Future of Federal Government

I guarantee that the Federal Government will be different in the future. Besides the fight for ideological direction and political power, there are 6 trends that will change this landscape. They are systemic challenges that at 8,000 Federal Executives will respond to in the near future–and their response will change the Government.

Budget Reduction. Regardless of the policies or methods employed to downsize the budget, all programs are on notice to reduce spending. Budgets will be smaller, and offices will have to perform their mission at the levels expected of them by their stakeholders. Leaders will have to be prudent about how they use contractors, consultants, equipment, and training.

Performance Accountability. Since the passing of the Government Performance and Reporting Act of 1993, agencies have sought streamlined ways to plan, organize, execute, and report performance within and across programs. Now, with the 2010 Modernization Act to GPRA, 152 changes are in the pipeline and it will affect the information tied to performance analysis and public awareness.

Workforce Development. A third of the Federal workforce is eligible to retire. Talent, information, and know-how can walk out the door, and the existing workforce is in desperate need of a reemergence of performance leadership, where every individual is aware and motivated to enhance the organizations’ performance–not more bureaucracy by the numbers.

Cost Controls. The many costs of doing business are not visible, and yet the total cost of running government offices is driving up the total operational expenses. Offices need routine ways of examining the policies and behaviors that affect costs in energy, property, transportation, and outsourcing–as the budgets shrink, the pressure to account for every penny rises.

Mobile Productivity. Telework is encouraged in the laws and agency policies, and many government functions require mobility; however, nobody knows how to keep productivity in workers who are out of sight. The pressure is on to find technological means of increasing productivity, regardless of where the worker is located, including means of concentration, engagement, computing convenience, and rapid communications.

Localized Innovation. The Federal government is a very large enterprise, with desperate expertise; and yet, we have few means of normalizing conditions for innovation. The entire workforce is held back by the difficulties of sharing insights, testing enhancements, and learning from each other and how we redesign our work structures. A discipline for innovation is necessary–very necessary.

The future of the Federal Government is in the hands of a few leaders. As they respond to these systemic challenges, we will see the trajectory of the bureaucracy–will it become a heavy or light structure–a growth or stagnation of performance capability?


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5 Responses to Future of Federal Government

  1. Chris says:

    Interesting perspectives. I will be plugging this blog into my rss reader.

  2. Heidi says:

    As we face these six trends, it is within each of us to contribute towards those ends. With careful analysis of mission and the corresponding outcomes that contribute to the vision; innovation, commitment and passion for make small changes; accountability for identifying, developing, protecting and sustaining resources; collaboration and discourse instead of competition and divisiveness; we can move forward with a unity of effort. We need to be the leaders who develop a shared understanding, who can stir 8,000 Federal employees toward a compelling vision of serving the people, always being accountable, mindful of the consequences of our actions and being able to lead “up.” As stated, “The future of the Federal Government is in the hands of a few leaders.” Those leaders need advice and support from leaders at every level of the Federal government. Aligning our actions toward the same ends is the challenge

  3. Charlie says:

    “…Workforce Development. A third of the Federal workforce is eligible to retire.Talent, information, and know-how can walk out the door, and the existing workforce is in desperate need of a reemergence of performance leadership…”

    I know a number of fellow government workers who are concerned about the potential knowledge-base and experience drain that will result as that third moves to retirement. At the same time, I see it as having a potential benefit.

    There are a number of truly inspirational, long serving, public servants. Regrettably, there are a number of people who have risen to the top levels of management who are hindrances to innovation, rooted steadfastly in the status quo, and who see developing and mentoring subordinates as not having a return on investment.

    I fully agree with you that the existing workforce is in desperate need of a reemergence of performance leadership. From my perspective it’s needed to develop a younger generation of government staff who I hope will be more agile and more receptive to change than the some of the elder hindrances can be.

    I believe that the pressure to decrease budget while maintaining productivity and the pressure for increased transparency will help to foster an environment wherein one will have to be innovative and agile, where an affinity for heavy bureaucracy will become obsolete. See also buggy whips and dinosaurs.

    The next several years should be interesting. I have faith – maybe it’s hope – that the changing environment will be met by dynamic leaders – some older and experienced, some new and fresh.

    It simply takes a few to start.

  4. souma sarr says:

    well think its a real perspective about federal goverment

  5. Srinidhi Boray says:

    Don’t forget performance without accountability and transparency means nothing for the dollar spent. Will the landscape of DC bandits change, contract vehicles be more intuitive being more inclusive, fascism be eliminated….Opportunities to achieve the above discussed points have always existed. Why it is so important now. Great things have happened within Fed, including Internet revolution, then why did cloud happen at Amazon, Google and elsewhere, when Feds are spending $80 Billion plus on IT services every year.

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