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The Governmentwide Problem

February 17, 2010 When people ask you where you work, do you say, "The federal government," or do you name your agency? Do you work for Uncle Sam, or for his nephew the Bureau of Land Management, or his niece the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? When you complain about your job,...

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Toot Your Horn?

February 3, 2010 If federal managers want taxpayers to appreciate the work their agencies do, don't they need to publicize it? Ever since the Agriculture Department's Office of Public Roads tried to hire someone to do just that in 1913, publicity has been a dirty word in government agencies. When New York Rep....

from govexec

Toot Your Horn?

February 1, 2010 Federal agencies struggle to promote their work without crossing the line into propaganda. If federal managers want taxpayers to appreciate the work their agencies do, don't they need to publicize it? Ever since the Agriculture Department's Office of Public Roads tried to hire someone to do just that in 1913,...

from govexec

Don’t Blame the System

January 20, 2010 Conventional wisdom holds that federal managers can't effectively hire, manage and discipline their workers because the government's civil service system hamstrings them with endless rules, regulations, procedures, limitations and requirements. In many government offices, that conventional wisdom has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Managers throw up their hands and blame the...

Complex Risks

January 12, 2010 The dawn of the second decade of the 21st century comes in the midst of a transformative time for government. Technological innovations are sweeping society, changing the way we communicate with one another. Globalization is challenging the way government is set up to deal with its citizenry. Mounting federal debt...

from govexec

Complex Risks

January 6, 2010 The dawn of the second decade of the 21st century comes in the midst of a transformative time for government. Technological innovations are sweeping society, changing the way we communicate with one another. Globalization is challenging the way government is set up to deal with its citizenry. Mounting federal debt...

from govexec

Complex Risks

January 1, 2010 With the first decade of this century behind us, federal managers face a daunting world ahead. The dawn of the second decade of the 21st century comes in the midst of a transformative time for government. Technological innovations are sweeping society, changing the way we communicate with one another. Globalization...

from govexec

Putting the 'I' in Teamwork

December 16, 2009 The procedure for evaluating federal employees' performance isn't just written in agencies' human resources handbooks. It's written in law. See Title 5 of the U.S. Code, Section 4302. There you'll find that agencies' performance appraisal systems must establish objective criteria "related to the job in question for each employee or...

from govexec

Avoid the Arbitrary

December 2, 2009 Back in the 1990s, the Clinton administration announced a goal of reducing the ranks of middle management at federal agencies so there would be one manager for every 15 employees-double the existing governmentwide ratio of one boss to seven workers. George W. Bush campaigned in the 2000 presidential race with...

from govexec

Avoid the Arbitrary

December 1, 2009 Don't pick a number, any number, when setting goals for your office. Back in the 1990s, the Clinton administration announced a goal of reducing the ranks of middle management at federal agencies so there would be one manager for every 15 employees-double the existing governmentwide ratio of one boss to...