Thinkers360

John M. Kamensky

Washington DC, United States

1708 Followers

I am passionate about creating government that is results-oriented, performance-based, citizen-focused, and collaborative in nature.

-- Currently serve as a senior fellow in IBM's Center for The Business of Government thought leadership group and as an associate partner with IBM's Global Business Service's public sector practice.

-- Served as Vice President Al Gore's deputy for his reinventing government initiative, out of the White House and Office of Management and Budget, for 8 years. Helped craft large-scale reform initiatives, such as introducing customer service measures, performance-based organizations, and changing executive appraisal standards to focus on performance.

-- Served as an assistant director for government management, and for intergovernmental affairs, at the Government Accountability Office for 16 years.

Specialties: Managing for Results, including: strategic planning, performance measurement, Balanced Scorecard, creating market-based incentives for performance, mapping stakeholder networks, and the use of IT to foster collaborative teams. Current focus is on providing insights on how government may operate in 2040.

John M. KamenskyPoints
Academic0
Author15
Influencer17
Speaker0
Entrepreneur0
Total32

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Thought Leader Profile

Portfolio Mix

Company Information

Areas of Expertise

Customer Experience 30.81
Govtech 48.10
Culture 31.17
Innovation 30.15
Management 30.58
Future of Work 31.94

Industry Experience

Publications

15 Article/Blogs
A Tale of Two Cities: How Different Performance Management Systems Use Citizen Feedback (Part 1)
LinkedIn
November 05, 2018
Performance management is a global trend, as well as the inclusion of citizen feedback as a component of these systems. What are the commonalities and contrasts in two cities of the same size but with very different forms of government? The post is broken into two parts – this one focuses on New York City’s approach. The second will focus on the Chinese city of Hangzhou.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Govtech, Culture

What's the Role of Curiosity in Innovation?
LinkedIn
October 03, 2018
Agency leaders often promote the importance of innovation.
But where does innovation come from?
We are told that innovation is the process of improving or adapting a service, product, or system in order to deliver better results and create value. It turns out that most innovations are the result of the curiosity of employees, not the creation of an innovation office staffed by specialized “innovators.”

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Tags: Innovation, Govtech

Do Data-Driven Meetings Work?
LinkedIn
September 05, 2018
The use of data-driven meetings made a big splash in the federal government nearly a decade ago. But do they really make a difference in making things happen?
Background. The use of data-driven meetings was popularized in the mid-1990s by the New York City police department, which dubbed them “CompStat” meetings. These meetings were seen to contribute to a significant drop in crime and was eagerly replicated by other cities (Citi-Stat) and a number of states (State-Stat). Harvard professor Bob Behn studied this phenomenon and wrote a book about “Performance-Stat” as a leadership style and way of thinking and behaving, not just an administrative process innovation.

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Tags: Govtech, Management, Future of Work

Does Interagency Conflict Have Its Virtues?
LinkedIn
August 14, 2018
One of the rationales for reorganizing government agencies and programs is to reduce conflict and increase coordination between agencies.
The steady trend towards the increased use of cooperation and collaboration is happening against a backdrop of historically stove-piped programs and built-in institutional conflict, between and within agencies. Coordination is seen as good and conflict as bad. But can interagency conflict be good?

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Tags: Govtech, Culture, Future of Work

Managing Programs: More Complex Than It Seems
LinkedIn
August 07, 2018
The Government Accountability Office has long bemoaned the dearth of effective program management across the government. Its current list of high-risk programs ranges from the flood insurance program, to the 2020 Census, to Defense contract management, and to the security clearance process.
A 2015 study by the National Academy of Public Administration reinforces GAO’s concerns, concluding that “institutionalizing the discipline of program management across the federal government should be a top priority.” This included creating an integrated approach to program management, creating a professional community and voice among program managers, and greater clarity in their roles and responsibilities. But what is the best approach for doing this

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Tags: Govtech, Management, Future of Work

Moving Beyond "Boxology"
LinkedIn
July 18, 2018
Headlines have already faded from the recent release of the President’s long-awaited government reform and reorganization plan with its bold proposals to move organizational boxes between federal departments.
Skeptics call the President’s proposals to reorganize “boxology,” since they see them as merely shuffling around organizational boxes without anything actually being fixed. Even a respected public management observer such as Donald Moynihan questions the Administration’s commitment: “Is it the nice, sensible documents that OMB puts out, or their actual management practice?”

