Senior Fellow, IBM Center

“What Could Possibly Go Wrong?”

Do self confident, optimistic leaders ask this question often enough, at the right time? Risk experts Doug Webster and Tom Stanton think not.  Writing in a new report for the IBM Center for The Business of Government, they observe: “The front pages of national newspapers constantly report on actions by private companies, federal leaders, or […]

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Can IGs Successfully Walk a Tightrope?

By John Kamensky along with guest blogger Andrew Fairbanks. By law, agency inspectors general are given a great deal of independence from pressures from both their agencies and Congress. But to be effective, they need to develop positive relationships with both.  Some are more effective than others.  What makes the difference? In January 2015, Michael […]

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Creating a Performance-and-Results Culture

How do you create a performance-and-results culture in your agency? Background. Over the past two decades, the performance movement has made steady progress. It has resulted in a focus on performance and results via strategic and annual operating plans, a supply of performance information to track progress of these plans; a demand for performance information […]

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New Jersey’s 100 Data Fellows

If evidence-based decision-making is all the rage in government these days, how do agencies develop the skills to conduct such analyses? And how do agencies create a culture to support this management approach so it isn’t just another flavor-of-the-month fad? New Jersey’s child welfare system may have cracked the code. A new report for the […]

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How Can Cities Leverage Their Community to Innovate Service Delivery?

How can cities successfully partner with nonprofits, foundations, universities, and private businesses to improve service delivery to citizens using technology? A new report by the University of Texas’ Sherri Greenberg for the IBM Center for The Business of Government observes: “Increasingly, cities are the public sector delivery engines in the United States.” She says that […]

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The FY2016 Budget: Details Worth a Look

The Administration’s FY 2016 budget proposal shows that it is committed to creating capacity and sustainability for performance-and-results based government. It’s all in the details. Beyond the dollars in the President’s budget, there are some details buried in congressional justifications that are worth examining. I think there are three sets of initiatives – that for […]

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Understanding the “New Power” Trend

In the 1990s, a new model of governance emerged – Reinventing Government. This model was rooted in private sector entrepreneurial approaches and market-like incentives. A new model – dubbed “New Power” – has emerged in the 2010s. Reinventing Government was organized around ten values, such as government being catalytic, community-owned, competitive, etc. Today, a new […]

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What Do Innovation Offices Do?

When 38 inches of snow buried Boston in 2011, citizens dug out their sidewalks. But no one dug out the fire hydrants so, if needed, fire trucks could find and use them. But today, Boston is prepared, courtesy of an innovative program where citizens can adopt a hydrant and agree to be responsible for digging […]

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What Do We Know About Inter-Organizational Networks?

As Millennials join the workforce, they are bringing their propensity for social networking into the workplace. As a result, network-centered approaches to doing work will likely become more prevalent. Government and non-profits have already been pioneering the use of collaborative networks over the past two decades to solve complex societal challenges such as clean waterways, […]

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Empowering Citizens with Money and Social Media

The White House’s Open Government initiative encourages citizens to become more actively engaged in budget decisions in their communities. How does this work in practice? Do busy citizens actually get involved? Inspired by successful efforts in Brazil and other countries around the world, several U.S. communities have undertaken pilot efforts to allow citizens to directly […]

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What Happens When the Government’s Scientists and Engineers Retire?

More than two-thirds of NASA employees are scientists and engineers, and NASA has one of the oldest workforces in the federal government – many of whom are nearing retirement.  So what’s the plan for recruiting new scientific, engineering, and medical leadership talent? Dr. Gina Scott Ligon, along with her University of Nebraska at Omaha colleagues […]

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One Size Doesn’t Fit All – Marshaling Science in Crisis Situations

The deep knowledge of networks of science and medical researchers is invaluable when pandemics and health emergencies occur.  But how do you marshal diffuse networks of expertise in a crisis?  Almost 40 years ago, the Forest Service developed a command-and-control approach to battling forest fires that was successful in coordinating efforts across multiple jurisdictions and […]

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