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Jerry Mechling  |  Contributor

Email : jerrymechling@gmail.com

Jerry Mechling, an independent consultant, is a former faculty member of the Harvard Kennedy School, where from 1983 to 2011 he taught degree-program courses on information management and founded Strategic Computing in the Public Sector, a research and executive-education program. He also is a former research vice president at Gartner Inc.

A fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and four-time winner of the Federal 100 Award, he was formerly a fellow of the Institute of Politics; an aide to the mayor of New York City and assistant administrator of the New York City Environmental Protection Administration; and director of Boston's Office of Management and Budget.

He received his B.A. in physical sciences from Harvard College and his M.P.A. and Ph.D. in economics and public affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Smart Management

When Work Is Disrupted by Digital Progress

As technology-driven job displacement accelerates, governments have a big role to play in managing its impact.

June 4, 2019
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Smart Management

The Job-Transition Engines We Need

As automation disrupts the workforce, we can look to places as diverse as Sweden and Singapore for better ways to cope with it.

February 6, 2019
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Smart Management

Technology and the Difficult Issues of Governance

In setting digital priorities, public leaders need to think about productivity, equity and trust.

October 24, 2018
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Smart Management

Getting the Most Out of Government’s Learning Loop

The digital tools are getting better all the time. It's a critical opportunity to improve judgment and decision-making.

July 11, 2018
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Smart Management

Transformative Technology’s Challenges for Government

Accelerating digital disruption requires new approaches to governance and leadership.

April 10, 2018
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Commentary

Digital Tools and the Need for Better Governance

Delegating IT to the techies isn't the way for governments to get the most out of today's increasingly powerful technology.

February 13, 2018
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Smart Management

How Smaller Communities Can Survive in an Age of Disruption

As one Georgia city has shown, it's about getting the right people to address the right issues.

March 1, 2017
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Smart Management

A Real Opportunity for Cross-Boundary Digital Government

Our state, local and federal governments need to ramp up the sharing of technology and data beyond their enterprises.

April 27, 2016
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Smart Management

How Government Can Mine the Value of IT

We should use technology to improve what the institution does, building societal value and public support.

January 27, 2016
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Smart Management

Lessons from the Feds on Managing IT (Really!)

A new federal law aims to balance innovation and efficiency. It could serve as a guide for other levels of government.

January 7, 2015
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Smart Management

How Governments — and the People Who Run Them — Can Learn and Improve

Digital technology has given us tools that make a methodical approach to institutional learning more useful and powerful than ever.

May 28, 2014
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Smart Management

Government's Slow Takeoff into the Cloud

There are hurdles that are keeping governments at all levels from realizing the full benefits of cloud computing. To overcome them, we will need new kinds of collaboration.

March 5, 2014
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Management Insights

Getting the Strategic Value Out of IT

Technology can solve problems and contribute to solutions. The key is getting IT people into the process at the start.

August 28, 2013
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Management Insights

How to Think About Technology in the Work of Government

The key to performance is information that makes work accountable, provides guidance, coordinates over distance and seeks out innovation.

June 5, 2013
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Management Insights

Technology Fiascoes and the Failure of Analysis

There are too many IT project failures in government. Getting the upfront analysis right could prevent a lot of them.

March 20, 2013
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Management Insights

Technology's Real Value for Government

IT investments bring their own direct productivity improvements, but the big payoff is in the much larger productivity boost that digital tools can give to government services.

January 9, 2013
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Management Insights

The Governance Trinity, and How Information Can Power It

Governments are getting much quicker and clearer feedback than ever before. It’s data that could be better used to solve problems.

August 15, 2012
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Management Insights

The Gathering Momentum to Collaborate Across Boundaries

Global forces are pushing governments to work together as never before, and especially to take advantage of IT-enabled economies. There is much to be gained.

June 6, 2012
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Management Insights

IT and the Perils of Hunkering Down

Now — not after the November elections — is the time to prepare to leverage technology to improve productivity across government.

March 28, 2012
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Management Insights

Technology and the Productivity Promise

IT is the most important tool for improving government output. Budget directors need to be ready to answer some important questions.

