The manager's musings.

Author:Master, Warren

Streams of Change

In his book, The Third Wave, published almost three decades ago, Alvin Toffler suggests we simplify and synthesize our view of how we relate to the future by looking for "those streams of change that ... run together to form even larger, deeper, swifter rivers of change that, in turn, flow into something still larger: the Third Wave." And in moving to this new synthesis of social, political, and economic relationships, Toffler emphasizes the "costs of ... not changing things rapidly enough."

Clearly, the current Zeitgeist is biased toward an urgency to change, as may be indicated by a variety of recent global meltdowns--chief among them climate change, world financial market crises, and growing international insecurity. One may also infer from results of the 2008 U.S. national elections that more people are becoming aware of this imperative. Even President-elect Obama is looking for "twofers" as we make difficult budget choices to "jump-start the economy," "cut fat," and "maximize on our strategic priorities" as soon as possible. We have no time to waste.

Mitigating Climate Change

When the new administration takes office on January 20, 2009, it is likely that climate change will be a major action item. To help inform executive branch thinking, Rachael Jonassen of LMI has assembled a forum on lessons learned from federal, state, and local experiences in mitigating climate change. Following an overview by Marry Lyon, articles in the forum cover such topics as creating A Federal Leader's Guide to Climate Change to inform those joining the administration about risks and responsibilities (Rachael Jonassen), local government lessons on emissions inventories (James Yienger), managing incentives for green vehicles at all levels of government (David Diamond), and comprehensive plans in the Midwest to address energy security and climate change, including plans for a carbon cap-and-trade scheme (the Honorable Jim Doyle, Governor of Wisconsin).

Rivers of Change

Also changing its modus operandi, Patrick Pizzella relates how the U.S. Department of Labor has improved the way it does business by becoming more citizen centered, results oriented, and market based. James Caillier compares the U.S. State Department's Senior Foreign Service (SFS) system and that of the Senior Executive Service (SES), thereby revealing the very Third Wavish benefits of increased decentralization. Sticking with performance improvement, Scott Gould and Julie...

To continue reading