Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 - 17:52
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - 16:58
As with each edition, this issue of The Business of Government magazine has as its focus the core mission of the Center—connecting research to practice as a means to improve public management. We do this by bringing together insights and perspectives, blended with an equal measure of practicality and reflection, from an array of government leaders, public managers, thinkers, practitioners, and academics.
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In an era of fiscal contraction, today’s leaders face unique challenges that present many difficult choices. It is a period that, while imposing many constraints, simultaneously confers as many opportunities. These are opportunities to make a difference, introduce new ways of managing, explore pragmatic approaches, and pursue management imperatives that help government leaders perform in ever-challenging, complex environments. We hope that each feature contributes in some way to advancing best practices, clarifying core public management issues, and whenever possible, presenting strategies marked by clarity and practical utility.
Forum on Seven Management Imperatives for Government Leaders and Managers Over the last 13 years, we published more than 300 research reports and interviewed some 300 senior government executives. It is from this rich library that we’ve identified several broad societal trends that we believe are changing what it takes to be a successful leader at all levels of government. Based on these insights and trends, this forum presents seven management imperatives that government leaders and public managers must pursue in order to successfully manage in this new environment. These management imperatives include: act with strategic intent, leverage hyperconnectivity, manage through collaboration, use real-time performance data, respond to the new security environment, work with the private sector in new ways, and cut costs and improve performance. This forum introduces each management imperative based on insights offered in our most recent report, Seven Management Imperatives. It reflects our sense of what lies ahead, and why government leaders and public managers should incorporate these imperatives into their management approaches in the coming years.
Perspectives on Power, Security, and Leadership in the 21st Century Government leaders need to use the instruments of national power to provide present-day security while setting the conditions for a secure future. Leaders are responsible for envisioning, shaping, and safeguarding the future, creating clarity amidst uncertainty. This is no small feat and it is made increasingly difficult in the 21st century, where rapid, unforeseen change seems to be the only constant. In this inaugural piece, we seek to provide critical insights that help national security leaders analyze power, security, and decision-making in a time marked by great uncertainty. To do this, we present the perspectives of two leading thinkers, Professor Joseph S. Nye, Jr. and General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret.), respectively. Both bring a rare combination of practical and reflective erudition. We hope that their perspectives present new ways of thinking about power, security, and leadership in the 21st century.
Conversations with Leaders We also feature conversations with government leaders who are changing the way government does business. From transforming the National Airspace System to managing homeland security resources, educating today’s information leaders, and transforming government operations, these executives clarify and extend our understanding of the work they champion and the efforts they lead. The nation stands on the verge of a new era in aviation. The National Airspace System is one of the largest and safest in the world. It is also one of the busiest. Randy Babbitt, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, outlines the next generation air transportation system (NextGen), explaining how it will improve the airspace system, increase capacity, and ensure safety. With an expansive and varied mission, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must manage its resources efficiently, effectively, and as “OneDHS.” Rafael Borras, undersecretary for management (DHS) discusses how the department is turning its OneDHS vision into reality and forging stewardship between meeting objectives and investing wisely. Dr. Robert Childs, chancellor of the National Defense University’s iCollege, discusses how NDU’s iCollege is positioning itself as a global hub for educating, informing, and connecting information age leaders. Stephen Goldsmith, deputy mayor for operations for the City of New York, discusses how city government is modernizing and consolidating operations for the 21st century, and what New York City is doing to shape a government that is customer-focused, innovative, and more efficient.
Profiles in Leadership Over the last six months, we’ve interviewed a wide variety of government executives who manifest the leadership and commitment needed to meet their varied missions. In this edition, we introduce you to five leaders who joined us on The Business of Government Hour to discuss critical issues facing their agencies. Chad Fulgham, chief information officer at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, focuses on delivering reliable and effective technology solutions
to the premier federal law enforcement and intelligence agency. Alejandro Mayorkas, director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, outlines efforts to ensure the integrity of the U.S. immigration system, forging a well-managed, modern system. Carol Waller Pope, chairman of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, highlights the ways FLRA continues to improve labor-management relations in the federal government. Dan Tangherlini, assistant secretary of the Treasury for management and chief financial officer at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, details his efforts managing the resources and operations for the federal department charged with reforming the financial system and expanding economic opportunity. Dave Wennergren, assistant deputy chief management officer at the U.S. Department of Defense, offers insights into ways DoD is improving its business and systems operations to provide the best mission support possible to the armed forces.
With each edition of The Business of Government magazine, we do our best to continue and expand on the conversation that seeks as its end—improving public management. The contour of necessity prompted by today’s most significant management challenges also reveals possibilities to change the way we manage and lead. We hope you find these perspectives, insights, recommendations, and profiles worthwhile additions to this conversation.
To complement your reading, I invite you to download and listen to The Business of Governmen magazine - A Special Edition of The Business of Government.