5 Reasons Why Government Agencies Fail at Workforce Planning

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Workforce planning has never been more important than it is today. With baby boomers entering retirement, millennials now represent the lion's share of the new American workforce. Government agencies need to adapt their workforce planning strategies to avoid risks related to staffing, productivity, retention and more.

Here are five reasons why government agencies fail at workforce planning, and how they can improve: Read More


Attrition as a Workforce Strategy: Supporting or Sabotaging Organizational Strategic Goals

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A former boss of mine used to say that when you hire a government civilian, “you’ve got what you’ve got and you’re stuck with them.” In 2011, a USA Today analysis of the job security of Federal employees found many federal employees were more likely to die than get fired from their jobs with the government.[i] With job security for federal employees over 99%, my old boss’ comment is not far from the truth. When an organization treats all employees the same, the highest performers and those with the most desirable skills tend to leave first. Read More


10 Ways to Capitalize on Transparency’s Potential

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Since President Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act in May 2014, federal agencies have been hard at work implementing data standards and establishing a framework for increasing financial transparency by May 2017. The Office of Management and Budget and the Treasury Department are leading the effort.

The DATA Act requires two things. First, agencies must standardize information they report about their finances, grants and contracts, using common fields and formats established by OMB and Treasury. Second, once all the spending data has been standardized, Treasury and OMB will publish it on a much-expanded version of the USASpending.gov website. Meanwhile, a pilot program is under development to test whether the same standards should be applied to the information nonfederal grantees and contractors must report. Read More


Recapture Your Agency’s ‘Why’

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How often do you stop to ask why your organization exists? Agencies often forget their identity in the midst of everyday work. The answer usually lies somewhere between "providing jobs for federal employees” and “saving the world.” But that “somewhere between” is very large, and it’s easy for organizations to lose themselves in the vast possibilities of what they could be doing to further a variety of different potential missions.

Employees generally know what they are currently working on or what programs exist in their immediate proximity. However, these activities only explain what an organization does – not why it exists. The why goes deeper than simple legislative or executive mandates. In fact, an organization’s original mandate, its original why, has likely morphed over time.

Why ask why? Read More


Four Immutable Laws of Data

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I am often fascinated by the ways in which data is erroneously perceived, collected, stored, retrieved, and reported in organizations. Data of all kinds certainly have limitations. In any given situation, I find that half the people ignore any data that is presented, and half of the remaining people misinterpret the information.

But rather than dwelling on these failures, I believe that a potential solution to data ignorance lies in thinking bigger about data. Data errors would be far less common (though certainly would not be eradicated) if people understood the true nature of data and the relationship of data to the space-time continuum (or some other type of scientific-like thing).

Therefore, I propose the following “Four Laws of Data” to help guide practitioners to understand the interdependencies within the data universe.

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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


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


Batter Up: 5 Things Workforce Planners Can Learn From Fantasy Baseball

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It’s that time of year again. Baseball superfans know what I’m talking about. It’s time to draft your fantasy baseball team. If you’re like millions of Americans, you’re grabbing your peanuts and Cracker Jacks and getting ready for an exciting season.

For many, the fantasy draft isn’t a one-and-done event. Avid baseball fans actively observe signings, releases, injuries and news about prospects throughout the off-season. People who would otherwise cringe in the face of data find themselves knee deep in acronyms like OBP and WAR, and statistically normed stats. They know how to separate the five-tool players from those who wear their glove on the wrong hand. Read More


Three Killer B’s of Government Effectiveness

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KillerBs

We love discourse and debate as much as anyone, but on the topic of government effectiveness and efficiency, there are so many pundits giving opinions on what makes government more effective, it’s pretty difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Read More


GTI Summit – Not All Spending is Equal

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Needless government waste. Unrestrained government spending. A national debt exceeding $17 Trillion.

These are the headlines that motivated January’s Government Transformation Initiative (GTI) Summit, where I had the opportunity to speak on a panel with other distinguished government efficiency experts including Mark Forman, CEO of the Government Transaction Services, Scott Quehl, Senior Principal at Accenture, and J. Christopher Mihm, Managing Director, Strategic Issues, U. S. GAO. Read More