Thursday, December 22, 2016

NIHism in Government

FCW has advice to high ranking career civil servants who have to adjust to their new bosses in the Trump administration.  All good, but this recognizes the NIHism common in government.
" Don't let arrogance or intransigence alienate you from the incoming leadership team. It's crucial to focus on outcomes and not be wed to the name of an initiative or its current process. Change happens. President George W. Bush's administration had a number of shared services initiatives branded as "eGov initiatives" and "lines of business." Those named initiatives were set aside by the Obama administration and time was lost before a new wave of shared services efforts were launched. This is a normal occurrence. Be prepared for it and keep the goal in mind -- the outcome matters much more than the form or structure of a current program."
As I've written before, the Madigan "Infoshare" (GHWBush's USDA secretary) initiative limped into the Espy USDA tenure, lost momentum, then was sort of revived under Glickman, but changed/killed under the GWBush administration.  The problem is that special projects represent a way for the administration to make a difference, to put their own stamp on the agency.  But because they're identified with one administration, unless they're completed within the term of the administration, it makes them particularly vulnerable as targets for the next.   By contrast the daily work of the bureaucracy is more immune to change. 

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