8 Steps to Effective Government

Jonathan Breul, IBM Center Executive Director

Jonathan Breul, IBM Center Executive Director

Candidate Obama promised to designate a Chief Performance Officer, who would report to the president and, along with a SWAT team of highly trained government professionals, would lead a line-by-line review of the budget, lead government-wide and agency-by-agency performance target setting and tracking, and conduct turnarounds of failing programs. What will President Obama do to carry out these promises? IBM Center executive director Jonathan Breul, in an article for US News and World Report, offers eight steps: • Start early. Management and performance initiatives should be in place in the first year of the first term. Implementation takes time.

• Establish an overarching set of principles and values. A clear agenda, clearly communicated, is key to effective action.

• Secure and maintain top-level support throughout the White House and the Office of Management and Budget.

• Appoint leaders who “get it.” Agency leaders need to be personally committed to action on change initiatives.

• Link actions to improvements in mission and operations. Changes should be something the public notices and cares about.

• Link efforts to the budget. This is the only way to get serious attention in government.

• Effectively coordinate and collaborate with the agencies.

• Obtain support from Congress. Without support, Congress may send conflicting signals or deny funding.


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