While I applaud and support actions to reform Government, improve effectiveness/efficiency, increase competitiveness, and stimulate innovation, I believe insufficient effort is being placed on establishing a persistent culture of continuous change, innovation and adaptability . While pursuing isolated, short term improvements within Federal Agencies will yield some results, the more important goal should be to recognize ...more »
While I applaud and support actions to reform Government, improve effectiveness/efficiency, increase competitiveness, and stimulate innovation, I believe insufficient effort is being placed on establishing a persistent culture of continuous change, innovation and adaptability .
While pursuing isolated, short term improvements within Federal Agencies will yield some results, the more important goal should be to recognize the realities of the "knowledge economy", accept change as a constant, and improve Government agility by routinely harvesting the creativity, innovation and knowledge creation abilities within the federal workforce. After all, if we truly acknowledge our most important resource is our people, our second most important resource is the knowledge those people possess (and oh by the way, knowledge is the only resource that grows, as opposed to being consumed, when used/shared). Bottom line, knowledge management is the key to ensuring (1) change, innovation and adaptiblity is consistently recognized and rewarded as core competencies at the lowest level, (2) business processes iiprovements are routinely stimulated, harvested and shared within, and between, organizations, and (3) the Government, and the United States as a whole, is more competive, innovative and adaptive in the global knowledge economy.
While some federal departments and agencies claim to be making headway in using knowledge management (KM) to spearhead innovation and business process improvements, it's limited and distorted at best, and many of these efforts are hindered by longstanding industrial age practices and management structures. There are no formal Government or federal agency mandates to use KM to improve processes at the lowest levels, most mistakenly assume KM is Information Management/Information Technology (IM/IT), and in those agencies where change management and business transformation offices exist, it's at the highest levels, leading to an over-reliance on "centralization" remedies, as opposed to rewarding, stimulating and capitalizing on knowledge sharing and innovation by individuals at the point of the spear. This ultimately leads to diminishing, as opposed to empowering, the creativity of the federal workforce, as individuals hunker down to withstand the next iteration of personnel cuts, reorganizations, and other forms of outdated industrial age budget cut initiatives. It's not so much a question of "doing more with less", but "doing better with what you have".
In summary, while it is clear Government agencies need to take actions to cut spending and be more effictive/efficient, there will be no longterm benefits if approached as the traditional time-driven "suggestions award" program. What's needed, Government-wide and at the lowest levels within every federal agency, is establishment of knowledge management office/program specifically chartered to lead, stimulate, and harvest innovation, creativy and business process improvements, to include methods to measure, report and reinvest the results (effectiveness/efficiency, manpower, cost savings/avoidance, etc). Some may question if we can afford to do this, and I would respond we can't afford not to.
While these are certainly my opinions, recently published books such as "The Power of Pull", "The New Edge in Knowledge", and "The Starfish and the Spider" are just a few publications from the commercial sector that enunciate the importance of these theories, principles and practices.