Performance Improvement Begins with Change: How to Manage Change

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Change management is critical today given the immense transformations occurring in regulatory compliance, technology, the workforce, global economics and more. As federal agencies work to keep up with these trends and movements, leaders must work to develop the most efficient and effective possible approaches to manage change.

A smart way to begin this process is to look at the successes of those agencies that have done well on the change management test.  Read More


Two years in: A Look at the Current Status of the DATA Act

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At just over two years old, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) has progressed towards implementation of its key provisions in May 2017, but progress has faced some key obstacles. Since its signing in May 2014, the DATA Act has challenged government agencies to improve their financial data management quality and transparency. This vision of transparency is still within sight if the momentum of implementation can be sustained. Read More


Institutional Wisdom as a Tool for Effectiveness

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Mature organizations are not necessarily old organizations, but they do share the characteristic of wisdom we often attribute to more experienced people.

Wisdom is generally recognized as good problem-solving and decision-making through an integration of experience, knowledge, and deep understanding. Mature organizations are energetic, vibrant, results focused, innovative, caring, and calm. Having “institutional wisdom,” organizations can operate consistently (across quality, values, performance, results), and easily adapt to change with little to no drama whether or not the leader is present.

They regularly achieve high marks on quality, results, service, employee satisfaction, and adaptation to new realities. They proactively and realistically see issues before they become problems, are solution oriented, transparent, collaborate well with others inside and outside the organization, and get things done efficiently and effectively.

I realize this may sound utopic, but maintaining institutional wisdom is one of the critical roles of the leadership team. Without it, you are forever playing catch up in reacting to the world around you. What a mature organization looks like and how to get there is the subject of this brief article. Making it happen requires strong leadership, a cultural shift for some, and legislative action to reform the budget process and the civil service in a way that both honors federal employees and allows for strong management to support organizational effectiveness. Read More


Imagining an On-Demand Government in an Uber World

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The public sector changes slowly. We all know this. But the glacial pace of government is even more evident in its inability to adapt to the new on-demand world. Need a ride? Connect to Uber. Need a poem converted to a song but you have no musical ability? Book it through Fiverr. Need someone to proofread your latest essay? Access a world of editors immediately through Freelancer.

But need a government contract? Wait in line several months for a flawed proposal process to unfold. Read More


Using the Right Ruler to Measure Your Agency’s Performance

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COE's Dr. Paul Eder makes speaks as a guest on "In Depth with Francis Rose" of Federal News Radio.

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How Do You Measure the Effectiveness of Government?

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With the 24-hour news cycle and at-your-fingers access to the latest stories, the American people have plenty of information constantly available to them. And whether they know it or not, they are using much of that information as a de facto source for evaluating the effectiveness of government.

Each of us serves as a self-contained big data processor, tagging data elements in our own minds and using the information later to formulate decisions such as preferred presidential candidates, favored legislative efforts, and opinions about policy nuances that we may not even understand to be nuanced or policy-related.

With this context in mind, I aim to bring some clarity and simplification to a question that has very complex and multidimensional answers: How do the American people measure the effectiveness of government? For this article, I will use the term “government” to refer collectively to federal, state and local entities. Read More


Here’s Our Chance to Fix Government Once and for All

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The federal government is on an unsustainable fiscal path that threatens our national security and social safety net. While many cuts and changes have taken place, government has yet to address the effective management of programs that serve the American people. Read More


9 Key Steps to Cyber-Preparation

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We are dealing with a systemic crisis—critical government information is being hacked and falling into the hands of "evil doers," and there appears to be no end in sight.

Hardly a week goes by when we don't hear of some attack. Lately we've been hearing a lot about identity theft of Personal Identifiable Information (PII) which can harm individuals, as well as our national security. While that is certainly cause for concern, the threat can go far beyond intelligence leaks, industrial espionage, or personal financial impact. Imagine a world where hackers take control of airplanes and automobiles, alter medication dosages, interfere with the ability of first responders, take control of our C3 systems, or shut down our electrical grid. Read More