Getting the Best Ideas from Outside Washington

As the President has said time and again, the best ideas often come from outside Washington.  A vivid example involves new technology and management techniques to make large organizations run more effectively and efficiently.
During the past two decades, the private sector has leapfrogged ahead of the federal government when it comes to innovative operation and management, especially as it relates to the use of information technology.  It used to be that a federal worker had more computing power and prowess at their desk than at home; now, they often have more power in their Blackberry or iPhone than at their desk.
That’s why today President Obama signed an executive order creating the President’s Management Advisory Board, a group of private-sector CEOs who will provide recommendations about best practices around productivity, technology, and customer service.  The Board will complement the President’s Management Council, the senior-most interagency group that includes the deputy secretaries from the major executive departments and agencies. 
This board builds on what we learned from the White House Forum on Modernizing Government this past January.  There, we welcomed more than 50 of the country’s top CEOs to hear from them about adapting their proven techniques and practices to spark improvements in efficiency and effectiveness across the government. Coming out of that meeting, it became clear that the dialogue between senior private and public sector leaders was a fruitful one, and this new board will provide a venue to keep that conversation going.
Specifically, the Management Advisory Board will be chaired by OMB’s Jeff Zients, the Federal Chief Performance Officer.  With 20 years of experience in the private sector, including as Chairman and CEO of public and private companies, Jeff knows firsthand how powerful ideas and best practices can transform an organization’s performance.  Board members will be appointed by the President and will be chosen on the basis of their record of sound judgment in leading large, complex, or innovative private-sector organizations.  Members will possess top-level business experience in the areas of executive management, audit and finance, human resources and compensation, customer service, operations management, and information technology. The first Management Advisory Board members will be selected and announced in the next few months.

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