Posts Tagged ‘Clinton’

Government Reform: David Osborne

November 11, 2008
David Osborne

David Osborne

David Osborne, co-author of the popular Reinventing Government book in the early 1990s and one of my intellectual mentors in government reform, published a column in the current issue of Government Executive magazine offering his advice to the next president, titled “Weeding the Federal Garden.” 


In it he offers several recommendations:


  • Move beyond assessing programs to choosing among them.  First, define outcomes important to Americans — like healthier people or a cleaner environment — and then organize a team around each outcome to identify those existing programs that contribute to those outcomes.  Rank those programs from most to least effective.  When the money runs out, draw a line.  This ranking process has been used effectively in Iowa.  It has the added benefit of encouraging agencies to work across boundaries.  Second, create performance agreements between cabinet secretaries and the president and measure progress toward goals via a “Fed-Stat” modeled after Baltimore’s successful Citi-Stat.




Inventory of Blog Entries

October 22, 2008

This is my 100th blog entry!  Thanks to our many readers and contributors.  While few people post comments on our entries, we get lots of emails and phone calls.  Also, thanks to the Library of Congress for asking to preserve the site as part of its 2008 election coverage.  It’s been fun.


I looked back to see if there were any themes to all the stuff I’ve been writing and thought this would be a good point to come up with a rough index, which I’ll periodically update:


 (Last Updated: December 23, 2008)


Blogs on “The Big Picture” — Where Is Government Reform Going?

Blogs on What the Campaigns Have Been Saying About Government Reform


Blogs on the History of Transitions


Blogs on the 2008 Transition Process

 Blogs on The Bush Administration’s Transition-Out Activities

 Blogs on Management Ideas for the Next Administration

 Blogs on Advice for the New Team

Blogs on What Other Groups Are Doing


I’ll expand this list over time, so you might want to bookmark this page and return to it when you might be looking for something particular.


Also, I’m getting so much stuff, I’ll start blogging more frequently, with shorter blogs.  Would like to see how that works for you. Let me know. 

The Ideal CEO

September 4, 2008

In the midst of the political conventions the past couple of weeks, a fun article appeared in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune, by Steven L. Katz.   Katz is a former fed and management author. In it, he looked at how head hunting firms go about helping major corporations hire their chief executives.

His “experiment:” What if we used the same approach in selecting the next President of the United States??

Katz says executive search firms help corporations write a job description, create selection criteria, solicit applications, review resumes, and then conduct interviews. He says the presidential process reverses this logic:

“Voters meet and “interview” the candidates first. Then they just keep doing that for months, in all the states and U.S. territories. Candidates tell the voters what criteria we should use to evaluate them. And as for qualifications, we let the candidates self-certify as well: “I’m the best-qualified candidate running for president.”

So what if we used the 2008 election for an experiment? Instead of voting, let’s say we hired an executive search firm to find the next president of the United States.

How might the headhunters work? Which qualities and qualifications, traits and experience would they deem crucial to this position as the most powerful of all CEOs?”

One executive search firm provided Katz with a checklist of competencies and personal qualities they help their clients look for, such as “teamwork and whether the candidates can lead, create, and play well on the best teams.” Other qualities include: global experience, drives positive change, thinks independently and challenges conventional wisdom, hunger to make things happen, ability to maintain focus, curiosity, candor, sense of humor, and commitment to family.

This list of qualities harkens back to the primaries when Senators Obama and Clinton debated what it takes to be president: being a visionary or a CEO.