Posts By John Kamensky

SES - POTUS Event 2014

An Inside View of President’s Meeting with SES

This guest post was written by Dan Chenok, executive director of the IBM Center for The Business of Government. This week, John Kamensky and I were privileged to attend the meeting of Senior Executives at the Washington Hilton, at which President Obama spoke as well as several agency heads. The event helped to frame why… Read more »

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Who Will Be the Next “Mayor of the Pentagon?”

The selection of the next Secretary of Defense is in the headlines. But there’s a new senior-level Defense position that will be important in coming years, and who is appointed will matter. Years ago, career executive David O. “Doc” Cooke was informally called the “Mayor of the Pentagon.” He was responsible for the internal administration… Read more »

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Next Steps in MoneyBall Government

Hope springs eternal! Two recent reports, a new book, and a newly introduced bill in Congress all contribute to a steady momentum toward evidence-based decision making. The legislation, which is bipartisan and bicameral, could have some momentum in the waning days of a lame duck Congress. It would create a commission to strengthen the use… Read more »

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Magnifying the Voice of the Future

Can leaders in a democracy think beyond the next election? This is a key question posed by a New Zealand academic, Jonathan Boston, who is studying how different countries attempt to address long-term risks to society, the environment, and fiscal sustainability. Dr. Boston, visiting the U.S. on a Fulbright Scholarship, sums up some of his… Read more »

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Federal Program Inventory Deemed Useless

Senator Tom Coburn is retiring in a few weeks, but he leaves behind a legislative legacy of attempting to create more coherency and transparency about what the federal government does. Senator Coburn has long campaigned against the seeming incomprehensibility of the federal government’s many programs. He sponsored two pieces of legislation in 2010 to address… Read more »

Performance Bars FreeDigitalPhoto Salvatore Vuono

Why Isn’t Performance Information Being Used?

Champions of performance management in government are confounded. After decades of trying to integrate the use of performance information into agency decision-making, it still isn’t happening on as broad a scale as once hoped. The initial premise twenty years ago was that if performance information was made readily available, it would be used by agency… Read more »

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Student Aid: Pioneers in Managing Risk

The Office of Federal Student Aid put in place the first formalized risk management framework in the federal government, starting its efforts in 2004. What does it look like? How did they do it? One former federal leader, Todd Grams, observes that agencies that ignore risk are actually creating risk. Not surprisingly, there has been… Read more »

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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,… Read more »

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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… Read more »