Friday, December 8, 2023
Government, academic, non-profit, and industry leaders gathered in recognizing a milestone for and new book from the IBM Center.

This week, the IBM Center for The Business of Government was honored to host many leaders to commemorate the Center’s 25th anniversary, and to launch a new book, Transforming the Business of Government:  Reflections on Resilience, Innovation, and Performance.   With this post, we share some observations and images about the event and a first view of the book.

With thanks to the Partnership for Public Service for sharing their great space, Partnership Executive Vice-President James-Christian Blockwood welcomed the group and spoke about our work together and it’s impact.   IBM Consulting Managing Partner for Public Markets Susan Wedge (pictured below) also provided great perspectives in speaking about IBM’s value of and commitment to the Center.

I had the honor of talking about the Center's impact. Since 1998, the Center has published research in the form of some 500 reports that provide an extensive body of knowledge about best practices and lessons learned for government improvement. In addition, we have recorded close to 1000 interviews with government leaders on their leadership experiences and challenges.  And we have released over 2000 blog posts since 2009 to exchange insights and innovations, not just from our team but also other leaders from across IBM, the community, and government.  We have greatly valued collaborating with government leaders, academic experts, and good government organizations over the years in helping develop these resources to support government.


We were very happy to welcome back the Center’s Founding Executive Director, Mark Abramson (pictured below, left), who spoke about the formation of the Center as a research enterprise in 1998; and Jonathan Breul (pictured below, right), who led the Center from 2006-2012 and expended it’s influence across government management.  Since taking over as Center leader in 2012, I have benefited greatly from Jonathan and Mark’s foundational work and ongoing advice and support.


The event then featured a video and fireside chat (pictured below) with numerous authors who contributed to the Center’s 24th and newest book, both led by Michael Keegan.  Transforming the Business of Government features essays from winning authors of our 25th Anniversary Challenge Grant Competition, who wrote essays describing the future of government performance and how innovations can drive agency missions forward.  Learn more from this blog post.  The book also draws on the Center’s multi-year “Future Shocks” initiative, and much content developed in collaboration with the IBM Institute for Business Value and National Academy of Public Administration.  The book will be excerpted on the Center website via a series of blogs for the next two months.

Finally, I was honored to moderate a panel discussion (pictured below) about how strong management drives mission outcomes with senior leaders from current and former Administrations, including:

  • Nani Coloretti, Deputy Director, OMB, and Former Deputy Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Scott Gould, CEO, Mountain Lake Associates, LLC, and Former Deputy Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Chris Lu, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for Management and Reform, and Former Deputy Secretary, Department of Labor
  • Sean O’Keefe, Professor, Syracuse University Maxwell Schoolof Citizenship and Public Affairs, Former Administrator of NASA,Deputy Director, OMB, and Secretary of the Navy

On behalf of the Center team -- Ruth Gordon, Margie Graves, Michael Keegan, and Mark Newsome – we are grateful to all who attended, and hope that this summary provides others with a look into key issues of how government management can drive improved performance – for the past 25 years, for today, and for the next 25!