Smart Management

Why Governments Need to Ramp Up Succession Planning

Every day in the United States, 10,000 people turn 65. And according to the Pew Research Center, millennials now outnumber baby boomers in the workplace, 76 million to 75 million, while millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce just 10 years from now.

As a result of the rapidly aging workforce, government organizations -- small and large, rural and urban -- are experiencing a brain drain that is placing their organizations at a critical juncture: The need for experienced and seasoned employees has never been greater, yet those are the very workers who are most likely to be departing in the very near future. It's clear that governments need to get serious about succession planning. READ MORE

Governors’ 2016 Priorities

Judging by their State of the State addresses, most of the nation’s governors are full of good cheer. This is likely, in part, because their states’ fiscal status has improved since a few years ago. 

Many of the governors are in their second terms and used their start-of-the-year speeches to tout how much better off their states are: low unemployment, strong job growth, economic development victories, heightened investment (or anticipated investment) in education, balanced budgets and well-stocked rainy day funds.  READ MORE

You Won the Election. What Do You Do Now?

It's been said that there are two kinds of political candidates: those who run for office because they want to do something and those who run because they want to be something -- that is, the motivation is more about their egos than the community's needs. I've often seen a third type of candidate: those who run because they want to do something but don't figure out what they want to do or how to go about accomplishing it until it's too late.

Some examples of the third type: READ MORE

America's Jails Have an HR Problem

A great deal of attention has been paid to the management of state prisons in recent years. Much of it has been aimed at corralling the growth in corrections costs, which have been consuming ever-larger portions of the total budget. But it’s equally important to look at jails. These are generally run by counties and cities, and, while populations move through jails at a more fluid pace than prisons, these facilities hold a population of about 740,000 at any one time, according to the Prison Policy Initiative. 

A look through a number of local jail audits and other independent reports reveals a management miasma that all too often is hobbling the smooth and safe functioning of jails. One of the big issues confronted by these lockups is lack of staffing. This is often the result of insufficient funding, but it can also be a product of difficulties in hiring enough personnel to fill jobs in jails. After all, it’s not exactly a kid’s dream job—the way firefighter or police officer might be. “People don’t want to work in a jail when they grow up,” says Brandon Wood, executive director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, adding that the ups and downs of the economy and employment rates aren’t necessarily the problem. “Meeting the staffing ratios is a challenge at all times,” he says. READ MORE

How Government Can Mine the Value of IT

Too many governments still are thinking too small about information technology, looking narrowly and downward at IT as "the problem." This diverts attention from how the use of technology can shape organizational strategies.

True, IT itself was the problem when it was expensive, hard to use, and could be applied only to high-volume, highly structured processes such accounting. And marketing hype created uncertainty: How could governments get objective information to realistically assess technology vendors' claims? How could governments keep an IT project from becoming a front-page failure? READ MORE