by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
FCW : October 2014
STEVE KELMAN is professor of public management at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and former administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Commentary | STEVE KELMAN I recently taught an executive edu- cation program for leaders of state public health agencies at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. I had an opportunity to meet Terry Cline, who was just finishing up his one-year term as president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Offi- cials, and that’s how I learned about an intriguing interagency program the organization conducts. For the past five years, each new president of ASTHO has led an effort called the President’s Chal- lenge. The challenge has devel- oped into a specific performance goal initiated by the organization’s president-elect the year before tak- ing office to give members time to discuss and develop strategies for meeting the goal before the person begins his or her term as president. The president seeks commit- ments of support from as many of ASTHO’s members as possible. The individual health departments work on achieving the goal in their states as they think best, while sharing information about what strategies seem to be working. The challenge was initiated by Dr. Judy Monroe, then Indi- ana’s state health commissioner and now a deputy director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She was trying to think of an appropriate focus for her term as the association’s president and came up with the relatively easy goal of removing unhealthy activities from the offices of state health departments, such as smok- ing rooms. Over time, the goals have become more outcome-oriented and less under the exclusive con- trol of a health department. The latest goal, which extends over two years, is to reduce the num- ber of deaths due to prescription drug overdoses by 15 percent. With the development of more effec- tive painkillers in the past decade, prescriptions for such drugs have quadrupled and so have deaths by overdose due to galloping use and addiction. According to Cline, 15 percent is an ambitious goal, and it’s too early to know whether it will be met, though nobody is going to be punished if performance improves but falls short of the goal. Forty- seven states have signed onto the challenge, and the association has developed a mix of approaches and involved more than 20 federal agencies and national nonprofit organizations. The program caught my eye as an example of effective use of performance measurement to challenge people in pursuit of a valuable goal, to share informa- tion and learn, and to do all that in a non-punitive way. It still catches my eye for those reasons. However, as I thought about those efforts, I realized that the President’s Challenge provides another lesson as well. There are countless interorganizational councils in the United States representing agencies in different states or across different depart- ments of the federal government. In our own IT area, the four that most quickly come to mind are the CIO, Chief Acquisition Officers, Chief Financial Officers and Chief Human Capital Officers councils. Each is potentially a forum for sharing information — and, to varying degrees, they succeed in doing so. But I think those associa- tions should follow ASTHO’s lead and undertake common challenges each year with real performance goals. I did something like that in the 1990s when I was administrator of the Office of Federal Procure- ment Policy. I issued government- wide procurement improvement “pledges” that senior agency pro- curement executives agreed to and pursued. But that was a personal, one-off initiative. ASTHO’s idea deserves to become part of the modus operandi of interagency councils across government. ■ Challenging people in pursuit of a valuable goal State public health agencies collaborate on annual performance goals in an approach that the CIO Council and others should seek to emulate ASTHO’s idea deserves to become part of the modus operandi of interagency councils across government. October 2014 FCW.COM 15
September 30, 2014
November and December 2014