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Tags: Govtech

Civic Engagement in the Future
LinkedIn
May 22, 2018
The precipitous drop in public trust in government over the past decade has been unsettling to many government officials – but engaging citizens directly may help reverse this trend.
From its earliest days, American democracy has been rooted in vigorous civic engagement. More recently, there have been fears that increasing distrust in institutions – including government -- will lead to large scale disengagement in civic life. However, some optimistic observers are hopeful that the Millennial Generation will create a new momentum for civic involvement. But what will that involvement look like in the coming generation – both inside and outside governmental institutions? And importantly, what are the implications for the perceived legitimacy of government action in the society?

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Tags: Govtech

Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Future of Government
LinkedIn
May 03, 2018
The value of introducing artificial intelligence in government is to improve performance and consistency in services to the public.
This parallels the goal of many public administrators -- to create reliable, repeatable administrative processes. This could be done via the emerging technologies associated with artificial intelligence, but Tom Davenport and Julia Kirby write in a recent book about AI that: “The moment a realm of intellectual activity is codifiable, it ceases to be uniquely human.”

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Tags: Govtech

Agencies Reveal New Priority Goals
LinkedIn
February 23, 2018
The President’s FY 2019 budget released in mid-February was accompanied by a set of statutorily-required “Agency Priority Goals” and four-year strategic plans.
The GPRA Modernization Act requires agencies to develop a set of 3-5 two-year priority goals and the Trump Administration posted its first set of goals for major agencies on an updated performance.gov website at the same time the FY 2019 budget was released. But the goals didn’t get the same billing as the budget

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Tags: Govtech

Next Steps in Improving Government
LinkedIn
January 30, 2018
Have government reformers put the chicken before the egg? For years, their attention has been on improving performance by focusing on program results.
A new study by the National Academy of Public Administration says there has been a missing step.
The Academy’s study questions the progress of performance improvement efforts over the past two decades, asking: “To what extent has the government’s capacity improved as a result of these management initiatives?” After reviewing Government Accountability Office reports and other studies, it concludes: “Based on limited evidence, the record is mixed.”

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Tags: Govtech

Engaged Employees Require Engaged Leaders
LinkedIn
January 03, 2018
Why is increasing employee engagement at work seen as such a big deal?
In a 2016 review of more than 82,000 work units across 230 organizations covering nearly 2 million employees, the Gallup Organization found: “The relationship between engagement and performance at the business/work unit level is substantial and highly generalizable across organizations.” So, it is no wonder that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, in its annual survey of federal government employees, assesses the extent of employee engagement, as well. In its 2017 survey, OPM reports that government-wide, 67 percent of employees responded that they were engaged at work – as measured by factors such as whether their leaders provide leadership and that they are having a good work experience (the highest since 2011).

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Tags: Govtech

Using Data: From Hammer to Flashlight
LinkedIn
October 31, 2017
The recommendations by the recent Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission are a significant step towards creating a better supply of data for researchers and policymakers. But the next step is huge – getting the resulting data used.
The “use of data” step is complicated by two elements: Who would use it?, and For what purpose?

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Tags: Govtech

A Ray of Hope for Federal Performance
LinkedIn
October 06, 2017
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released its latest assessment of agencies’ progress in becoming more performance and results oriented in their work. The assessment was less-than-stellar, with the understated title noting: “additional actions needed to address pressing governance challenges.

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Tags: Govtech

Does Competent Management Matter?
LinkedIn
September 13, 2017
Federal agencies are currently in the midst of developing grand reform plans and four-year strategic plans to submit to OMB this week. But sometimes it is worthwhile to stand back and look at whether you’re doing the basics right.
A new article in the Harvard Business Review by a team of researchers led by Raffaella Sadun, Nicholas Bloom and John Van Reenen, have done just this, for private sector companies. But their lessons apply in government as well, observing: “Core management practices can’t be taken for granted."

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Tags: Govtech

When Are Managers Willing to Take Risks?
LinkedIn
September 06, 2017
Do federal managers systematically avoid taking risks, or do they regularly try new things, undertake organizational changes, and innovate?
The common perception is that, as a group, federal managers tend to be risk adverse. However, new research based on data from the annual federal employee viewpoint survey concludes that the answer is: it depends. Managers in both high-performing and low-performing organizations tend to be risk takers. They probably feel they have little to lose by trying something new. In contrast, managers in stable, middle-of-the-road organizations tend to be risk adverse and do not want to rock the boat by taking risks.

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Tags: Govtech

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