Smart Management

HR Directors Get a Personnel Downgrade

It’s always been tough to run a state’s department of human resources. And since the beginning of the Great Recession, it’s gotten even more difficult as pay freezes, reductions in workforce size, and increasing co-pays for health and pensions have demoralized workers.

With workforces under great stress, you might think that governors and other high-level state officials would be listening ever more carefully to the reports of their HR leaders. READ MORE

Twitter Tips, Aging IT Workers, Book Recommendations and More

Do you, or your government, use Twitter to get information out to the public? Researchers at Cornell University have developed an algorithm that may help you be more successful. They offer a number of easy-to-follow recommendations including use the word “please,” convey an opinion, use third person pronouns and keep the tweet as easy to read as possible.

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Participatory Democracy’s Emerging Tools

As we explore the role of new technologies in changing how government makes policies and delivers services, one form of technology is emerging that has the potential to foster decision-making that's not only more effective but also more legitimate: platforms for organizing communication by groups across a distance.

Long known as groupware in the business world, such tools now are either being adapted or purpose-built to facilitate conversation and collaboration between government and citizens with the goal of enabling democracy that is more participatory and inclusive of diverse voices. READ MORE

The Paradoxical Truth About Efficiency Commissions

Over time, many states and cities have established so-called “efficiency commissions” in efforts to get the most out of the dollars they spend. Very recently, New Hampshire issued a report from such a commission that included business people, agency representatives and labor unions. It was run by a former CEO of the high-tech firm Autodesk. The report includes 18 recommendations.

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Government’s Management Failures to Come

As new governors build their administrations, their minds are understandably focused primarily on their policy legacies. After all, most of them ran to make a difference in the lives of their citizens. Now is the time they are asked to deliver on their promises and policy prescriptions. But while these are exciting times for governors, they should remember the words of one of their predecessors, the late governor Mario Cuomo of New York: "You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose."

What does this mean for new chief executives? Regardless of their high-minded and passionate promises, governors, like presidents, will be held accountable for all manner of policy-delivery and management failures that were never even thought about in their campaigns. READ MORE