The past 30 years have witnessed major change across the management landscape of the federal government. That history provides important lessons both for today’s leaders and for those of future administrations. Yet little has been written about the role leaders and teams have played in the evolution of management reforms—often overcoming high odds to achieve success, sometimes experiencing failure, each time learning and moving forward. And rarely is attention paid to understanding what remains relevant from past experience to inform future strategies.


With the upcoming presidential election, we believe that understanding the evolution of government reform can provide an important lens for understanding key choices facing incoming transition teams, whether for a new administration or new leaders in a second term.  In this spirit, we have launched this “Business of Government Stories” series, where we will narrate the stories of many of the most influential events that have shaped government over the past generation.

Dan and John

Our series will focus on the people behind this management evolution, and most importantly the lessons learned that can inform choices now and in the future. A podcast with Dan Chenok and John Kamensky (pictured right) will accompany each post, with reflections on the stories behind these stories. The series will culminate in a final report that integrates major findings and key recommendations, to serve as a resource for new leaders.  We hope you enjoy!




  Business of Government Stories 
Introduction 1. Meet the Individuals Behind Government Success Stories 01/29/20Podcast
Major Reform Initiatives 2. Reinventing Government: A Principle-Driven Reform Initiative 02/05/20Podcast
  3. President’s Management Agendas: What Insights Do the PMA’s Origins Have for the Future? 02/12/20Podcast
Performance Management 4. Performance Management: An Emphasis on Accountability 02/19/20Podcast
  5. Performance Management: An Emphasis on Learning 02/27/20Podcast
  6. The Government’s Program Management Story: Taking a Cue from The Big Screen 03/04/20Podcast
Information Technology 7. The Early Internet Years in Government – A Model of Fostering Innovation 03/11/20Podcast
  8. E-Government – Three Vignettes that Still Resonate Today 03/19/20Podcast
  9. Responding to the Year 2000 Challenge: Lessons for Today 03/25/20Podcast
  10. The Open Government Story – Providing A Bridge Across the Public Sector and With the Nation 04/02/20Podcast
  11. The Need to Improve Government IT: Lessons from Congress' Second Swing 04/09/20Podcast
Shared Services 12. The Evolution of Government Shared Services 05/04/20Podcast
Workforce 13. Empowering the Federal Workforce to Get Results: Then and Now 05/13/20Podcast
  14. Empowering HR and the Managers: Lessons from the Bush Administration 05/21/20Podcast
  15. Promoting Employee Engagement 05/28/20Podcast
Customer Service 16. Improving Customer Service 06/18/20Podcast
Innovation 17. The Evolution of Innovation in the Federal Government 07/09/20Podcast
Collaborative Networks 18. The Evolution of the Use of Collaborative Networks in Government 08/04/20Podcast
Acquisition 19. Acquisition Reform in the 1990s: Lessons from a By-Gone Era for Today 08/13/20Podcast
  20. A Public-Private Affair - Competitive Sourcing 08/19/20Podcast
  21. Acquisition Reform Today: Back to the Future 08/27/20Podcast
Data 22. Building the Federal Foundation for Data – A Story of Progress over Three Decades 09/01/20Podcast
Financial Management 23. Evolution of Federal Financial Management Reforms 09/16/20Podcast
Regulatory Reforms 24. A Short Trip Through Regulatory History 10/02/20Podcast
Employee Recognition 25. Saying “Thank You” Matters 10/07/20Podcast
Reorganization Efforts 26. Evolution of Efforts to Reorganize the Government 10/20/20Podcast
Enterprise Risk Management 27. Evolving the Enterprise Risk Management in Government: Reflections of a Risk Management Professional 11/02/20Podcast
Statutory CXOs and Councils 28. The Evolving Role of CXOs in the Federal Government 11/09/20Podcast
Statutory CXOs and Councils 29. Addressing Open Questions About the Future of CXOs and Mission Support Functions 11/11/20Podcast


"Our series will focus on the people behind this management evolution, and most importantly the lessons learned that can inform choices now and in the future."