January 2019 ACTION Column
As we launch into 2019, SEA is looking to the future…the future of leadership in the Federal government, a future that will modernize the civil service, a future where our Nation’s citizens recognize the important role that government plays in their lives, and a future where public service is once again viewed as a noble calling.
This is an ambitious agenda, but our current state of national affairs requires nothing less. In 2018, SEA built many new coalitions and launched a number of new initiatives that will set the foundation for our work in 2019. Among those initiatives are:
Creating the Public Service Leadership as a Profession Framework: SEA’s Human Capital Leadership Community of Change created a Framework that will guide the implementation in 2019 of SEA’s Public Service Leadership as a Profession initiative. We believe there is increasing recognition across the country of the lack of leadership that is focused on restoring a public service ethic. SEA in 2019 will lead the effort to fill this vacuum in leadership with an ultimate goal of restoring public confidence in government’s ability to deliver optimal mission value. A long-time SEA Member recently sent me the following observation that is related to this effort:
“Doris Kearns Goodwin’s new bestselling book, ‘Leadership,’ as well as other similar books and events make the point that the American public recognizes this deficiency in leadership and longs for a solution. Demonstrating and articulating what leadership within the federal government means and the benefits career executive leadership provides to the American public might help to fill the present leadership void in the minds of many Americans.”
Developing the “10 Considerations for Civil Service Modernization”: SEA’s Governance Innovation Community of Change, in partnership with the Hoover Institution, hosted three Civil Service Modernization Dialogues in 2018 with a diverse group of good government groups, including the National Academy of Public Administration, Volcker Alliance, Federalist Society, Heritage Foundation and the Partnership for Public Service. These Dialogues resulted in the 10 Considerations, which fall into three general categories:
- Streamlining processes, providing sufficient resources, and promoting a cultural shift that enhances accountability in the workforce, including training of supervisors to incentivize high performers and ensuring that poor performance is appropriately addressed.
- Simplifying administrative and regulatory processes that hinder the effective and efficient functioning of government, for example hiring and procurement processes.
- Reskilling/retraining the civil service workforce to ensure that civil servants have the tools and knowledge they require to effectively deliver mission results to the American taxpayer.
Our goal in 2019 is to work with Congress, the Administration and other key stakeholders to implement these initiatives and similar ones through policy and legislation changes. If you would like to join us in this effort, drop me a line at Bill.Valdez@SeniorExecs.org.