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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.

Results 151-160 of 176

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What the Best Leaders Know: Context Matters

March 27, 2013 The traditional leader is seen as a charismatic hero, a lone figure, towering above the rest. These are seen more in the military or business worlds – General George Patton, auto executive Lee laccoco, computer guru Steve Jobs. But in reality, the success of a leader depends on the context,...

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Leading in Government: The Loneliest Team Sport Around

March 21, 2013 Leading can be lonely... Senior leaders can feel lonely when they have significant responsibilities and oftentimes little authority or control over a situation, especially when they have no one they can turn to. I’ve seen several approaches to addressing this. In the 1990s, the Reinventing Government team quietly hosted a...

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3 Ways Government Can Use Citizens to Deliver Services

March 18, 2013 Citizen engagement has traditionally been viewed as citizens participating in community activities such as testifying on policy proposals, budgets, and strategic plans. But government does more than policy and budget. And citizens want to do more than testify or volunteer at the local food bank. How can governments at all...

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The 7 Characteristics of Highly Successful Government Leaders

March 5, 2013 One former senior level political appointee, Linda Springer, recently observed that a common set of successful characteristics of private sector leaders – being decisive, directive, and a risk taker – could actually undermine success in the public sector. So what works best in the public sector? Here are seven characteristics...

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The 3 Essential Things Great Leaders Understand

February 27, 2013 Last week I was invited to speak to an audience of Canadian government executives about leading in a world of change. I’ve spoken a lot about performance and collaboration in past years, but never about leadership. So this was an opportunity for me to reflect on my experiences and observations...

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Why Climate Change Joined GAO's High-Risk List

February 21, 2013 Typically, we think of the GAO focusing on territory familiar to auditors, which is what most of the high-risk list does: managing federal property, DOD supply chain management, NASA acquisitions management, modernizing federal disability programs, etc. But it has now added a politically-charged topic to its list: climate change. First,...

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What’s the Recipe for Good (Collaborative) Relationships?

February 14, 2013 Is there a recipe for successful cross-agency relationships that are enduring? Or is each initiative so dependent on context and personalities that there is no way to offer general principles of success? Happy Valentine’s Day! Today in particular there are all sorts of advice columns about improving relationships. Well, A...

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Creating Cultural Change That Sticks

February 5, 2013 How does a leader change the culture of an organization that is resistant to change? Start by working with the existing culture, say business writers in a recent Harvard Business Review article. In this way, the culture can be an accelerator of change, not an impediment. Business writers Jon Katzenbach,...

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3 Performance Measures That Don't Work (But Sometimes Do)

January 29, 2013 “You can’t manage what you don’t measure” is often attributed to business guru Peter Drucker. But Oxford professor Christopher Hood raises a provocative question: Does “management by numbers” actually lead to improved performance? Dr. Hood, who is a well-respected public management professor, poses this question in a recent article in...

from govexec

5 Ways Government Must Change To Be More Agile

January 22, 2013 Harvard Business Review sage John Kotter writes “we can’t keep up with the pace of change, let alone get ahead of it.” In part, he says, this is due to the hierarchical systems we use—systems that “can’t handle the challenges of mounting complexity and rapid change.” These top-down systems are...