that he had “eliminated the very unpopular Obamacare individual ... Read & React

Restoring Health to a Civil Service on Life Support

by Dannielle Blumenthal Federal communicator and co-founder, All Things Brand

To hear some senior executives tell it, the federal civil service is on life support, and its pulse grows weaker by the day. Without a sufficient number of skilled employees to oversee the effective functioning of the government, our nation suffers myriad security risks, not to mention the ... Read & React

Are You Working With People or Through People?

by Scott Eblin Executive Coach

One of the mentors I feel very fortunate to have had in my life was the late Richard Neustadt, a founding professor of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and author of the classic book Presidential Power. When I was a student at the Kennedy School in the mid-80’s, I had Dr. Neustadt for ... Read & React

How to Make Inclusivity More than Just an Office Buzzword

Most leaders would say they value diversity in their organizations. Some do so for strategic reasons, perhaps to mirror their diversifying customer base; others value diversity because it is the right thing to do. Yet for many companies, gaps can appear between rhetoric and action. And even ... Read & React

Building a Culture of Informed Decision Making

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

A recent article by Ed O’Brien, an associate professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, observes that “people assume they can and will use more information to make their decisions than they actually do, according to the research.” While this is distressing news to those ... Read & React

The GS System Fails in Today’s Labor Markets

by Howard Risher Workforce Management Consultant

The January jobs report highlights the contradiction between the government’s approach to managing salaries and the reality for other employers. On CNBC, prior to Friday’s report, experts were predicting the added jobs would be slightly over 200,000; instead the number was 304,000. Wage levels ... Read & React