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Beyond Technocracy — Civics, Culture and Public Service

The notions of aggregation, community-owned government, empowering rather than serving, are not universally accepted.  These concepts require the sharing of power, authority and an acknowledgement of the foundational priority of…

The Artful Duty of Public Service: Changing Lives and Intersecting Moments In History

The Artful Duty of Public Service: Changing Lives and Intersecting Moments In History

This column won't abandon the symmetry with which I've attempted to weave an existential narrative between public administration and public service. No, instead I'll try to turn down the volume…

Why Does the Federal Government Have So Many Old Computer Systems?  

Why Does the Federal Government Have So Many Old Computer Systems?  

Replacing a legacy system can be like developing a new system. In my experience, it was rare that a legacy system could be replaced and modernized by the IT department…

The Necessary Combination of Policy and Practice to Improve Race Relations

The Necessary Combination of Policy and Practice to Improve Race Relations

How do we move the needle on race relations in a time when many feel the U.S. is not making sufficient progress? The standard is educating the populace, particularly white…

Building A Public Official Mentoring Program

Building A Public Official Mentoring Program

Today, more than ever before, the challenge of engaging—PROGRESSIVELY engaging—young adults in the action of running for public office seems to be overwhelming. Instead of rehashing the reality, it is…

Towards Successful Transfer of Knowledge at Home and Abroad

Towards Successful Transfer of Knowledge at Home and Abroad

Adapting our organizations to meet the challenges of change and continual improvement are primary tasks of public administrators. The use of expert knowledge, commonly known as “best practices,” is a…

Performance Management versus Perception Management in Government

Performance Management versus Perception Management in Government

Many governments have learned the hard way that there is big difference between “Performance Management” and “Perception Management.” Often leaders assume that if they create a good performance management system…

The Rush to Closure: Decision Traps in Public Service

The Rush to Closure: Decision Traps in Public Service

Closure, of course, is essential. Without it, nothing gets done. It's premature closure that is a trap. There are several strategies that can help avoid this error.…

Collaborating for Community Safety

Collaborating for Community Safety

It is through this proactive work, and strong leadership, that the work of collaboratives becomes intensified. To intensify the work means to strengthen and deepen the relationships of key stakeholders…

The Practical Challenge of Doing What Works

The Practical Challenge of Doing What Works

High quality policy evaluation and the pursuit of what works is both noble and necessary for the advancement of our society. But evidence-based policymaking poses a practical challenge for policymakers,…

Infrastructure: Birthplace for Innovation

Infrastructure: Birthplace for Innovation

As compelling as infrastructure technology upgrades can be regarding productivity enhancements, job creation, obtainment of efficiencies in both supply chain management and movement of people and goods; a much broader…