What Is the Public's Role in Government?

So, who are we?  Customers?  Taxpayers? Citizens?  Or something else?  And how should government managers respond, given the differences implied by these various roles?  A recent academic article by Georgia State University professor John Clayton Thomas provides some useful context, as well as practical guidelines for public managers. He starts by saying it is not an “either/or” distinction, but rather “all of the above,” depending on context.

Does Management Matter?

Gadi Ben-Yehuda

Slow reading, deep thinking.

I'm sharing only two links today.  The first is to a trend piece from Fast CoDesign on trends for 2014.  Some of the more salient ones:

Creating a Culture of Helping

Collaboration is key to effective organizations.  But how can leaders encourage helping behaviors among employees?  A recent Harvard Business Review article by Teresa Amabile, Colin Fisher, and Julianna Pillemer examines how the CEO of a cutting-edge design firm, IDEO, did just that.  Can the lessons from this company be applied in your organization?

Are You Ready for Analytics 3.0?

Dr. Thomas Davenport, in a recent Harvard Business Review article, says “Some of us now perceive another shift, fundamental and far-reaching enough that we can fairly call it Analytics 3.0.”  What does this mean for leaders of large organizations?


The Three Phases of Analytics.  Davenport writes that the field of "analytics" has evolved over the past 60 years in three phases:

OMB's New Annual Strategic Reviews

A provision of the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 kicks in this year.  It requires OMB to “determine whether the agency programs or activities meet performance goals and objectives outlined in the agency performance plans.”  If not, then OMB has to prepare a report to the Congress on unmet goals.

Netflix's Five Tenets of HR

Former Netflix chief talent officer, Patty McCord, describes its key talent management tenets in a recent Harvard Business Review article.  While Netflix’s approach may not be suited to other companies or the work of the public sector, they are worth highlighting for no other reason than to spark some reflection and discussion.

Promising Practices for Interagency Collaboration

On occasions, the Government Accountability Office breaks the mold for its reports and looks for things that worked well and then tries to identify why, and then highlights those factors.  A new report examines four successful cross-agency collaborative initiatives that overcome program overlaps, and identifies four sets of promising practices that they use in order to be effective.


Using Administrative Data for Statistical Purposes

OMB has now issued guidance to that effect, encouraging agencies to use existing program administrative data in new ways.

Money for Moneyball Government

While the headlines about the president’s new budget focus on the big numbers, there is a significant back story about what the Office of Management and Budget says is the expanded use of “evidence and rigorous evaluation to improve policy outcomes”  when it comes to the details of the budget.

Cross-Agency Priority Goals: 2014 (Part 1)

The following are edited excerpts from Performance.gov.


Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government
600 14th Street, NW Second Floor
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Mr. Kamensky is a Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government and an Associate Partner with IBM's Global Business Services.

During 24 years of public service, he had a significant role in helping pioneer the federal government's performance and results orientation. Mr. Kamensky is passionate about helping transform government to be more results-oriented, performance-based, customer-driven, and collaborative in nature.

Prior to joining the IBM Center, he served for eight years as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government. Before that, he worked at the Government Accountability Office where he played a key role in the development and passage of the Government Performance and Results Act.

Since joining the IBM Center, he has co-edited six books and writes and speaks extensively on performance management and government reform.  Current areas of emphasis include transparency, collaboration, and citizen engagement.  He also blogs about management challenges in government.

Mr. Kamensky 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, in Austin, Texas. He can be reached at: john.kamensky@us.ibm.com

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