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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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How to Give Employees Effective Feedback

April 25, 2019 “In the last six months, my supervisor has talked with me about my performance,” was one of the highest rated responses (81%) in the 2018 governmentwide survey of federal employees. But how did those conversations go? A recent study in the Harvard Business Review, by Marcus Buckingham, a noted talent...

Why Engagement Matters and How to Improve It

April 19, 2019 The Office of Personnel Management will begin administering the 2019 version of the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey on May 13th to nearly all 2 million civilian federal employees. There has been declining participation in the survey. While 598,000 responded last year, that was less than 41% of the 1.47...

Federal Foresight Community of Interest Turns Five

April 12, 2019 Pop quiz: When planning for the future, which federal agency’s strategic plan has the longest timeframe? Answer: The U.S. Forest Service. The agency looks ahead 100 to 150 years—it takes a long time to grow a forest. An intrepid band of foresight analysts from across the federal government met recently...

How Regional Partnerships Are Tapping Talent to Solve Public Problems

April 3, 2019 In a research project last year, Carnegie Mellon University students used prescription drug data provided by the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services to create a model that could, with 78 percent accuracy, predict who was at a high risk of opioid abuse outside of pain clinics. Early detection...

Agencies Need to Move Beyond “People” Analytics to “Relational” Analytics

March 13, 2019 Federal agencies increasingly are using “people analytics” to improve performance. Like most private sector organizations, agencies focus their analyses on data based on individuals, such as the data collected through the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, and from the Office of Personnel Management’s FedScope database. One of the cross-agency priority goals...

Where Are the Stories About Government’s Vital Work?

February 27, 2019 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Too often, government operations are invisible and taken for granted. This is not unlike how most of us approach the availability of electricity in our homes—we don’t notice the heroic efforts and complexity in keeping it on until we lose power in a cold snap. One of the unanticipated consequences...

Where Are the Stories About Government’s Vital Work?

February 25, 2019 Too often, government operations are invisible and taken for granted. This is not unlike how most of us approach the availability of electricity in our homes—we don’t notice the heroic efforts and complexity in keeping it on until we lose power in a cold snap. One of the unanticipated consequences...

How the Government Could Successfully Leverage Its Buying Power

February 20, 2019 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 United Kingdom – called “category management.”...

Building a Culture of Informed Decision Making

February 6, 2019 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 who promote...

5 Paradoxes of an Innovation Culture

January 31, 2019 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A recent trend has been to set up an innovation office to serve as a catalyst for new ideas. These offices can be helpful starting points and an inspiration to employees across an organization. However, most leaders want to create a culture of innovation across their entire workforce, not just...