Thursday, September 7, 2023
The Center for The Business of Government continues to support research by recognized thought leaders on key public management issues facing government executives today.

We are pleased to announce our latest round of awards for new reports on key public sector challenges, which respond to priorities identified in the Center's research agenda. Our content is intended to stimulate and accelerate the production of practical research that benefits public sector leaders and managers.

We expect the following reports to be published starting in early 2023.  Short summaries of each report follow:

Responsible Agile Digital Modernization and Transformation Framework:  Harmonizing Traditional and Emerging Digital Technologies for Public Value by Gregory Dawson, Arizona State University; James S. Denford, Royal Military College of Canada; and Kevin C. Desouza, Queensland University of Technology

Governments are facing a stubborn problem: how to integrate transformational digital technologies while maintaining or modernizing traditional technologies in a way that creates digital value and despite vastly different approaches - waterfall vs agile. Historically, the answer has been modernization or transformation and waterfall or agile but the public now demands both. This report will leverage interviews with government leaders, existing case studies and prior research to create an evidence-based framework to do exactly that. The framework will harmonize extremities that arise during digital modernization and transformation efforts by balancing the need to be responsible and agile.

Back to the future? Futurizing strategic planning in government: Insights from the US, EU and Singapore by Bert George, City University of Hong Kong

Whether it is labelled strategic foresight, future thinking or anticipatory governance, futurizing is becoming increasingly important in government. Despite its popularity, we know little about how futurizing takes place in practice, namely why do governments do it, who does it, for who, about what and with which tools? This report will answer those questions by drawing on a comparative case study of the US Center for Strategic Foresight, the EU Foresight Network, and the Centre for Strategic Futures in Singapore. It will conclude with concrete recommendations for government leaders and public managers on how to futurize their strategic planning.

Leadership for Implementing Agile Principles in Local Governments: Lessons and Best Practices for Government Leaders by Pallavi Awasthi, Department of Public Administration, H.Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University

This report will analyze the leadership approaches necessary for the successful implementation of Agile principles for responsive governments. The adoption of Agile principles in government is slow and complex. It calls for new forms of leadership that are people-oriented and allow participatory decision-making open to course correction—an approach not commonly utilized by government leaders. As governments begin to explore leadership best practices for the implementation of Agile principles in an ever-changing digital era and citizen demands, this report is timely in providing government leaders with an understanding of the wider implications of leading Agile initiatives.

In addition to these research reports, the Center plans to host or co-host a series of expert roundtables in the coming months across a range of topics that include grants reform, tax systems modernization, budgetary incentives for effective management, and regulatory innovation.  We will continue to publish findings from these and other roundtables as they proceed.

To commemorate our 25th anniversary, we are publishing a book, Government Management: Informing Today, Envisioning Tomorrow, authored by current and former government executives and academic leaders and edited by Dan Chenok and Michael J. Keegan.  The book:

  • Highlights the Future Shocks initiative that we led with the National Academy of Public Administration and IBM Institute for Business Value, with analysis, findings, and recommendations for how government can address major challenges of international roundtable discussions with global leaders from across key domain areas. These domains included Emergency Preparedness and Response, Cybersecurity, Supply Chain, Sustainability, Workforce Skills; they drew on great insights from public, private, academic, and non-profit leaders, with a summary led by NAPA Fellow and former GAO leader Chris Mihm.
  • Presents new ideas from the expert authors of our Challenge Grant winning essays, which describe how innovation in government management and operations can drive agency missions forward and build capacity in areas highlighted by the Future Shocks initiative.