Posts By Andy Lowenthal

Why do we struggle with Workforce Planning?

To answer this question, I checked in with my former colleague and friend, Dr. Barbara Male. Dr. Male retired from the federal government in April 2008 after 25 years of federal service, most recently serving as a Deputy Assistant Secretary with the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM). She was a career memberRead… Read more »

On Listening

As toddlers, it’s one of the first things we learn how to do. Then we go off to Kindergarten and get years of practice. We listen to our teachers, our classmates, our music instructors, our coaches, and our clergy. We listen to our friends, neighbors, siblings, and teammates. Some of us even grow up listeningRead… Read more »

It’s Public Service Recognition Week — your Cabinet Secretary says so.

As a public service people person, it’s my favorite time of year. If you’re like me, you hardly ever stop for a minute to think about every local, state, and federal employee whose passion it is to wake up every day to serve his/her fellow citizens. 
We may be federal/state/local employees ourselves, but we oughtRead… Read more »

Are inter-disciplinary employees welcome in gov’t?

One of the hallmarks of the new generation of public servants is that they aren’t easily explained. They aren’t one track, one sector, one agency, or one job series. They aren’t one desk, one computer, one stapler, one Skillcraft notepad. They often bring a wealth of diverse experience, multiple advanced degrees in different disciplines, andRead… Read more »

The Golden Rule of Government

Premise #1: Government exists to solve collective problems with greater efficiency and effectiveness than is possible by any one citizen acting alone. Premise #2: Citizens generally do not have an ability to opt-out of their government due to practical considerations like jobs, family, property ownership, and immigration restrictions. Premise #3: Public servants accept, on someRead… Read more »

How to Be CEO (Chief Empathy Officer)

In government, we are the masters of overcomplication. We setup committees, author manuals, and track changes until we’re blue in the face. We write information memoranda, action memoranda, and seek an endless list of clearances for the back pages of each. You would think our routinized collaboration would yield an organizational ethos of communication, mutualRead… Read more »

Want to join the SES? Keep reading.

In a report published this morning, the non-profit, non-partisan Partnership for Public Service and McKinsey & Co. call out major obstacles and key recommendations about how “executive mobility increases the government’s ability to fulfill cross-agency missions.” In other words, the cross-fertilization of top talent from office to office, agency to agency, or even sector toRead… Read more »