January 11, 2012
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Management Insights

Leading in Distrustful Times

At a time when government is held in low esteem, public service needs people with the qualities that Canada's Reg Alcock had in abundance.

November 2, 2011
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Management Insights

Spend More—Not Less—on IT

Cutting technology spending along with everything else is a false economy. IT-enabled productivity improvements can save more than they cost.

September 7, 2011
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Management Insights

Is Better Education Finally Possible?

IT-enabled innovation has long passed education by, but cost pressures may finally change that.

June 29, 2011
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Management Insights

Social Networking and Recruitment

Tough times and the growing need for innovation require the use of social media to attract the best and brightest.

April 27, 2011
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Management Insights

The iPad: Risky Game-Changer

Will the iPad, and competing tablet computers, help us manage information overload or add to the distractions?

March 9, 2011
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Management Insights

Managing Change Post Election

How to avoid the impulsive and shallow commitments that have too often characterized IT investments in the past.

November 3, 2010
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Management Insights

Targeting Small Governments for Technology Innovation

Given ongoing technology developments, the most efficient scale for technology service operations is small government.

September 29, 2010
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Better, Faster, Cheaper

The Last Shall Be First

The historic trend of information technology applications going first to big governments and only later to the small ones is about to flip.

September 29, 2010
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Management Insights

IT Drives Shared Services

What's the quickest way to make $1,900 a year for each man, woman and child in the country? Use technology to implement a cost-effective shared services model.

Better, Faster, Cheaper

How to Make $1,900 a Year for Everyone?

It's simple: Use IT to implement a cost-effective shared services model.

August 11, 2010
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Management Insights

Three IT Challenges for the 2011 Transition

Looming political transitions and tough economic times create an unusual window of opportunity for IT-enabled innovations.

Better, Faster, Cheaper

2011's 3 IT Challenges

With political transitions looming, a unique opportunity to innovate presents itself.

June 16, 2010
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Management Insights

Government's Budget Myopia

Governors, mayors and budget directors need to update the budgeting process to ensure IT-enabled innovations.

Management Insights

The New Economy: A Glitzy Future?

Michigan's massive new data center is the right technology for these tough economic times.

Management Insights

Creating See-Through Government

Transparency and accountability are more important than ever. There are steps managers should take to achieve those goals.

Management Insights

Democratizing Data

The District of Columbia is making practically all of its data available to the public. The effort to promote transparency and trust is generating excitement.

Management Insights

Civic Engagement: Your Next Technology 'Sweet Spot'?

Online services are fine, but they've become old hat. It's time to use new technology tools to make government more transparent and collaborative.

Management Insights

What Does Your CIO Really Need to Know?

They really need to know, writes Jerry Mechling, how to earn a role as a trusted member of the leadership team.

Management Insights

Time to Change Your Value Chain?

With electronic infrastructure now so widely available, writes Jerry Mechling, the next step for government is reorganizing, re-allocating and redefining agencies and functions.

Management Insights

The Transition: A Dark-Horse Opportunity

Transition time is the right time to transform the government and economy -- as enabled by information technology.

Management Insights

Showing the Way To Shared Services

Public managers know all too well the barriers to sharing services across jurisdictional boundaries. One county in Michigan is knocking them down in ways others may soon need to emulate.

Management Insights

There Is Nothing Permanent Except Change

In turbulent times, institutions must respond with increasingly energetic, leadership-driven innovation.

Management Insights

Shared Services 'Trickle Down' from Canada?

A workshop analyzing where shared services are now found Canada was a leading example of where things may be heading next.

Management Insights

Will Massive Collaboration Work for You?

It offers ways for governments to tap the wisdom of crowds.

Management Insights

Innovation Clues from Cleveland

Cleveland is unique in its approach to broadband, its emphasis on entrepreneurial innovation and its focus on the region rather than on the city, the state or the nation, writes Jerry Mechling.

Management Insights

The Future of IT-Enabled Change: Are You Ready?

Information technology is critical for innovation, but the IT-driven innovation of the future will be much more difficult than anything we've done so far.

Management Insights

Digital Leadership Moves

As we move deeper into the Information Age, leaders must help us move forward on the risks and returns of innovation.