I agree, Terry. One of the reasons it's been so difficult for "strategic HR" to become a trusted ally of management is precisely because the transactional functions have been so neglected over the years. The irony of it all is that this could, in itself, stem from a talent issue. Or ineffective leadership, outsourcing, budget cuts -- maybe some disastrous combination of all four. My central concern, however, is that incremental improvements are not enough. Senior leadership should get serious (read: agency heads) about making the case for radical improvements in HR tied to better outcomes for all citizens. Unlike cancer research or rocket science, the work of the very best HR shop is still relatively predictable.